Monday, November 1, 2010

When In Doubt, Throw It Out

We’re all collectors and stashers of one kind or another, but if you take a little time to clear out the stuff you've been accumulating for years, you'll be surprised to see how much you really can live without. This is a great exercise if you are: considering a move soon, planning a garage sale, or looking for items to donate to charitable organizations. Bonus benefit: clearing out the clutter can even lift your spirits!

Here are some sensible tips for paring down your possessions:

• Don’t attack the entire house at once. Take it room by room.

• Label four cartons or bags: "Keep," "Sell," "Give Away" and "Toss."

• Divide and conquer the contents of boxes, closets and drawers.

• Consider the big items too: Do you really like that armchair well enough to have it reupholstered, or are you ready to replace it? (Keep in mind that reupholstering can cost more than buying a new piece of furniture.)

• Clothing: True, some styles could make a comeback – but do you have enough closet space to hold onto those super-short flowered dresses or pea green ultra-suede pants another year? If you haven’t worn it in over a year, consider letting it go.

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