Difficult Decisions:  Emotional Reasons

When you choose to “marinate” an item or postpone the decision about keeping it or not, there may be practical and emotional reasons involved.  

Practical reason:  I might need it one day.  

Emotional reason:  It reminds me of my dad.

First, separate out those items you are keeping for each of these reasons.  In this blog we will deal with the items you are keeping for emotional reasons.  Continue reading…

Tidy-Bits . . .

Pamela Druckman says that clutter is an international problem.  A British on-line de-cluttering course attracts students from 18 countries!  But she also questions whether the joy of getting rid of things is an illusory joy - much like the illusory joy of buying the stuff in the first place.   Continue reading…

New York Times Op Ed, Feb 15, 2015
The Clutter Cures Illusory Joy

THE WEEK Tip of the Week . . .

How to eliminate clutter for good:

1) Visualize the results.  Picture the life you hope to live after the clutter’s gone.  You will be making room for that dream for every item you discard.

2) Keep only things that ‘spark joy’ (Marie Kondo).  Let go of the things you ‘think you might need’ one day.

3) Sort by category.  Lay out all like things in one place so that you can view them all together.  After you decide which one to keep within each category, give it the special care and space it deserves.  

THE WEEK, April 2015

Difficult Decisions:  Practical Reasons

In his blog we will deal with the items you are keeping for practical reasons.  Presumably, you are keeping the items for one of the following practical reasons.  

 I might need it one day.

 If I had to buy it, it would be expensive.

 I can sell it; it might be valuable.

 I might fit into it.

 I just need to fix it.

 I can use the parts.

 I want to read them.

While these are all good reasons for keeping something, using these reasons won’t help you downsize, de-clutter, or make space for other things.  Continue reading…

#1  Clean Up, Clear Out

“Nothing drives away would-be buyers faster than clutter, grime, and the weird smells that accompany a messy home…If you’re downsizing and need help winnowing your possessions, consider hiring a professional organizer…money well spent if it helps your property move more quickly.  The service might even be worth it if you plan to stay put for the time being because living in a cluttered home takes a psychological toll.”  Continue reading…

Consumer Reports, March 2015
The Top 5 Ways to Raise Your Home’s Value Now

In this space I will share with you interesting articles and thoughts pertaining to downsizing, de-cluttering, selling and donating, managing transitions, and preserving memories.

Dina Shtull

See Washtenaw County guide called Trash to Treasures to find out how to dispose of or donate a variety of household items.  http://tinyurl.com/omlsy5p

“For middle-class Americans, it’s never been easier to feel consumed by consumption…We’re bombarded almost minute-by-minute with too much everything: too much information, too much television, too much email, too much social media, too many apps…Home is the place to silence the white noise…if inside there is a sense of simplicity and order.  The notion that our lives should have some semblance of serenity seems to be taking hold.”  

      The Joy of Less, TIME, March 23, 2015

Difficult Decisions: How to Begin

Dina Shtull of Downsize with Dignity, LLC helps people determine what to do with their possessions when they move to a smaller home.  Her approach to dealing with downsizing offers techniques to manage our things even if we are staying where we are.  After all, whether we are moving or not, it seems that our living space fills up with stuff.  

Dina suggests sorting items into six categories, tagging each item with a different color sticky note and placing it in a clearly defined location.  The categories are:

 Keep at Home
 Pass Along/Gift It
 Sell
 Donate or Recycle
 Throw Away
 Marinate - think about it; not sure right now

If this feels too difficult or daunting, she suggests beginning with the three-pile method:

 Keep 
 Don’t keep
 Marinate – think about it; not sure right now

When the time is right, the Keep pile can be further divided into Keep at Home or Pass Along/Gift It – and tagged and placed in its designated location.

When the time is right, the Don’t Keep pile can be further divided into Sell, Donate or Recycle, or Throw Away – and tagged and placed in its designated location. .

The Marinate pile often has items that carry an emotional component.  Decision-making for these items can be more challenging.  Strategies for how to deal with this pile will be posted in our next blog.

. . . and get an upgrade on life

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