A garage sale is not always the answer to a cluttered home. When you run a garage sale, not only will you have to double your efforts, you also have to think of other ways to dispose of your things in case they don’t get purchased. If that’s the case, it is better to directly focus your attention on the more practical ways of de-cluttering. Some of them are listed below.
- Donate your still-usable items. Sort all your usable items and keep them in separate bags and boxes. Then, think of charities and organizations that need these items. For instance, your books should go to a local library or daycare. Clothes should be sent to orphanages and shelters. What’s good about donation, aside from being of help, is that you also can be qualified for tax deductions. You only need to get a receipt from the charities and organizations you donated items to.
- Swap items. Meet with your family and friends, each of you bringing old but usable items: shoes, bags, coats, books, CDs, and DVDs. Put all the items in a box or on a table, and take turns in picking items each of you would love to use. The idea here is to trade the things that have ceased being of use to you for another that can be used. In the end, the storage you reserved for clutter will be of more help now that it is keeping usable items.
- Offer your items to thrift stores. Some thrift stores buy old and usable items for selling. Look for such stores in your area. In some cases, these stores accept used items under a consignment agreement. So you have to think of other ways to get rid of those items if they are returned to you.
- Recycle your things. If you are keeping non-usable items that, for some reason, you can’t let go of, consider recycling. For example, your favorite sweatshirt in grade school can be turned into a quilt. Your broken lampshade can be part of an art décor. Your faded jeans can be sewn into a bag. There are lots of recycling ideas you can explore. If you want, you can even look up in the web or consult recycling and craft books.
- Throw away stuff. Items fall in different categories: “To be sold or given away,” “To be kept,” and “To be thrown away.” The first two categories are easier to deal with. The last one takes a lot of effort. It is typically hard to depart from the things that have emotional attachment. But if they don’t any more perform their function, why the need to keep them? Any time you are hesitant of throwing away stuff, ask yourself whether it is emotionally healthy to keep it or it simply clutters your home.
To make de-cluttering a lot easier, do the discard-first-and-take-in rule. Under this rule, you need to first get rid of one item before purchasing another. This way, you avoid creating a bunch of clutter that gets out of hand over time.