Stuff: Letting Go

Letting go . . . it is so hard to do!

When organizing the home, move from the past, when you used to love that jean jacket, (or whatever it may be) to the future–and honestly ask yourself, have I worn that in the last year, or even the last 3 years? Will I really wear it this fall?

“Be ruthless, not reckless” said  friend and organizer Porter Knight.

Being ruthless is absolutely getting rid of something if you haven’t used it, read it or enjoyed it in the last year.  Let it go.

Being reckless is blindly dumping a box full of papers you haven’t touched since you moved last year. What if your parents marriage license is in there, or the registration for your boat?

True story:  I once had a client who did blindly dump a box she had put in the basement and taped up. Keep in mind, this was before she worked with me! In her desperation to get organized, she would throw this and other boxes away without looking in them if she hadn’t used them in 6 months.  The registrations for her ATVs were inside, which she had to replace at a cost to herself. That’s when she decided she needed to hire an organizer.

One day I was going through piles and piles of paper clutter with a client who is a hoarder.  We found 2 checks that day: one which expired years ago, and another for $232 that was still good.

That’s why I believe in being thorough. Thorough does not mean slow. We can get through a stack of papers fast by merely glancing at each piece quickly. I call this the ‘glance and go’ method.

While organizing, be Ruthless.

Normally, you are not going to regret it if you get rid of last year’s power bill or 3 year old magazines. The rule of thumb is: when in doubt, throw it out. Let it go. You won’t need it in the future.  It is just cluttering up the present.

How about that bag of clothing you’ve saved for your sister-in-law? If it’s been a month and you haven’t mailed it, give it away! There are people in need everywhere who would use them. Let it go.

Just think about how much better your home is going to look when you clear away that paper clutter on your desk or have a lean, working closet again! It will be easier to clean, to get ready daily, and to have friends over.

For me, thinking about the end result is motivating.  Find your motivation and get started!