photos © Jonna Reilly Photography

Photo by teresia (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tea_time/)

Fall De-Cluttering

Hey, do you still have those “Z-Cavarricci’s” from high school? Too afraid to get rid of a particular shirt because you might just need it someday? It’s time to get serious and start the de-cluttering process. Let’s look at this in a couple of ways…the “Why” and the “When”.

Why

1.) Somebody else could really use it. During the tough economic times of the last 5 years, charitable contributions have been down for obvious reasons, especially to local food pantries and donation centers. This economy has increased the number of impoverished.

2.) You’ll feel better. You’ll feel more organized.

3.) If you are planning to sell your property, an experienced agent will tell you to “make your home look like a model”. Part of that process will be to clean your closets, pantries, and storage areas. Potential buyers are incredibly put off by disorganization. How well your property shows (or is organized) tells the potential buyer how well you have taken care of the property. Also, you can’t just shove stuff in a closet and hope to hide it. Buyers do open closets. As a bonus, your closets will look bigger the more organized it is.

When

1.) Pick a weekend every year that you “de-clutter”. My wife and I always do ours Thanksgiving weekend.

2.) By doing this in the fall, you can get rid of all of the summer stuff you didn’t wear and evaluate what you need for the winter months.

3.) Also, winter clothing is very appreciated by the charities right before the winter months. Those in need struggle mightily without coats and warm clothing. If you itemize your donations, you can claim them as a deduction on your income tax.

Trust me, if you get into the habit of this every year it can turn quickly into a family tradition around the holidays. We use it as an opportunity to explain to our daughters how important it is to be a giving person.
While you’re at it, clean out your pantry of canned goods. Donate to the food pantry or organized food drive at work or at church.

The most convenient donation drop for us is the Salvation Army on Clybourn just north of Webster.

Give it a shot this fall….you’ll feel good about your efforts.

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