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Blog: Organize This!
Top Ten Myths for Getting Rid of Clutter

Even though the first step of organizing is uncluttering, there are so many excuses (or myths) for why we think we can't let go of items we aren't using or don't need. Let's dispel those myths:
#10. "I might need it someday."
If you haven't used something in two years, it becomes clutter; donate it, sell it, give it away, or recycle it.
#9. "It cost a lot of money!"
That doesn't mean you can't let it go. Keeping the item around is a constant reminder of how much you paid for it, but aren't using it.
#8. "Someone gave it to me."
A gift means it belongs to you and you can do anything you want with it, even pass it on to someone else will love it and use it.
#7. "My aunt gave it to me and I want to display it when she comes to visit."
How often does she visit and do you really think she'll remember?
#6. "It's from my family."
Family heirlooms are meant to be used and honored and that's not happening if they are sitting in your basement, attic, or storage facility. If you love it, use it in your home. If you don't, pass it on to someone else.  
#5. "I'm going to pass it down to my kids."
Don't assume someone wants your antiques unless you ask him or her. If they say no, no means no. If they do want it, give it to them now for birthdays and holidays if you no longer need it and watch the receiver delight in your gift.
#4. "My kids might need it and I have the room to store it."
Many parents hold on to stuff for their children to use when they move out on their own, especially household items. That extra toaster, crock pot, sofa, or set of dishes has a 'shelf' life; so if your kids don't need it for two years, donate it. Some items break down over time and you may have to end up throwing it out.  
#3. "I'm saving it for my grandchildren."
Many of my clients who say this don't even have grandchildren! How do you know they will even want it? Will you even be able to find the item when and if that time comes?
#2. "My children will get rid of all this stuff when I'm gone."
Ask anyone who has cleaned out their parent's home and they will tell you it was emotionally difficult and physically exhausting. Some families are forced to rent a dumpster and throw things into the landfill just because it's too overwhelming to go through it piece by piece. If you can begin uncluttering while you are able, your children will thank you for it and the environment will too.  
And the #1 myth: But it's so cute!
If it's so cute, then why aren't you using it? Donate it to a charity, sell it on consignment or on eBay, give it away to someone who needs it or wants it, or recycle it responsibly.
Organizing Quote: "You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are." Fred Rogers
Happy New Year from 'Organize This!'

posted on: 1/1/2011 2:30:00 PM by Vali Heist
category: General Organizing Tips

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by Amanda Darlack on 1/13/2011 9:40:51 PM:


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Organize This!

by Vali Heist

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About Vali:

Vali Heist is a Certified Professional Organizer, the owner of The Clutter Crew for homeowners, and a Certified GO System Trainer for businesses. She is the author of "Organize This! Practical Tips, Green Ideas, and Ruminations about your CRAP. CRAP stands for Clutter that Robs Anyone of Pleasure! She writes a monthly column for the Reading Eagle called "Organize This!". Vali's bachelor's degree is in Business Administration from Shippensburg University and her Master's Degree is in Higher Education from Kutztown University. Vali has an extensive background of 24 years in Higher Education including training, administration, project management, writing, and editorial production. Her passion has always been organization and how it relates to the simplification of work and personal life in order to enjoy both to the fullest. Her ultimate goal is to continue finding simple, easy to implement ideas that work in the real world and pass them on to her clients.

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