What should we do with the stuff we don’t need and want?
Once you have completed the sorting process and have determined the items you no longer want or need you can find new homes for them in any of the following ways:
- Donate goods to a local charity and receive a tax benefit
- Have a garage/tag sale
- Call The Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, Big Brothers Big Sisters, or Vietnam Veterans for pickup
- Sell goods online (e.g., eBay or Craigslist)
- Place goods with a consignment store
- Give family-related memorabilia to children, grandchildren, brothers, or sisters
- Tap your social network (e.g., church members) to see if they want certain items
- Freecycle (A grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving and getting stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.)
Should we buy containers before we start our organizing project?
No. Wait until you have finished the process of deciding what items you are going to retain. Then decide where you are going to store them. Now you can purchase the right types and sizes of containers that best suit your storage needs.
How do we deal with closets that are stuffed with clothing?
You need to determine what you really wear. Remember the 80–20 rule. Most people wear 20% of their clothing 80% of the time. Here’s a trick to help you identify that all important 20%:
Hang the clothes you’re not sure about in the wrong direction so that you need to lift the hanger up and back in order to remove the item from your closet. When you return the clothing, hang it like you normally would. At the end of the season it will be clear what you have and haven’t worn. Entertain the idea of donating the clothes you don’t wear to someone who needs them.