Fall is such a wonderful time! Over the years I’ve noticed a natural tendency: Spring is the time to expand; Autumn is the time to contract.
Is down-sizing on your list of things to do this season? Some of my professional organizer peers refer to the process as ‘right-sizing’ because it’s not merely about having ‘less’ stuff; it’s about having just the right amount for your family and household’s size and lifestyle.
I’m aware of another noticeable pattern: we spend the first half of our lives collecting and amassing quantities of things, but we end up spending the last half trying to divest ourselves of the same items. What a lot of work on both ends!
If you’re ready to let go of some of your excess, this issue is all about how to prepare for the release and where to take things once you’ve decided they’ve got to go. Get your pens and pads handy for this resource-packed newsletter!
Less is more!
Here’s an assortment of approaches to systematic reduction:
- Set a bag or box in the entry and/or in each person’s closet to be able to toss in an unwanted item whenever you think of it.
- Schedule a ‘once a month purge’ session; the whole family can be involved.
- Adopt the ‘one new in; one old out’ principle: whenever you buy something new (or even something used) you make a point to let go of a different item. This works especially well when you have cramped quarters.
- A serious minimalist lives by ‘minimum/maximum guidelines’: for those of you who like to make lists, here’s an opportunity for you to write out how many (of any given category) you’ll allow yourself, e.g., 5 sleeveless tops, 5 short sleeve, 5 long sleeve, 7 shorts, 5 jeans, 7 dress pants, 3 jackets per season, no more than 10 pairs of shoes total and so on.
However you decide to tackle the problem, it is well worth your effort. Don’t give up! Even if you only make one trip per season to donate items, they’ll no longer be competing for your limited space.
Where oh where should my donations go?
(If you have additional resources to share with readers, please let me know! Look for subsequent newsletters that highlight some ‘unusual’ donation sites! FYI: Did you know you could take your unfinished weaving projects to the MN Weaver’s Guild? Who knew?)
www.cancer.org or 1-800-227-2345
Value Village Thrift Stores & Pickup Service
www.arcsvaluevillage.org or 612-866-8820
www.couragepickup.org or 952-881-1100
www.efmn.org or 651-287-2300
Charities Review Council of Minnesota
www.smartgivers.org (Rates various charities)
- When in doubt, throw it out! (if you wouldn’t wear it, it probably won’t sell either)
- If it isn’t sale-able, please dispose of it properly. (don’t contribute to their trash bill)
- Check with donation site to ensure that item meets safety standards. (no hazardous waste!)
- Your donation is tax deductible! (Be sure to get a receipt.)
In closing, remember that being organized is just another way of being prepared. With simple and sustainable systems in place, you can prepare your home for guests, prepare your office for productivity, prepare your life for fun and relaxation! But don’t forget to…