In a previous life I was a Professional Organiser.
Yes, that’s right. I had a name badge and everything. National Association of Professional Organisers- NAPO. Carol Jennings – member. We were hired to go into clutter challenged homes and help them sort through the detritus they had acquired over the past decades and help them sort it and clear it all out. Some houses were worse than others but basically they all came down to these 6 principals:
If you have more than one, you can give one away.
This includes toasters, slow cookers, microwaves, sandwich makers, electric wok or generally any electric device you use in the kitchen. Find a student moving out of their parents North Avoca house for the first time and offer them the spare toasty pie maker.
If you have two…
If you have two rice cookers because your husband bought a spare with the Frequent Flyer points (HELLO husband!) then give it away to your Terrigal neighbour. Or dump it. But you don’t need two. Never in the history of Chinese food have you ever needed that much rice.
This also applies to the laundry room and the garden shed. Vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, irons, whipper snippers- you can get by with just the one.
Don’t pay to move that item and then find you don’t have enough room in the cupboards of your new home.
If it doesn’t work,throw it away
See list above. And add, the broken heater, the unstrung tennis racket, the dead TV, the obsolete VCR, the old coffee machine, the broom with a loose head. If you are not going to fix it this week – then send to the tip.
You will pay to move it.
Am I making myself clear?! It will still be broken when you get to the new house. You will have paid to move a broken computer. It still won’t work. And no – the charity shops do NOT want your broken stuff. They are not dumpsters.
Not touched in 18 months – out it goes.
This is a tricky one. We ladies are notorious for believing we might get around to wearing those pants (“They are just a bit tight”), those shoes (“God, they hurt my feet”) that sweater (“Yuk, I hate that colour”) that dress (“Really? What was I thinking?”).
You have to be ruthless.
Honestly. If you haven’t worn the item in 18 months, you have passed by two seasons’ opportunities. You are never going to wear it. Recycle. Take it to a charity and let it be someone else’s problem.
The same applies for kids toys. The Littlest Pet Shop collection that has not been out of the cupboard for 18 months, well, they have probably grown out of it. Isn’t there some other kid somewhere who would love those books or the fluffy toys that still look brand new?
And remember, broken toys go in the bin, not the charity bin.
Anything past its ‘use by’ date
Food. Medicine. Vitamins. Makeup. That out of date Berocca is not going to help you after a night out any more. And that 4 year old foundation that now looks like clay- bin it.
Get rid of the old manky towels and threadbare sheets too.
Linen closets look so much better with them gone, and decluttering gives the perception of plenty of storage space.
I read it once, I might get round to it again
Ugh – this is my foible. Old magazines. I’m not sure why I love them so much. I happily hoard them, a wee stack under the coffee table, a few in this drawer, a neat stack in the office.
Expectation vs reality…
But the reality is, by the time I get round to re-reading the design magazines, the sofa or drawer handles are sadly out of date.
Same with fashion or architectural mags. Even the health and fitness ones. Let’s face it – it’s nearly all available on line these days. Including the cooking and recipes. Goodbye Vogue and House&Garden. The good news is, some doctors/ hospitals/ waiting rooms/ churches will take your old magazines. There may even be local coffee shops around Terrigal and North Avoca that would be happy to take a few.
Recycling opportunities abound.
And just think, you can read your old magazine while you are waiting for your tooth extraction.
Thanks, but no thanks Auntie Anne
The vase/ photo frame / scarf your Auntie gave you that you are never ever going to use.
The funny slogan t-shirt your mum bought you on her overseas holiday.
Last year’s calendar you never used.
The salt and pepper set from your Gran.
The sweater from your ex partners sister.
The dried flower arrangement you got from leaving work…
If they are new or in fabulous condition, a charity shop will take them. If not, bin it.
Same with all those dust collecting soccer and netball trophies. Buh bye.
There is method to this madness…
Firstly you are going to have to make the effort to move these things. Box them up, then get that poor man to load it on a truck, send it to your next home, impose on that same poor man to unload and then you unpack.
A lot of effort for a DVD you are never going to watch, right?
But equally important – all these things take up SPACE in your house now.
When your potential purchaser opens the cupboard and sees it chock-a-block with wicker baskets and plastic cutlery, they will honestly think you house doesn’t have enough storage.
Be ruthless. Take a deep breath and do yourself a favour. Cull. It really does make you feel better.
You will thank me in the long run (and so will that nice moving man).
go to caroljennings.com.au for more blog posts
or call Carol on 0438 802 648