Neat & Tidy

Out With The Old

Do you feel like your home is so cluttered, that your stuff might just eat you and your family alive? No? Okay, maybe it’s just me then. Well, if you find yourself in this situation, you can use this as a guide to help you simplify your life.

With hobbies like garbage picking and extreme couponing, my garage and basement are full of potential DIY projects and a year’s supply of toiletries. While I do think it is important to have things on hand, I think that this time my hobbies may have gotten out of hand. Trust me; there are no arguments from my husband on this one.

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It is time to get rid of things!

To help my cause and to indulge in my passion of going through other people’s trash, I decided to host a swap party. This is a fun, free way to get rid of things you no longer want or need and take home a few new treasures.

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Here’s how it worked:

Everyone brought useful junk to get rid of. Next, we spread out the loot. Each guest was given a stack of colored post-its; one color per person. Then, they chose a new item for each one they brought and claim it with their colored post-it. If more than one colored post-it was on an item, we put them in a hat and drew one out and that person kept the item.

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1. Each guest brings up to 10 items (new or used) to get rid of.

2. Make sure everything the guest brings, is something they are willing to part with.

3. All items should be clean and in good condition.

I set up a donation box for any items that went unclaimed.

The swap party was a huge hit! So much so, that I will be hosting another one later this month.

As I was packing up the unclaimed items in our car from the swap party, I decided to use this opportunity to sift through more crap in our house to also take along to donate.

First, I decided to tackle my closet. Wow! There were a lot of outfits in there I didn’t even know I had anymore! You know, a lot of those “someday I can fit into that again” type items. I decided if it was a surprise to see that shirt from 10 years ago, that it probably needed to go. I came up with 2 large garbage bags full of stuff to donate.

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Next, it was time for the garage and basement. This was a gigantic undertaking. For each piece I asked myself these questions:

1. When was the last time I actually used it? If the answer was more than six months, it needed to leave the house.

2. Do I love it? This seems obvious, but there really is no need to hold on to something we only sort of like.

3. How much is it really worth to me now? I took a few pictures of a couple things to persevere the memory of the items, but save some space in our home.

4. Does it serve more than one purpose? We decided to get rid of our tea kettle, because it is just as easy to heat water in a pan. We just don’t need the extra clutter lying around here.

5. When will I get around to finishing this? This is a big one for me. I have so many potential projects just taking up space, waiting to have a second life.

In the end there were a total of ten boxes and three bags of stuff we were able to eliminate from our house. Yay!

And remember, if you are donating items, you can get a receipt to use for a tax write off.



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