What a Great Time to Make Room for the New!
Everyone is always writing articles about holiday organizing and New Year’s resolutions. I decided to buck that trend and write about getting rid of items that you no longer need, want, or serve a purpose in your life any time of the year. Of course, now would be a great time to do this as it is right before anything new comes in, but actually, you can keep this list and get rid of things any day.
- Plastic containers – Do you have to put a hard hat on when you open your kitchen cabinet and all the plastic containers fall out? If so, now is the time to get rid of any extraneous plastic ware, including those containers that Chinese food came in. Remove everything from the cabinet, match bottoms with lids, and throw out anything that doesn’t match.
- Food, including spices – Many of us buy things in which we use once or twice for a new recipe and then totally forget we bought them. Go through your cabinets and/or pantry closet and throw out any food items that have an expiration date on them. As my father used to say “When in doubt, throw it out!”
- Seldom-used kitchen stuff – How many spatulas, muffin tins, and cookie sheets do you really need (unless you use them all because you love to bake)? Go through your cabinets and drawers, pull these items out, sort like with like, and donate those that are still in good shape and you don’t use. If you have a wooden spoon that is stained even after washing it, you may want to trash that.
- Holiday decorations – Does this sound like you? Every year you promise yourself you are going to put your holiday decorations away in a neat and orderly fashion. Then what happens? The New Year is upon us, life gets in the way, and the result is the decorations are put away in a haphazard fashion once again. Make this year different. You may even have to be a bit ruthless. As you go through your decorations before you use them, decide if you really want to keep all of them. If not, this is a great time to donate them to a charity. Think of how many people out there that can’t afford or don’t have any decorations to liven up their houses at this time of the year.
- Magazines – We all have magazines that we’ve saved because we are going to read that one article or recipe. Really – what’s the date of the magazine? If you haven’t read the magazine within 2 to 3 months, consider pulling out the article or recipe and keep in a folder or pretty container, like a basket, read it when you have some time, and recycle the rest of the magazine. If another 2 to 3 months go by and you still haven’t read the article or used the recipe, recycle them. If you don’t pull the magazines apart and you don’t want to recycle them, consider donating them to a doctor’s office, hospital, or a retirement home. In addition, think about either cancelling your subscriptions or finding the information on-line.
- Electronics – How many old cell phones and chargers are in your house? How about old computers, printers, cords, and TV’s? You can take your cell phones back to Verizon or any store like Verizon so they can be cleaned up and given to women’s shelters or the military. Other electronics need to be recycled responsibly. Find out if your town has an electronics recycling day or area where you can drop these kinds of items off. Believe it or not, I have even seen and brought a vacuum cleaner to Cherry Hill’s Department of Public Works.
- Make-up, medicines, or anything under the bathroom sink or in the medicine cabinet – Do I hear a groan? Have you collected all the freebies from the make-up counters through the years? If the make-up is old, throw it away. If you don’t need or want it, but it is still good, donate it to a women’s shelter. If the medicine has expired, do not flush it down the toilet. See if your local pharmacy will take it for proper disposal. Check to see if your township has something set up. For instance, the Cherry Hill Police Department has a bin set up for medicine. In addition, my clients and I have found lots of other items under the bathroom sink. Do you need more than 1 heating pad? Do you need lots of little make-up cases? Do you use all those hair accessories? Sort through all the items, putting like with like, and make a decision on what is necessary to keep that will make your life better.
- Extra hangers – Somehow hangers, that you don’t even like or use, have multiplied and seem to appear everywhere. It also doesn’t help when they are all bunched together. Collect the ones you don’t use and put them a container, like a bag, in one place in your house. Wire ones can go back to the cleaners, and plastic ones can be donated.
In the coming months, I will address other items like clothes, shoes, linens, etc. This should get you started, and remember, you don’t have to tackle all these areas at once. Set aside some time in your day and work anywhere from a ½ hour to an hour. You’ll be amazed at what you can get rid of and how much space you’ll have freed up.
I know I have to work on purging my magazines, with a little help from my cat. What are you going to tackle? Will you have some help?
Now is Your Time to Go from Bedlam to Brilliance!
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