10 Steps for September: Regifting and Decluttering

Recently, I wrote a post with statistics about just how much stuff the average American had. In it, I wrote about the idea of regifting: giving away things you no longer need in order to reduce clutter and waste. Your things don’t have to be regifted as a “present” for any special occasion! The items could be used for special “cheer you up” gifts or “thought you might like this”. Explain that the person can always pass it on. There shouldn’t be any pressure to keep something!

  1. Storage solutions aren’t always solutions to saving or decluttering items. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that buying another storage unit of plastic box is going in the right direction. Its just another location to storing existing stuff that you do not use. Let’s take an example. When clearing an office space, such as a desk area, the less organizing boxes, files, and containers, the better. You don’t accumulate so much that way. The more locations the more stuff will grow on you.
  2. Give items away. Don’t you feel great when you get to give a gift to someone? You will feel good x 2 – streamlining your clutter and helping those that need it or could use it. That is why Nipomo Organizing partners with the gift store that helps raise money for food for South County Outreach.
  3. This point is hard to do. Say “Goodbye to Buying”. Stop buying all those things that supposedly have your name on it. Simple. Challenge yourself to a spend-free month. Obviously, this doesn’t extend to consumable things like food, gas, utilities. Commit to not buying any item intended for multiple uses. When you see something and you don’t buy it, put the money in a jar. After 30 days add it to your savings, a vacation fund, or a new car fund. You will be that much ahead.
  4. Let it go: repurpose has its purpose but the guilty mindset sometimes plays in here. If you don’t love it, Let IT GO. A good example: I found a picture that I bought years ago (expensive), nicely framed, but not my current colors. It is true artwork, signed by an artist. I do not have a location in my house for this beautiful piece. I need to let it go. It doesn’t have any true “meaning”. It is sitting in my office waiting for me to find someone I could give it to.
  5. Take “baby steps” – start small. Don’t overwhelm yourself by deciding to tackle the entire house, or even one entire room at once. Start with one drawer, one bookshelf, and take it from there. Example: I inherited old negatives (black and white) of my father. There are about 500 of them. They were produced from a special camera called a Graflex manufactured in the 1920’s. My aim has always been to get a table top book published with his photos. To start putting them in date order was a logical way to see the different years. However, I recently spent some time on the project and realized that assembling them by topic would make more sense for a book. It was easier at that point to start discarding some of the negatives that didn’t mean anything or bad ones that would not make the cut. Doing it in small sections at a time didn’t make the project so overwhelming.
  6. Question Yourself: Hold an item in your hands and ask yourself, “Does it serve its purpose? Does it make me happy? Is it just collecting dust? Decide on what to do with it.
  7. Cash In: Have a garage sale and make it fun and exciting. No one will ever get rich but to see others find little treasures is rewarding. I have had garage sales for years: with mimosas and bagels the morning passes quickly and you are done by noon. If you want to try eBay or Craigslist, go for it. I personally have never seen the returns for the time you have to spend.
  8. Experience vs Things: In James Wallman’s book Stuffocation: Living More with Less the value is on the experience of living, seeing new things, time with family and friends. Question is, do your belongings offer an experience beyond their physical form? Or are they truly just things.
  9. Stay an Even Keel: Adopt a policy of one item in and one item out policy. This idea keeps your possessions under control. Example: I own one 5 foot rack of tops. This includes everyday and dressy tops/blouses sorted by colors. If I buy a new top or receive a gift, then one of the older ones needs to go.
  10. Make no compromises with yourself. When you are out shopping, ask yourself one main question when you find something and are thinking about buying it: do you love it? Don’t buy anything don’t love. Compromising just means that you will end up buying something later that you like better and then you will have something you might never use again. More money spent and as we say going down the drain.

So these are 10 items that I have used and impart the knowledge to my clients on how to reorganize their thinking on keeping “stuff” under control. So next month we will look at James Wallman’s notion of Living More with Less, especially as we help others get ready for retirement.

If you want to get started regifting and just can’t figure out where to go, I’d be happy to help! For a free evaluation, please feel free to click here and sign up!

Unlike other professional home organizers, the Orange County professional organizers at Nipomo Organizing Solutions try to use the organizing materials that you have on hand before recommending the purchase of new containers.

Let us help you tackle your organizing needs painlessly with our professional Orange County organizer experience and resources! DON’T BE EMBARRASSED. TRUST ME – I HAVE SEEN IT ALL!

Call 949-350-6042 to start your journey to complete home & office organization today!

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
Theodore Roosevelt

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