The more you declutter, the better your home will show when you are ready to sell. Think of each thing you get rid of as another piece of space in which potential buyers will imagine putting their own things. Of course, the world is awash with great ideas in the form of videos, books and magazine articles to give you ideas on what to declutter, but I especially like these few (and the ones in last month’s newsletter).
Sheets: Two sets per bed should do it unless you have a potty-training child. If you are trying to sell your house, consider putting the extra set of sheets under the appropriate mattress. Your linen closet will thank you.
Pillows: Sure, keep a couple for the occasional overnight guest but consider donating the rest to an animal shelter. (They also accept old towels, blankets, etc.) And if you are one of those people who has so many decorative pillows on your bed that you must construct a pillow tower before pulling back the covers, rethink a few of those pillows too. As for the pillows on your couch, if you have so many that a guest has to apologize for putting one or two on the floor so they can actually sit, you have too many.
Decorations: When we moved into a MUCH smaller house, we had to get serious about our Christmas decorations. Of course, the massive tree had to go because, well, the ceiling. And because we no longer had the tree’s considerable real estate on which to hang a zillion ornaments, those, too, had to be “pruned.” (Yes, that was a clever, horticulturally correct, use of the word, prune. High five.)
Fact of life — Antique-ish Christmas lights are dangerous even if they remind you of your youth. Don’t donate them. Toss them.
Twenty small, single-purpose appliances pretty much anyone can live without:
As I looked into what was available, I found an amazing number of ways to clutter up a kitchen. Just add “Maker” or “Cooker” to the end of each of these words. Cake-Pop, Rice, Popcorn, Cupcake, Burger, Hot-Dog, Pizza, Egg, Pasta, Smores, Quesadilla, Yogurt, Edible-Spoon (I kid you not.), Cotton-Candy (also known as the Fairy Floss maker), Soda, Donut, Waffle, Air-French-Fry, Chocolate-Fondue, Hot-Oil-Fondue (also known as 3rd-degree burns on a table), Bread, and Panini.
Although, I kind of love my Panini maker, I do acknowledge that I could use a frying pan and a spatula to accomplish much the same thing. We each have our own priorities.
Clothes: I once knew a really nice woman who, when she moved to a new home, insisted on taking a trunk filled with size 5/6 clothes from her college days to her new home. At the time, the woman, who is quite short, probably wore a pleasantly plump 15/16, had grown kids, an excellent job, and barring time travel, was never, ever going to wear those hopelessly out-of-date clothes again. In my opinion, the time for her to donate those clothes would have been right after size 9/10 rolled around. Two sizes is a good rule of thumb. The chances of getting down more than two sizes in a timely manner, while the clothes are still in style, are slim at best. (Note clever use of the word, slim.)
Decluttering is always a good idea even when you have no intention of moving any time soon. Whenever I get rid of something, I try to pause for just the briefest of moments and appreciate the now, empty spot. To me, it represents just a tiny bit of freedom — freedom from the curating and care or, in some instances, the neglect with a side of guilt, of the item.
As I mentioned in part one of this article, consider putting the item on your neighborhood’s Buy Nothing group on Facebook because when it comes to streamlining your home, it really is better to give than to receive.
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