“Just put it in the attic/basement/garage, we will deal with it later…” Too often, this statement is repeated and then finally, one day, later arrives. Is there a way to avoid the years of accumulation? Should those ‘keepsakes’ be looked at more often? Space can be a bad thing for some people. It gives us permission to keep items we really don’t need, only to send us spinning if we one day decide to downsize or even just move.
Is there a way to avoid this future stress? The answer is ‘YES’.
A habit that is really good to form is setting time aside every 6 months for high traffic areas (kitchen, bedrooms, closets, bathrooms) and once a year for storage spaces (basements, attics, garages, sheds) to take stock and be honest with yourself about the items you are keeping. You can line up the timing with the change of seasons – fall/winter and spring/summer.
In kitchens ask yourself “are there small appliances we just never use?”, check best before and expiry dates on food items, match up all the lids and bottoms of plastic food storage containers. In the bathroom, ask yourself “are we ever going to use these lotions or soaps that were gifts?”, check the condition of your towels and washcloths, check expiry dates on medications.
In the basement/garage/attic/shed, open up some of those storage totes or boxes and make sure there has been no rodent or moisture damage. If an item is not in working condition and you still haven’t fixed it like you planned, it might be time to let it go. If you have grown kids still storing their childhood items at your house, maybe plan a visit and go through these items. Send them home with what they want to keep. If this all sounds like too much to take on or don’t trust yourself to do it, consider hiring a Professional Organizer to help.
Plan to have, what we like to call a “maintenance day” every 6 months. That way you know you will stay committed to the task, and you just might have fun in the process! Staying on top of your possessions and storing less clutter will save you so much time, stress and money later.
Food for thought!