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10 decluttering tips

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July 24th, 2012

Clutter in your house can be overwhelming, both physically and emotionally. Decluttering frees up your mind and your spaces, says Allison Pihl, co-owner of Let s Organize/ Let s Move, an organization and move management company based in Fulton, Maryland (letsmovellc.com). Here are ten basic tips to help you begin your decluttering process: 1. Start small. Do a little every day. Set a timer, starting with just 20 minutes a day. 2. Gift it. Do you have family treasures that need to find their way to the next generation? Why not gift those items? Have a party! Place your items on your dining room table for friends and family to take. 3. Be generous. Donate immediately. If you are not using something, let it go. Don t hold onto those what if moments. If you need a soup tureen once a year, borrow one from a friend. Ask yourself, Do I love it? and Could someone else benefit from it? 4. Create a memory book. Save your mementos by selectively telling your story in a scrapbook. Select family photos, scraps of fabric from a favorite dress, and historical documents for your book. 5. Use it up. Discipline yourself to use up items before buying more. Replace makeup every six months. Plan menus based on the expiration dates of your canned goods. 6. Shred as you go. It s important to shred documents containing your social security number or any personal account numbers. 7. You are not an E-Z Storage. Give your children (and grandchildren) a deadline to clear out everything they still have stored in your house. They should be responsible for their own decluttering. 8. Adopt a replacement policy. If something new comes in, something old goes out. If you buy a new shirt, donate an old one. 9. Use the good stuff. Why save your wedding china only for company? Use it every day to free up cabinet space for other uses, like a new cookbook for recipes utilizing your almost expired canned food! 10. Ask for help. Don t be shy; if you still feel overwhelmed, find a professional organizer to get you started and establish systems you can follow daily, monthly, and every spring.

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