As a professional organizer, you know that people tend to attach undue sentiment to their clutter when they’re considering clearing it out, but these feelings are quickly forgotten once the items get shoved back into the closet. Things are easier said than done, so often you, the professional, have to help them along with their decluttering goals.
While some memorabilia, such as a signed record by The Beatles, are worth saving, other items really aren’t worth hanging onto. Here’s a list of 7 things that your clients DON’T need to keep!
If, for some reason, your client has an industrial-sized copier and fax machine that hasn’t been used in the past decade, this would be the first place to start. Ancient machines like these or the VCR that has since been succeeded by Netflix don’t need to be in the home anymore unless your clients do “vintage” movie nights often. These older pieces of tech are often oversized and don’t have a place in your clients’ current lifestyle, so why do they have a place in your clients’ current floor plan?
This miscellaneous pile applies to the junk drawer and that folder or box of items containing old receipts, ticket stubs, and unopened mail. Your clients should do away with these catch-all containers for things that could be sorted or thrown out. By having a junk drawer, your clients will be inclined to just toss in any item when the objects are better suited elsewhere. By encouraging your clients to sort and organize as they go along, they’ll reduce the amount of time they spend looking for that one candlestick or rubber stamp on the odd occasion they’ll need it.
Sometimes we tend to become overzealous when we first decide to get organized. We go out and buy a gazillion different cleaning solutions just to clean a single room! This is neither useful nor cost-effective. Having too many household cleaners in the closet might make your cleaning task larger than it really is.
Your clients only need five types of cleaners:
- Abrasive cleaner
- Evaporating cleaner
- Tile cleaner
- All-purpose cleaner
- Scum remover
To save more on shelf space and keep more money in your client’s pocket, suggest DIY cleaning alternatives that work just as well. Most cleaners are a solution of vinegar, baking soda, and lemon to varying ratios. There are a ton of recipes online—all it takes is a little Googling!
One of the biggest sources of clutter, magazines often end up on the coffee table or in the bathroom. Magazines make good eye candy, but would anyone really want to flip through outdated articles chronicling the fall fashion trends of ’09? If your clients are subscribers of a magazine, they should limit their collection to issues from the past 6 months. Once the newest issue arrives, the oldest should be chucked into the recycling bin. Specific articles they want to keep should be clipped and put into a file or scanned for easy access online—there really isn’t any reason to have stacks of magazines collecting dust in their home!
It seems like every time you buy a new Tupperware set, the containers themselves always go missing while the pile of orphaned lids seems to grow, and grow, and grow. If your clients are clinging onto the lids in the hopes of one day finding the other halves… well, simply put, they won’t. This classic enigma will never be resolved, so your clients should just toss the stray lids and hope for the best when purchasing their next set.
Unused or Ugly Gifts
Gifts are often attached to deep sentiments, so people feel guilty when they are faced with tossing out the item despite knowing that it’s just cluttering up their space.
But really, that horrendous 3D reindeer Christmas sweater from ’05 that never sees the light of day isn’t worth keeping. Chances are, there are plenty of other gifts or items around the house that would hold greater sentimental value.
Special Occasion Pieces
While some special occasion outfits can be recycled, like a tailored suit or a knee-length dress, other pieces don’t age so well. Just because the initial purchasing value was high, doesn’t mean that the value will rise with time. Prom and bridesmaid dresses that have gone out of style should be donated or tossed out if they no longer fit or haven’t been touched in a couple of years. Occasions where these dresses could be used again are slim to none, and they probably don’t have a place in your clients’ current lifestyle.