downsizing

downsizing tips

Downsizing Tips: 5 Big Things to Release & 5 Awesome Alternatives for a Smaller Space

Large rooms can readily accommodate big items. And jumbo homes have many rooms for lots of big things. But when you’re transitioning to something smaller, downsizing tips for what not to keep are super important!

After all, moving in itself can be so stressful. Why add to the angst when you arrive at your new space and find out your things won’t fit?

I’ve had clients who were determined to keep certain hefty pieces of furniture or just too many components in general. The disappointment was heavy at the new place when alternative arrangements had to be made for the oversized and excess stuff.

As a matter of fact, do you know which household items are most commonly offered free of charge to professional moving crews? Pool tables, couches and pianos are on that short list!

OK, maybe you already knew the pool table was not an option. But there are numerous other sizable items worth swapping out for something smaller. Everything might almost fit but wouldn’t a little breathing room be desirable, too?

With thoughtful space planning and some creativity, you can set up your new digs with comfort and style … and with just the right amount of stuff!

Now on to five big things that shouldn’t make the list for the moving truck. 

downsizing tips
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Today's post is all about 5 downsizing tips to ensure your smaller space is filled with just the right sized items !

tips for downsizing to a smaller house
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Downsizing Tips | 1. Release Blocky Coffee Tables

A large central coffee table is a standard fixture in most living rooms. 

But is it practical when downsizing? I’ve witnessed many a client, anxious to hang on to their massive coffee table, only to be disappointed with how it demands major real estate in their tiny new space. 

And maneuvering around it can be a challenge, especially when using an assistive device such as a walker or wheelchair. So pay attention to safety and mobility.

However, even if you’re perfectly ambulatory now, consider replacing this traditional piece with a couple of smaller tables or tables that nest under each other. You gain flexibility when you can  re-position them where needed. 

Other downsizing tips include substituting a couple of antique trunks. Or buy an ottoman (or two) with lids that open to reveal stashed belongings. 

Now you’ve tripled the utility as you can use them for footrests, additional seating and storage, as well!

tips for downsizing possessions
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Downsizing Tips | 2. Release Boxy Nightstands

Once upon a time, bedroom furniture was only purchased in suites consisting of a bed frame, nightstands, dresser and mirror. 

But when you’re scaling down your living space, consider offloading your standard nightstands. For example, narrow bookcases might serve double duty for your alarm clock, tissue box, hand lotion and your bedtime reading collection.

I had one client use her pet’s kennel as a nightstand! Her fur baby was nearby all night. A small plank laid on top provided a solid surface for the items needed next to the bed. And voilá … another workhorse solution to the rescue!

Another alternative answer would be to install floating shelves on either side of the bed.

This creates a feeling of airiness yet affords the storage surface needed for everyday items. These could be made of wood or glass.

Or how about this: painted, stained or au natural wooden crates mounted on either side? Again, the floating concept creates multipurpose space as you could stow your slippers or a basket of magazines or your knitting supplies underneath.

Wall mounted reading lights above the bed (or suspended pendant lights) are yet one more clever way to reduce what used to sit on your traditional nightstands.

So think about th things you reach for when you’re settling into your night routine.

This helps determine the size and shape of what creative nightstand will work best. Remove the rest. Because having less stuff occupy your bedroom will allow for a more soothing night’s sleep.

downsizing tips and tricks

Downsizing Tips | 3. Release Bulky Single-Use Kitchen Appliances

How often do you make waffles these days? 

Are you regularly assembling cookies, cakes and pies? Stretching pasta?  There is a plethora of kitchen gadgets that perform only one function but how many of these should make the cut for space in your new place?

It makes sense to consider what meal prep you care to do these days. Or will actually do. Be realistic about how often you will reach for your stand mixer, toaster, deep fryer or popcorn popper.

How many sets of dishes, mixing bowls, kitchen gadgets and serveware accessories will be practical? 

Think about what your cooking style is now and replace a few different appliances with multi-tasking ones such as an Instant Pot, which provides several methods of cooking in one appliance!

Unless cooking and entertaining is your passion … and you will continue to do so on a larger scale … streamlining what will be in your new kitchen is important, too. 

tips for downsizing to an apartment

Downsizing Tips | 4. Release Brawny Couches & Chairs

Lazy Boy furniture has been scaling down their seating arrangements.

The furniture manufacturers have jumped on board with catering to the crowd seeking smaller scale pieces.

Remember that if you’re downsizing from the big house, you’re likely not needing to haul the huge sectionals and recliners with you. They command way too much space. Plus, they throw off the visual balance of your room.

Instead, why not substitute the massive sofa with a pair of small love seats? Or 4 small swivel club chairs? 

These actually lend themselves to a natural conversation area. And they can be positioned in front of a fireplace or by the window, whatever your new focal point will be. Style them with colorful pillows and a cozy throw. Your friends will love visiting in your right-sized living room!

downsizing tips for empty nesters
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Downsizing Tips | 5. Release Beefy Media Centers

Have you noticed that even hotels have ditched the entertainment armoires?

Flat screen TVs rule! Wall mounting them has truly opened up real estate in multi-purpose rooms. 

When you surround the TV with your own wall art, you create a visual gallery, as well. Your TV no longer dominates the room as the main event.

You can still place a very slim cabinet underneath. Or try a narrow table with small wicker cubes or trunks to house any additional media items such as CDs or movies, or board games. 

This approach is more modern and fresh. And once again, you’ll avoid having any one large item overpower your smaller room.

downsizing tips for seniors
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Bonus Tip: Plan, Plan, Plan!

Even if you haven’t defined your exact next destination, it’s still invaluable to start decluttering today!

When you know a downsizing move is in your future, think about your current rooms that will not exist in the new home. Start rehoming items in there, whether by donation, gifting or tossing if no longer serviceable. Then these empty rooms can serve as sorting and staging space for your future move.

Give thought to how you want to spend your time in the new home.

If your activities will be changing, there’s another clue for what to keep and what to release. Fewer people in the home usually leads to needing less of many things. And a new focus generally means the paraphernalia from a former hobby or interest will no longer be useful.

Once you have landed on your new home, sketch the layout and then play with the space.

This will ensure your furnishings will fit properly. If they don’t, now you can plan for what smaller scale furniture you will acquire. If you have a hard time visualizing, certainly, you can wait until you arrive. Get a feel for the place and then start shopping.

Or, invest in interior design help. A professional can listen to your vision and bring it to fruition with suggested pieces within your defined budget.

Less can be more when you accept that change will be a part of this downsizing decision.

Of all the downsizing tips shared here, letting go of what you no longer need, use or love will be essential for a smooth and successful move!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: Today's downsizing tips focused on 5 big things to replace when a smaller space is in our future!

Reconsider moving oversized stuff to your new smaller space.

Avoid the cost of transporting things that won’t truly fit.

Instead, opt for smaller scale furnishings and multipurpose appliances.

Score extra points with serene space between your things!

Related Topics & Resources to Explore

clutter

Clutter: Control What Creeps Back in Your Home Using These 7 Savvy Strategies

Shut the Door on New Clutter!

As clutter gets kicked to the curb, your home will start to look and feel different. More spacious, open, and airy. But maybe it seems a bit bare, which is unfamiliar, if you’ve had a lot of stuff for a long time. Now what happens next?

Well, if you’re not careful, you may start to stock up again! Your half-full closet beckons you to add a few more tops. An end-of-season sale entices you to pick up new bedsheets. Or Amazon Prime Day ads convince you to shop for Christmas in June. Uh-oh, here comes the clutter!

How do you resist the habit of amassing clutter yet again? The key is to form new shopping habits which replace your old ones! 

clutter
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Today's Post Provides 7 Smart Habits To Adopt Which Protect Your Home From Bulging with Clutter All Over Again!

clutter-free meaning
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Habit #1: Get Comfortable Living With Less

It required effort to pare down your things. It also takes time to adjust to a more minimalist decor and wardrobe.

Seeing space in your closet, pantry, or bookcase will be a “new normal” for many. So often, when we discover something that we like, we automatically stock up on more. Find a navy sweater that fits well? Great! Why not get it in red and in beige, too?

No wonder we end up overpacking for vacations: we have too many clothing options! Decision fatigue is real!

And over-abundance applies to other rooms, too. For example, consider your living room. Perhaps you cleared out dozens of knickknacks and books which accumulated over the years. Naturally, your space will look a little empty at first. But give yourself some time to appreciate the clarity and simplicity of displaying only your favorite things. Now they can really pop when they are on display, front and center!

So start with a 30-day retail shopping ban. During that time, appreciate the beauty of less: less dusting, less spending, and less chaos.

And then feel the value of more: more space, more clarity, and more freedom.

clutter meaning
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Habit #2: Stick To Your Shopping List

Creating a plan keeps us on track. Whether on your phone or an old school piece of paper, have a plan before heading to the store. Without a strategy, it’s easy to succumb to whatever catches our eye.

Grocery shopping? Take a few minutes to create a meal plan for the week. Shop your kitchen inventory first to ensure you actually use what’s there. This avoids pantry clutter.

Clothes shopping? Review what you have now to ensure you don’t buy duplicates. Keep your current lifestyle in mind. Otherwise, it’s oh-so-easy to succumb to an on-trend outfit that will rarely make it out of your closet.

Clearly, a shopping list is like a map: it provides direction to keep you heading where you want to be!

clutter storage
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Habit #3: One In, One Out

Donating or tossing out an old item whenever a new one is purchased is fundamental to keeping your home streamlined and clutter free.

Do you find yourself hesitating to release your existing jacket/book/lamp? Maybe it means you don’t need the new one. Perhaps you’re just feeling tired of the current item. Having a new one would feel exciting. I get that, really!

Or, it could mean the old one served you well and so you’re a little sad to let it go. I get that, too. Just take time to figure out if you truly need both.

Ask yourself, “Will I continue to use both of these? Will having more than one make sense and make my life easier?” If the answer is “yes” to either question, keep ’em both. If not? Let the old one go!

Fewer choices can be liberating, but so can the convenience of having a few more things, if it saves you time or if it involves things that you use frequently. 

In other words, pause to figure out which option matters more!

making space clutter free
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Habit #4: Beware Of Shiny Object Syndrome

Window shopping is both pleasurable and dangerous! “Just looking” can quickly morph into an unplanned purchase.

Whether you’re strolling at the mall or browsing online, the temptation to buy is real. Unless you have incredible self-control, it’s difficult to distinguish between true “need” and “want”!

So consider avoiding situations that may compromise your intentions and your wallet. Only carry your debit card or cash when you’re out for lunch and shopping with friends, to avoid the unintended purchases.

Also, create Pinterest boards for things that catch your eye. Just saving those images can be a substitute for the endorphin rush of actually buying something new.

Above all, be mindful of your expenditures. Keeping track of where your money goes can be very revealing.

Because knowing what your retail weaknesses are is the first step towards stopping new clutter in its tracks!

how to reduce clutter in your home
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Habit #5: Be Mindful Of The Internet

Ads appear everywhere when we surf the ‘Net, Facebook, or Instagram. We are constantly bombarded with marketing messages to buy!

Anything you looked at on the Internet  gets tracked with cookies. Then those items “mysteriously” spring up in the sidebar as you browse. But nothing is a bargain if you really don’t need it. Saving 30%? In fact, you’d be spending 70% on something unnecessary!

We are subtly (or sometimes not-so-subtly) coaxed to buy this or that in order to look good, feel better, or be relevant.

It takes stepping back to thoughtfully determine when we truly need to make a purchase. 

This is why avoiding impulse purchases is critical. Especially around the holidays, when retailers are stellar at playing off our heightened emotions. Buying more is not the only way to show our family how much we love them! Nor do we need to reinforce our own self-worth with acquiring more clutter, do we?

Equally important, pay attention to which sites you tend to head to, when you’re online. Pare down the ones that will cost you money. Stick to the ones that enhance your quality of life without impacting your bank account.

clutter definition
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Habit #6: Revamp Your E-Mail Lists

 Even our email feeds are filled with suggestions to buy! Are we truly VIPs or are we simply being targeted to buy?

Retailers lure us with promises of special discounts when we opt in to their mailing lists. They know that sending you regular notifications of “flash sales” or “advance VIP notifications” will increase the likelihood of a purchase. Your best defense? Disregard the ads.

Shop only when you decide it’s time to replace something essential.

In fact, consider taking one of these two actions: Have a secondary email account dedicated to on-line purchases. This keeps the compelling ads out of your primary account.

Or, sign up for the mailing list in order to qualify for a discount. Then, unsubscribe once you’ve received your item. This eliminates the stream of subsequent emails with purchase CTAs (Call To Action).

Ultimately, this puts you in charge of when to buy!

how to live clutter free
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Habit #7: Be Grateful For What You Already Have

In a go-go and keep-on-going world, it’s easy to overlook the value of a pause.

But part of an empowering mindful practice is to take time and appreciate all that we have right now. Consumerism is a pervasive and powerful movement. It dictates constantly looking for the “next best thing”. It urges us to constantly upgrade. And it hardly gives us a moment to use and enjoy what we have right now.

Clutter is frightfully simple to amass but painfully difficult to release. Once you’ve made headway with decluttering, carve out a few minutes to realize how it entered your home.

Then, shift your shopping habits to prevent clutter from creeping back in all over again!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This Post Was About 7 Terrific Tactics To Stop Clutter From Accumulating Again!

When we are bombarded with shiny things to buy, it’s ever so easy to succumb! We take a break from work or whatever the task at hand to reward ourselves. Or we schedule a shopping jaunt with friends. We enjoy the preliminary thrill of buying something new. 

However, are you shopping out of “need” or “want”? It’s the “want” items that usually morph into clutter. 

Give your newly cleared space a chance to provide clarity and peace of mind.

Take time to revamp your habits so you can live large with less clutter!

Your Turn!

  • Do you think shopping is a sport?
  • How do you manage your spending so it doesn’t manage you?

Drop your thoughts below …and thanks for stopping by!

declutter

Declutter Like a Boss With The PopUpPurge™ Book Release!

This Post Introduces the PopUpPurge™, a Soulful Guide to Declutter for Clarity at the Midlife Milestone!

When you’re 50+ or better, you’ve already lived quite a full life! And when you pause to take stock and start to declutter, are you a little shocked with just how much has accumulated over the years?

Take heart, it happens to us all! Lots of activity has taken place in your home. So it makes sense that there’s going to be a lot of physical evidence as a result.

But are you making real decluttering inroads? Maybe not so much. As you look at family photos, travel mementos, or Grandma’s china, the memories start flooding in. It’s so much harder than expected!

How do you declutter without feeling like you’re throwing away your past? Or someone else’s?

And so decluttering is deferred to another day. But when will that day come?

How long will you wait for your own new chapter to unfold and flourish?

declutter

The Power to Declutter Successfully Is Now Within Reach!

 

If you’ve given this your best shot and sorted on the basis of what sparks joy, how’d that go? What were you able to release? Were you able to sleep on your bed that night? Or was there an enormous pile of clothing in the way?

How do you move ahead and declutter anyway, when guilt, regret, or perfectionism stops you in your tracks?

Well, this is exactly why I wrote this book, “PopUpPurge™: Release Midlife Clutter & Reclaim Inner Clarity”!

Because it’s never really just about the stuff. It’s about the emotions we’ve wrapped around our things that has us stuck.

When we can face the memories, limiting beliefs, and old stories that hold us hostage, we can begin to let go of what no longer (or maybe never) serves us well.

In fact, here are 5 compelling reasons for Women Over Fifty to start decluttering now, with guidance from this book!

how to declutter your home
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#1: Who's In The House Has Changed

There are all kinds of possible scenarios now. On the one hand, the kids are grown and likely on their own. You might be on your own, too, due to divorce or death. Or maybe you’re in a new relationship. 

On the other hand, have people moved back in again? Was it just two of you for a while, but now the kids and/or your parents are with you? After all, we are dubbed the “sandwich generation” for a reason!

Whatever your current status is, does the stuff in your house make sense for who’s there now? Or is your home frozen in time? 

Decluttering is the perfect activity to create an environment that supports whoever is under your roof now!

declutter your home
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#2: Our Full-Time Focus Begins to Shift

Careers may be winding down or come to an abrupt end. You may be contemplating a new one. The days of working for just one employer until you retire have become a thing of the past.

And if your full-time focus was raising your family, they’re full blown adults by now. So you’ve likely been given your parenting pink slip, right?!

With these inevitable changes, are you ready to pursue the passions you shelved in the pursuit of being practical? Good for you! But have you cleared out the stuff from your former job first? Or is that still occupying space and collecting dust?

how to declutter
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#3: Our Health May Have Taken a Turn

We can take good health for granted. Especially when we’ve focused on taking care of our family … it’s how Moms operate! 

Yet sometimes, unexpected health issues crop up, catching us off guard. When it’s something life-changing, it definitely gets our attention. Now, the time ahead of us becomes even more precious. 

What kind of legacy do we want to leave behind? Not everyone is eager to ponder this topic. But putting it off will not change the fact that when we are gone, someone will have to declutter our stuff and decide what to do with it.

Do you want to get it in order yourself? Or do you expect your kids to do this? How did your parents handle their legacy?

Lots of important questions here to answer, right? Which is why Swedish Death Cleaning is the iconic decluttering concept of an entire nation!

declutter meaning
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#4: "Me Time" Is Calling Our Names

 

Finally! You don’t have to shoehorn your personal interests into a calendar bulging with other people’s agendas. You can be unapologetically front and center again!

When we’ve supported the interests and priorities of our family for a long time, it’s new territory to switch gears. Oh, certainly we’ve carved out time for ourselves, too. But to triple or quadruple that “me time”? It’s a luxury that we’ve earned!

But first: is there room in the house for what lights you up now? Or is it bulging with idle hobbies, crafts, and possessions from someone else’s past?

decluttering tips
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#5: We're Entering A Platinum Period

Living lighter is the key to feeling lighter! As Midlife Women, we are on the cusp of writing a new chapter in our lives. We turn the page when we declutter and clear space for where we want to head next.

Not quite sure where “there” is for you? You’ll uncover it as you release what you no longer need, use, or want in the house.

Remember how it felt when you graduated from high school? Whether you went on to earn an advanced degree or you immediately entered the work force, you had your whole life ahead of you. Once again, you’re at a similar junction.  How exciting to decide your next move! And decluttering is the perfect vehicle for discovering where “there” is once again!

Ready to harness clarity? Then this is the best book for decluttering your life! Download a Free Chapter right here! And then grab the rest of the story. 

Prepare for a confident shift into a joyful future!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This Post Announced The Release of The PopUpPurge™ Book Which is the Perfect Guide To Declutter Your Home & Your Life!

Design the next chapter of your life through letting go of what you no longer need, use, or love.

Six of the chapters are dedicated to the common emotions that have us stuck.  But now you can get moving again!

Small steps executed regularly add up to big results.

Your turn!

  • What’s your personal decluttering journey been like?
  • Which things are the hardest for you to let go?

Join the convo below … And thanks for stopping by!

donating old clothes

Donating Old Clothes & Recycling Textiles | Repurposing for A Better Planet!

 Donating old clothes hanging idly in your closet makes sense!

I’m talking about items you rarely if ever reach for. Usually this happens when they no longer (or maybe never) fit quite right so they just don’t feel that good. Or they don’t appeal any more. Why let clothing languish in your closet, taking up valuable real estate? My suggestion is to pull ’em out, box ’em up, and let ’em go!

And the same goes for releasing items which never see the light of day. You know, the stuff that is torn, faded or stained. No one else is going to be interested in wearing those, either! However, these are things that can actually be recycled instead of heading to a landfill. Our planet deserves love, too, don’t you think?

As part of my Creating Clarity in Your Closet series, donating and recycling are about letting things go without a monetary gain. But repurposing your stuff to help someone else or the planet will give you a “feel good” boost so let’s dig in to spread some love around!

Today's post reveals resources for donating old clothes, as well as recycling options for items which are no longer wearable.

donating old clothes
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If I open with saying that I don’t know your best donation resources, would you think I’m nuts?

Ha! Allow me to explain by laying a foundation. If I suggested sites that don’t jive with your time capacity or interest, what would be the point?

So instead, start with acknowledging what you are willing and able to do. Then, you can land on the best approach for you!

 

3 Ground Rules for Donating Old Clothes

Firstly, you need to be on board with donating. If you prefer to recoup some of your initial cost, by all means, bypass donation and go the re-sale route.

In fact, some of the top selling resources will also donate on your behalf if your items don’t move, so that saves you dealing with unwanted items a second time. I’ve got a link to a post covering re-sale options down below!

Secondly, how much effort are you willing and able to put in? If time and interest dictate that the easiest route is directly to the nearest Goodwill, just do that! This nationwide resale chain gets dinged for their high corporate salaries and/or the well-heeled shoppers that can lurk in the aisles.

However, there are many admirable initiatives with Goodwill, including job creation. And some shopper will benefit from your donation, so why make this complicated for yourself?

Thirdly, the list is infinitely long for where you can donate clothing.  It’s beyond challenging to be objective with ranking every charity for where to take your attire. All kinds of “best donation center” lists abound on the web if you search with those particular words.

Therefore: land on the choices that align with your personal values and timeline when you do a simple Google search. If there are particular non-profits that speak to your heart, narrow your search results with those in mind, i.e., women’s shelters. 

Ready? Let’s start right there!

places to donate clothes near me
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Best Donation Options

1. In-Person Donation Centers

Enter into your search bar, “where to donate [fill-in-the-blank] near me”. Whether it’s women’s shoes, purses or business suits, type that in and then review your choices. It’s that easy! You decide how far you’re willing to drive. Be sure to call ahead to confirm the donation entity is open for drop offs, that it’s currently accepting said items, and, of course, their hours of operation. 

2. Pick-Up Donation Entities

This time, enter in your search bar, “charities that pick up [fill-in-the-blank] donations near me”. Once again, call to verify what the non-profit is currently accepting. Then make arrangements for the pick up. Even easier, no?

3. Mail-In Donation Options

Lastly, I did this online search for you, with “where to mail in clothing donations”. There are currently two options which provide a postage-paid label:
 

Give Back Box®

This option is a non-profit whose mission seeks to reduce both packaging and clothing waste. There is a tremendous excess of cardboard boxes from online shopping that can be reused (but any box is acceptable for shipping).
 
Consumers pack the box with unwanted clothing and household goods. Then they print a prepaid label to send the contents to the charity of their choice (options are given online).
 
And drop off is allowed at any UPS, FedEx, or USPS location. You can even arrange for a pickup! This worthy program is active in the USA, Canada, and the UK. All the details are here at the Give Back Box® website.
 

Soles4Souls

Next, this second option focuses on shoe donation and helping individuals start reselling businesses. There are thousands of drop off sites across the USA but free shipping via Zappos for Good is available, too! All the details are right here at the Soles4Souls website.

Both these donation options avert dumping more stuff in our landfills, which leads to uncovering your recycling options!

recycling clothes near me
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Best Recycling Options

What to do with old clothes that that cannot be donated?

When their condition is such that no one else would want to wear them, proceed directly to recycling!

Once again, we’re back to Googling! 

Enter in, “clothing recycling near me” for your best local options. Choose the ones that fit on your calendar and with your personal preferences. As always, call ahead to ensure you know the current policies and procedures.

In addition to the choices that crop up, there are two other worldwide ways to go. Just realize there is a (reasonable) monetary cost with each.

But keep in mind, we all know that there’s a worthwhile price associated with keeping our planet pristine.

1. ReTold Recycling

This is such a fantastic resource because they do it all for you! They make the rounds on your behalf, starting with thrift and charity stores, and then move on to recycling companies who turn fabric into rags, insulation, car seats, and so on.

Consumers can either purchase just one bag or sign up for a subscription of multiple bags during the year. All arrive with prepaid postage labels so you just throw in the clothing and drop it off at the nearest mailing center. The details are here on the Retold Recycling website.

2. TerraCycle®

This company uses a Zero Waste Box® system to recycle even more than just clothing. They also recycle plastics, metal, glass and paint, to mention a few.

Consumers order boxes, pouches (even pallets!), pack ’em up and ship ’em back. How easy is that! The details are on TerraCycle’s How it Works page.

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This Post Was About Donating Old Clothes & Recycling Unwearable Items to Create Clarity in Your Closet.

When you no longer need, use, or want what’s in your closet, consider redistributing the items through donation or recycling.

Someone in need can give love to your no longer wanted items. And diverting excess stuff from a landfill is the right thing to do! 

Make room for what truly suits your present lifestyle!

Your turn!

 

  • Where is your favorite place for donating old clothes?
  • What items are the hardest to release from your closet?

Share your thoughts with us below. Let’s chat … and thanks for stopping by!

Decluttering Clothes to Create Clarity in Your Closet

Curating a wardrobe that reflects your current taste and lifestyle requires decluttering clothes which no longer warrant a place in your closet. When you’re over 50, there’s likely been a change with how you spend your time. Which means what you’re wearing has also pivoted, too.

So if you find yourself pawing through blouses, slacks and shoes to assemble your day’s outfit, this series is for you! Imagine the serenity of readily seeing only what you need, use, and love in your closet!

I’m timing this series with the annual Spring ritual of swapping out Winter clothing for warmer weather (or the opposite, if you live below the equator). Unless you are blessed with a roomy walk-in closet, many store their off-season clothing in another closet or room. So pause before packing away things you didn’t wear yet again. It’s is the perfect time to curate a wardrobe that fits, flatters, and feels good now!

First things first, before decluttering your clothes!

 

Begin with why, create a plan, and then get going

Grab a notebook or create a Word doc which captures what you personally want to achieve. Maybe your top goal is to downsize your wardrobe. Or perhaps it’s to add in clothing that truly aligns with your daily routine. You may have a few things on your list.

Whatever it is, this will be your personal reminder to refer back to, when your motivation slows down or hesitation sets in.

-Decide when you will devote a block of time to focus on your closet. If you can do a daily session, great! Is it 30 minutes a day? Will it be an hour, 4 times a week? Or will you be a weekend warrior, armed with strong coffee?

Just land on what fits in your schedule and suits your energy level …  and commit to it. 

And now, on to my 5 rules for decluttering clothes that need to go!

This post kicks off a series about decluttering clothes to discover your new midlife style!

how to declutter clothes
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Rule #1: Release Costly Items Never (if ever) worn

How often do we cling to things that we regret buying? Oh, they may be perfectly beautiful yet they don’t fit quite right, they aren’t truly your style after all or they were an impulse buy. You know exactly which items these are in your closet! But then your second thought is remembering how much you spent … and so they stay. 

Go ahead and set them aside for now. If you’re up for recouping some of those dollars, label the box, “Sell”. But if you don’t have the time or inclination, label the box, “Donate”. I will share the best current options for both in an upcoming blog post!

Be willing to let these items go. The money has been spent so it’s not actually costing you anything to release this stuff. But they are costing you in terms of occupying valuable space in your closet.

Focus instead on the fact that you’re finding a better home where they will get the use and love they deserve. And now you’ve made room for what truly reflects you. What do you think about that? 

how to be ruthless when decluttering clothes
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Rule #2: Release "it" colors or styles that aren't you

Are you smiling now? Good! I’m simply making the point that while we want to look current, sometimes the so-called “must have” looks are simply not our friends.

Who dreams up these “rules” anyway? What if we created our own rules? Think about it this way: there’s a reason we reach for certain styles or colors time after time. Certainly, it’s possible we get ourselves into a rut. Maybe we’re playing it safe. Or we might truly benefit from a little styling advice! Don’t worry: I’ve got blog posts coming up addressing all of this!

Meanwhile, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Go ahead and weed out what you don’t like or wear. Why hang on to idle clothing? You can sort into the two categories mentioned earlier: “Sell” and “Donate”.

There, doesn’t that feel good to release what doesn’t truly flatter or make your heart flutter? I thought so!

how to downsize your wardrobe

Rule #3: Reduce your stockpile of special occasion items

Here we are delving into identifying what reflects the cadence of our current lifestyle. It’s not uncommon that our roles change after 50. And so it follows that our clothing choices should, too.

While the definition of a special occasion will vary from one person to the next, think about the situations calling for an outfit other than your everyday wear. How often does that happen? Ensure that the quantity of said items jives with the frequency of such situations.

Also, pay attention to the color, fabric and design of your special occasion clothing. If black is not your best hue, then perhaps your “little black dress” needs to be blue! Or red. You know what your personal power color is.

And if the material feels confining, stiff, or itchy and it’s always a relief to take it off, that should go, too! The goal is for you to define what creates confidence and comfort every time you put it on. Those are the timeless items  to keep. Release the rest. 

Additionally, corporate (business) attire may not fit under the  “special occasion” label, but don’t overlook releasing this or any other type of clothing if you don’t mingle in a certain arena any more. Most of us don’t have sufficient warehouse room for all the “some day”, “you never know”, or “just in case” clothing!

how do you declutter too many clothes
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Rule #4: Release multiple sizes from the fluctuating scale

This is a touchy subject but bear with me, please. Who hasn’t experienced a change in their shape and weight, as the years go by? Despite our best efforts, there will be a natural shift despite exercise and dietary adjustments.

We can still look fabulous! But clinging to sizes that are unrealistic or require deprivation than we are unwilling to endure? Let those go! Life is too short to berate yourself on the basis of size.

However, only you can decide what to keep, based on your personal goals and determination. Is it de-motivating to see sizes too small in your closet? My suggestion is to remove those items and store them in a box labeled with the size and the current date.

If they still don’t fit by a future date, i.e., the next season, re-evaluate your situation. And if it no longer matters to you, don’t even open the box … just let it go! Make room for what truly fits now.

5 rules for decluttering clothes
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Rule #5: Reduce the sentimental volume

 

The 70’s called to get your groove back on! Whatever makes your heart swell, keep it. How wonderful to have your heart smile when you open your closet door and see a reminder of a happy memory.

The key is to limit these items to a discreet number. If you have too many items for viewing only, this will pose a practical problem. How will you have closet capacity for what you actually wear?

Whatever the size of your closet, an artistically arranged set up with a few sentimental items will allow for a pop of joy every time you open the door.

Can you have a dedicated shelf for these things? Would a wall display or a free standing rack in your bedroom be the way to go? Sort for what is most meaningful.

Does each thing have equal value? Likely not, so quickly release anything you feel iffy or “meh” about. Don’t ruminate too long … or decluttering your clothes will grind to a halt!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This post was about decluttering clothes in order to curate a midlife style that fits, flatters and feels good!

When we’re entering a new season … weather-wise or decade-wise … it’s an ideal time to re-evaluate our wardrobe. 

It’s extremely tricky to recommend styling ideas since we all have such individual taste! And my bottom line is always going to be, “If you love it, then wear it!” Seriously. Don’t be concerned with what anyone else thinks.

Oh, we will be judged. It’s what we do (c’mon, admit it!) and so does everyone else. But do you anyway! 

Your turn!

So I’m curious:

  • Does your clothing reflect your personal lifestyle and taste? Or does it mirror what the “fashion police” decrees?
  • Is your closet chockfull of items from a former role or era? Will you realistically reach for these things again?
  • What truly holds you back from letting certain things go? How do you do it anyway?

Share your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!  

decluttering your home

4 Tricky Truths that Put the Brakes on Decluttering Your Home

When you’re 50+, decluttering your home is a typical activity when your next move is a downsizing move. The kids are grown and out the door. Home maintenance is becoming a drag.

In other words, your interests are evolving or your needs have changed.  Either way, a simpler setup in a smaller space appeals. It all makes sense.

To be honest, you might be feeling the proverbial midlife crisis (which I prefer to call a “midlife opportunity“). Bottom line: you yearn for something different, now that your life feels different! 

So when it’s time to start the downsizing process, does it unfold smoothly? Well … maybe not so much! Trust me, I’ve experienced all the glitches and more! Now what?

For now, sit back and relax. Read about these 4 decluttering facts that catch many of us off guard. Once you know these uninvited visitors tend to pop in unannounced, you can be prepared to show them the door! And then continue clearing space for your next exciting life chapter! Let’s go!

This post is about how decluttering your home gets easily sidelined when 4 facts hit us hard during the process!

how to declutter your home
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Truth #1: Hardly Anyone is 100% Ready to Let Stuff Go!

 

Deep down, no one really wants too much stuff! We feel the weight of it when we open a full closet or jam-packed cabinet. We see it when we are searching for something else in the house. And we grumble about it when it gets in our way. 

But when we have available space, it’s easy to hang on to things for now or for “someday”. Many of us were raised to not be wasteful. Others are simply more relaxed with what comes into the home and never leaves.

Yet there comes the day when it’s time to get serious about decluttering your home.

You feel sad to say goodbye to things you loved or needed at one point. And then your progress slows down And stops. Why is it so hard to get rid of what you truly don’t need or use? 

Well, our things are more than just things! They represent where we’ve been, who we’ve loved, and where we’ve longed to be. Even though the memories will stay with us, we still balk at releasing the symbols of our life story.

So we hang on, and, before you know it, there are dozens of boxes labeled “miscellaneous”. Where will these boxes land in the new place?

declutter your home
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Truth #2: Family Stuff is Sticky with Sentiment!

It’s a relief to release the odds and ends we accumulate over a lifetime. Goodwill is a common recipient of those items. Outdated clothing, obsolete reference books, assorted knickknacks … off they go!  

But when it comes time to consider Grandma’s silver tea set or your high school yearbooks, it’s a whole different story. We may not display all our inherited or nostalgic items but they can still conjure up heartfelt memories.

And now as we gaze at these things, it’s difficult to part with them. It feels like we’re dishonoring memories of loved ones or our own personal history! 

Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with keeping a few select items like a tea pot, a serving platter or a picture collage. Displaying or using treasured pieces makes a home uniquely our own.

But when they go from the old closet to the new closet … when they’re not claimed by your own children or used in your new home … does their continued storage make sense?

declutter your home checklist
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Truth #3: We Lose Objectivity When It's Time to Sell!

Remembering what we paid for certain items makes it difficult to digest what today’s buyer is willing to pay. How about the low starting bid for the folk art collection you lovingly curated all these years? Or consider the pennies on the dollar you make when selling your 1990’s designer duds.

Of course, there is money to be extracted out of specific categories such as MidCentury Modern furniture or rare coins.

But the fact of the matter is, there are hundreds of thousands of 55+ aged sellers looking to offload housefuls of similar items. It’s really a buyer’s market, for the most part.

Again, you can make money but it will take time and effort to do so. And it calls for the willingness to price based on today’s demand … regardless what you paid for it!

tips to declutter your home
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Truth #4: Decluttering Your Home is a Bigger Job Than You Expect!

When things are hidden in drawers, closets and cabinets, it’s easy to underestimate just how much stuff we have! If you’re a highly organized person, even you can have far more personal belongings than you think.

Day One of decluttering your home is generally overwhelming for everyone! We work all day in one room. And then we realize how many more rooms there are to go.

Of course, you don’t accumulate all your belongings overnight. So it follows that it won’t be an overnight process to sort through when decluttering you home, either.

We can be in denial about downsizing as part of our future. But adopting a pragmatic stance that it’s inevitable can be quite helpful.

With that in mind, start early and declutter often.

If you want to pass things down to your children, ask them now! Don’t assume they want or can take everything. And don’t be offended if they say no. After all, isn’t that how we ended up with some of our own inherited stuff?

Would we want them to take something unwillingly and then just stow it in a closet? That’s passing along guilt, too!

The Wrap with Mary V

The Wrap: This Post Addressed the 4 Facts That Will Slow You Down When Decluttering Your Home.

Decluttering ahead of a downsizing move is not for the faint of heart, no doubt about it!

In order to minimize the mindsets that can hold you back, start decluttering your home now, even if you don’t have your next destination finalized.

In fact, carving out a specific time slot each day or week to focus on decluttering will really put you in a good place. It’s surprising what 20-30 minutes a day will accomplish over time. 

Knowing that you’ll eventually have one or two fewer bedrooms or less storage space is enough intel to release what’s currently in those areas now. And be sure to allow for “breathing space”! 

Ultimately, the most important things are not “things”. They are “experiences”, which take up hardly any space at all!

Your Turn!

  • Have you recently started reducing your stuff? 
  • Which decluttering fact challenges you the most?  
  • In hindsight, what would you do differently?

Share your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!

decluttering ideas

Decluttering Ideas to Release Other People’s Stuff (Without the Guilt!)

Consider using the decluttering ideas in this 4-step process so you can finally let go of things left behind from your loved ones.

Without a doubt, we all hang on to stuff for various reasons. But guilt is often the main culprit.

I mean, just think about your kids’ childhood stuff stashed in the attic. Or what about your mom’s Lenox china for 16 hidden in your dining room hutch. And Grandpa’s beer steins and National Geographic collection buried deep in the basement.

What’s wrong with this scenario? If you love all these things and cannot imagine life without them, then absolutely nothing!

But if thinking about these examples creates tension in your body, then perhaps it’s time to reconsider what’s occupying valuable space in your home! The stuff may be out of sight but it weighs on your mind. Time to set yourself free!

decluttering ideas
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Today Features Decluttering Ideas That Honor What Matters To You!

decluttering your home checklist
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Step 1: Begin With Your Why

>> Do You Want To Function As A Storage Facility?

If it’s a temporary situation, put a time limit on how long the items will be tenants in your home. It’s universal that our kids leave stuff in our home when they depart the nest. And it’s easy for us to hang on to the remnants of their youth. The memories are deep and heart-filled.

We have the space to store their sentimental mementoes … or do we?

Is it possible their stuff is occupying space you could use for your next chapter? In fact, on a larger scale, is their stuff holding you back from making your own physical move?

So, yes: Determine if other people’s things are preventing you from forging ahead!

minimalist decluttering checklist
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>> Initiate The Convo With The Kids Now!

Now you might feel a little uneasy with this idea. Yet they may simply be assuming it’s A-OK to leave their excess stuff with you. They need to hear how you feel about it!

Also: understand there is benefit for both sides. Your adult children can then adopt a lifelong habit of identifying what matters most to them, too!

To be honest, most Millennials are open to decluttering ideas and goals. They already choose to live in smaller spaces. They seek to travel lightly with their possessions. So the timing for this dialogue is spot on! It can be a session of recalling happy times. This, in turn, leads to deliberate choices of what items to keep and what items to release.

decluttering bedroom checklist
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>> Now Address The "Permanent" Guests In Your Home!

Who’s this? I’m referring to inherited items or gifts from family members or friends. They can be everywhere! Some are stored in boxes or closets, out of sight. Others may be sprinkled throughout your home. 

You know logically these things have an “expiration date” with hanging around. Either they aren’t to your own taste or or they are not useful or necessary for your lifestyle.

They may be something you do appreciate, but you truly don’t have the physical space now or where you may be heading next. Even harder, they may evoke bittersweet or difficult memories of a particular time in your life.

Ask yourself: Do I truly need or want these items in my home?

minimalist decluttering checklist
image from pixabay

Step 2: Sort Items By Donor

Next up is staging the items so that you can see exactly what you have from whom. For example, everything from your Mom could be gathered in the spare room. You can then see at a glance what you have from one person.

Now this may be challenging if your house has things from Mom in every room! If that’s the case, then just segregate her things in each respective room and take a picture. In this way, you can review the entire collection at once or within a few images.

The purpose of this activity is to understand exactly what we have from Mom, Dad, Grandma,  and so forth. Often we balk at releasing something simply because it belonged to someone in particular (and I get that, really!)

But we get bogged down when we assign high value to each and every single item thy owned or touched. Is this realistic?

For me, I think about it this way: “How do I want my son to remember me?” I am most passionate about 3-4 things and so he’s welcome to keep just a few items that define those interests. He doesn’t need to curate a Mom shrine with everything of mine!

In other words, be selective with how you decide to honor your beloved family member.

how to start decluttering when overwhelmed
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Step 3: Select What To Keep

 

No one has  unlimited space! Which is why solid decluttering ideas include deliberate choices that truly epitomize your beloved family members.

If your Grandma was a tea drinker, a gardener or a deeply religious person, then keep her favorite tea cup, her cut glass flower vase, or her rosary beads. This makes it easier to let go of her ceramic knickknacks or crocheted afghans. You get the idea!

Certainly, you can increase the number of items if they take up less physical space, like pictures in a photo album or a digital picture frame. But consider truly narrowing down to the essence of that person… because you want to leave space in your home for you!

Once you have your choices defined, you can have fun with how you’re going to display the items. They won’t need to be hidden out of view any longer.

Perhaps you’ll create a gallery of framed photos. You might use some glassed shadow boxes to showcase costume jewelry or prized medals. In other words, incorporate the treasures into your present decor.

Paring them down to a select few will truly let them stand out as a testament to your family history.

best decluttering tips
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Step 4: Release The Rest With Love

 

Understand that gifted items from our family were given in the spirit of love. The intent was never to bog you down with something that didn’t bring you joy. Acknowledge the kind gesture but let go of what doesn’t suit your taste. Gifts shouldn’t come with strings attached, don’t you think?

Figure out the highest and best use of the things you will not retain. Start with your own family, in the event your children or siblings would appreciate and welcome any of those items. The key is this: ask!

Don’t assume you know what others will want. Listen and then accept their decisions. After all, it’s their home and so it’s their choice.

From there, it’s entirely up to you if you would prefer to realize a monetary return. Yet know that any selling activity will take time and effort, depending upon the demand for that item.

By investing a little time up front, you’ll realize if going the re-sale route is worth your while.

If you decide to bypass the resale step, there are so many local charities that can deftly route your donations to the highest needs in your community. 

Please don’t overlook the value of donating! It in no way means you are throwing money away or dishonoring your family member!

The money has already been spent when the item was first acquired by your relative. There was joy and use of the item until it was passed along to you. Now, you’re simply “paying it forward” when someone less financially fortunate eagerly and gladly accepts the item for their own use.

Isn’t that a better outcome than having it collect dust on a shelf or hide in a cabinet?

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This Post Dug Into Decluttering Ideas About Releasing Sentimental Stuff Without Guilt

When incorporating these decluttering ideas into your own routine, remember to work at your own pace. You control the process and no one is judging you. Even 15 minutes a day will have you ahead of where you were before you started.

Sentimental clutter is the hardest stuff to deal with … but it provides the biggest emotional release when it’s moved out so you can move on!

You can do this … I believe in you!

Your Turn!

What’s your sentimental clutter status? 

  • What will be your biggest challenge to release?
  • What decluttering ideas can you share with us?

Drop your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by! 

clutter definition

Clutter Definition: What Exactly Is It So We Can Confidently Declutter With Clarity?

With an actual clutter definition, we can clear space like a boss so much more easily!

Someone once said, “Release the clutter in your life and set yourself free!”  Sounds good, right?

But, wait … what exactly are we supposed to get rid of?

We are all different with what we’ve got stashed and stored in our homes. It follows that the reason we hang on to certain things will likewise be unique.

Yet while there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to decluttering, it is possible to create a universal clutter definition.

This can be the starting point for all of us. After all, there are always going to be the obvious things that need to hit the curb immediately. Think expired, worn-out, or broken items.

From there, we can then define our own personal parameters for what to keep and what to let go.

Clutter can’t be released until we know how to identify it! Shall we do this?

clutter definition
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This Post presents A Basic Clutter Definition, Which Is The First Step To Successfully Clearing Space In Your Place!

clutter meaning
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A Common Clutter Definition is "Anything you don't need, use, or want any more."

What do you think about that?

I mean, really: if you don’t need it or don’t use it, it’s just occupying valuable space!

On the other hand, if you want it or love it, that definitely stays!

When we have a clear idea on how to view clutter, it becomes so much easier to identify it in our homes. Additionally, it also makes for a smoother process to part ways with clutter.

Ready to go a little deeper?

clutter free meaning
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Clutter Definition Part I: What is "Need"?

When we say we “need” something, we are affirming that something supports us where we are at in our lives.

It makes our daily routine possible. It helps us get things done. We’d be kind of lost without this stuff!

Think about the basic cookware in your kitchen … your coffeepot, your microwave or your instant pot. 

So we’re talking about things that maintain our lifestyle now or the one we are heading towards.

On the other hand, what about all the stuff that never or rarely if ever makes it out of the closet or out of the drawers? We should view our belongings with a critical eye and determine if they truly deserve a place in our homes.

So this leads to the next concept of what we actually reach for as we go about our days.

how to reduce clutter in your home
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Clutter Definition Part II: What is "Use"?

Now this is shining a light when we refer to utility!

In other words, we are talking about stuff that we actively rely on. We might not use these items daily or weekly. It might just be a couple times during the year. But they’re definitely serving a purpose.

On the other hand, if things are sitting idle, waiting for “some day” or “just in case”, imagine the negative energy they emit. They’re gathering dust, taking up space. Which then causes guilt.

Who needs that vibe in the home!

making space clutter free
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Clutter Definition Part III: What Is "Want"?

Here’s where we’re really getting to the crux of things!

When we say we “want” something, it generally means we see value with it playing a role in our lives. We are talking about something that represents an important person, place or experience. What they do is bring a smile to our faces or inspire us to achieve something more. 

Once again, the items that we want will be unique to each of us. But what they have in common is that we love them!

Personalization is what makes our house a home!

However, the key to maintaining a practical quantity of things is this: do we still feel this way now. And how many of these things do we keep?

Is our house a home or a museum?

clutter-free meaning
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So Now: What Should Go?

 

At last, with this universal clutter definition, all kinds of things start to come to mind that we should release, don’t they?!

A short list would include:

– It’s no longer your style

-You have too many duplicates

– It was an impulse buy, now collecting dust

What else would you add to this list? 

It’s so easy to have clutter creepage in our homes, isn’t it? Mail arrives daily and lingers on the countertop. Makeup samples and faded towels are crammed in our bathroom cabinets. Our clothes are a range of sizes and eras. We can’t even see everything we own at a glance!

Moreover, many things can be in perfectly good condition. But we just don’t care for them, use them, or need them anymore.

Sounds like it’s time to dig in with some overdue decluttering sessions, don’t you think?

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap:This post created a common clutter definition so we can confidently release what we no longer need, use or want!

Choices we’ve made about the stuff in our homes can be overdo for examination.

With an established clutter definition, you will now start to see a pattern with what might be overdue for releasing.

Take some time to walk through your house. Open your closets and drawers. Look at your belongings with fresh eyes.  

After all, decluttering clears space for new items which truly support your next season!

Your turn!

  • What do you think about this clutter definition?
  • What kind of clutter seems to be your Achilles?

Share your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!

declutter and downsize

Declutter and Downsize: Lay the Groundwork for Really Remarkable Results in 2021!

If 2021 is the year for you to declutter and downsize, how do you plan to get this done? 

Sorry, I know: 2020 is barely in the rear-view mirror!

But just like any resolution that you set, it’s important to identify in advance where you want to head and why you want to get there. 

In my personal coaching sessions, I always suggest starting at the beginning. This means getting to the heart of what you want to accomplish.

Think of it this way: if you’ve always dreamed of visiting Paris, would you simply hop on a plane and show up? Unless you’re a total free spirit with unlimited time and resources, probably not! And the same logic applies to your desire to declutter and downsize, too. 

Today I’m sharing 7 key action steps to clarify your space clearing goals so you can cross them off the list this year! 

declutter and downsize

Today's Post lays The foundation for your Declutter and Downsize goals so you can get this done in 2021!

declutter and organize
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Step 1: I want to declutter and downsize because ...

Start with identifying why excess stuff messes with your emotions.

For instance, does it stir up uneasy feelings? No one really wants a home crammed with stuff they don’t use, need, or love. Too much of anything feels heavy. 

Or perhaps someone else feels embarrassed to entertain. So they postpone having family and friends over.

Yet another may feel frustrated with searching for things that are hidden in crammed drawers or closets. It sucks up time better used some other way.

And maybe someone feels anxious every time they view items associated with an Ex. It’s like reliving an unhappy situation over and over.

In other words, pause to figure out what your clutter does to bring you down and hold you in place. 

declutter and organize your home
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Step 2: I need to declutter and downsize because ...

Next, capture how your clutter blocks you from what you need to do.

Does your clutter prevent you from getting things done? There could be any number of things on hold until you begin to declutter and downsize in earnest.

Perhaps you need to move into a smaller space. The cost of maintaining a large home is not practical.

Maybe the piles of paperwork mean your bills are not always paid on time. The impact on your credit is real.

Or you’re consistently running late because your overflowing wardrobe makes it hard to get ready each day. There’s lot in there but it doesn’t all fit, flatter or feel good.

So think about what genuine needs you have that are hindered by your clutter and make note of them. 

how to declutter and organize your home
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Step 3: I hope to declutter and downsize so that I can ...

Now jot down your hopes and dreams of things you’d do … if only you had more time and money to pursue them.

What would you do if you had more resources? It’s amazing how clutter can hold us hostage!

How can we imagine something different if we never change? But change is hard to execute if we stay in place, surrounded by what no longer serves us well.

Wish you could attend a culinary school? Want to travel cross country in an RV? These dreams and more could be possible if you didn’t have to spend time and money maintaining more than what you need or use.

When you declutter and downsize into what accommodates your future goals, you can start making those dreams a reality!

declutter and clean
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Step 4: Schedule your D&D time

When will you fit in your declutter and downsize sessions? 

It’s essential to have it on your calendar. If it’s not planned, it will be easy for it to be deferred to another day. But when will that day happen?

Everyone’s capacity is different so figure out how frequently you can time block. And think about pairing your session right before or right after an activity you do faithfully. This “habit stacking”  approach helps get it done!

Additionally, start with just a couple sessions a week. This is a new habit so give yourself time to embrace it. It took time to accumulate the stuff you have. It will take time to let the excess go. Don’t overwhelm yourself and then burn out early! 

On the other hand, if you have a hard stop with a pending physical move, work your calendar backwards. With your date in mind, assign each room a set number of weeks to get them cleared.

For example, your kitchen may need 4 weeks but your guest room only needs 2 weeks. It’s just an estimate but as you dig in, you’ll figure out how many sessions are needed in each room to completely unclutter them.

The key is to get started now!

declutter and donate
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Step 5: Start Small with your D&D sessions

How small is small? Think a drawer, a cabinet or a closet!

Sure, your goal is to space clear each room in your home. But trying to get an entire room done in one session may be impossible, even if you have a whole day set aside.

For one thing, you may get bogged down early if you encounter sentimental stuff. That’s the hardest to sort through! You may start to justify keeping much of it, even if you know it isn’t practical.

Secondly, breaking a room into sections is a great way to get small wins early on. It’s a manageable session and doesn’t disrupt using that room when your decluttering session is done for the day.

And thirdly, keeping the space clearing sessions to less than an hour is a smart way to keep your enthusiasm high. You may choose to conduct a few sessions during one day, but break them up with other tasks, for variety. You’ll feel much more accomplished when you actually complete a discreet area, as opposed to only getting part way through a large space. 

Manageable chunks keep your uncluttering goals on track!

downsize and declutter
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Step 6: Keep Track of your D&D sessions

It’s easy to feel discouraged when you think about how much more space clearing is ahead of you.

But when you log your results, you’ll realize just how much you’ve already accomplished! Your efforts will add up over time. 

How you choose to track your decluttering is up to you. It can be as simple as photos in an album on your phone or an old school notebook, listing the results of each session.

The point is to keep a record of your declutter and downsize journey. You’ll impress yourself with how much you’ve gotten done. And it will motivate you to keep on going!

Little steps add up to big results!

how to declutter and downsize
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Step 7: Keep on going!

You got this … don’t lose momentum now!

After just 30 days, you’ll be amazed how your declutter and downsize sessions have become a part of your regular routine. 

As you open up space in your home, your heart will likewise feel clear and open. Letting go of what you no longer need, use or want is a liberating step towards inviting all the possibilities head of you!

When your enthusiasm flags (and it happens to all of us), circle back to Step 1-3. Remind yourself why you’re doing this now.  Refresh your memory with what you will be able to do in the future. 

Now you can start to design your next life chapter, freely and joyfully! Step confidently where you want to go next!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: Today's post was all about crafting a declutter and downsize plan to clear space in 2021 for where you want to go next!

Feeling inspired to clear out the old to make way for the new?

Fantastic! Take control of your direction. Craft a mini-Manifesto for why clearing space makes sense for you in 2021. This is for your eyes only so be honest. And be prepared for real results to unfold in this New Year!

online selling platforms

8 Tried and True Online Selling Platforms for Offloading Your Excess Stuff

With so many online selling platforms to choose from, how do you know which ones will be the best choice for you?

The app field is crowded and it can be confusing! So today, I’m sharing 8 online selling platforms that have stood the test of time.

The key is to match what you have to sell with the platform that will maximize your return in a reasonable amount of time.

Selling your stuff is not your full-time focus, right? That’s why it’s critical you select the best venue to showcase your stuff and sell it quickly. Because you have other things to do, too!

So grab your coffee, have a seat, and let’s check out your options!

online selling platforms

Today's Post Reviews the Pros and Cons of 8 Online Selling Platforms So You can land on the best place to sell your stuff!

best platform to sell online
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Online Selling Platforms | Option 1: eBay

eBay is a pioneer in online selling, having been around for over 25 years.

It’s a gigantic auction house where over 168 million active buyers can bid on your items! With bidding situations, it can take time to receive your desired price.

In contrast, you may choose to list your item as “Buy It Now“, meaning it’s a fixed, non-negotiable price.

There is an enormous buying audience for your goods but the competition is stiff. You’re competing not only with other individual sellers. In fact, there are wholesalers and corporation, too … not to mention fierce competition from China, as well!

eBay has a built-in algorithm, geared towards helping buyers locate specific items which can also be good for sellers.

But on the flip side, customer protection …even in falsified complaint situations …. can be at the expense of a legitimate seller.

Also, it’s not free to sell on eBay. You do get 40 free listings per month, but there are additional fees. For example, there is typically a 10% transaction fee (including shipping & handling) to use this venue. Your net profit is released three days after your tracking shows delivery.

However, if you enjoy an auction-like outcome and you have the time and patience to wait for the right buyer bid, eBay is your venue.

For eBay selling details, check out the step-by-step guide here.

Or, listen to this tutorial over here.

 

where is the best platform to sell online
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Online Selling Platforms | Option 2: Amazon

Amazon has evolved from an online bookstore into one of the world’s most visited marketplace websites.

It boasts massive traffic volume with separate retail websites in 15 countries! This means more buyers for your stuff.

Additionally, the “Fulfillment by Amazon” service handles both customer service and shipping on your behalf. Amazon has a traditional retail structure so you sell your items at a set price. You pay a fee only when  your item sells. But all this comes with higher fees and brutal competition.  

In comparison to eBay, Amazon has a better reputation for customer service and offers buyer perks such as same-day or two-day shipping. But the humongous size of both these online selling venues result in the risk of getting lost in the sea of sellers

Lastly, go directly to Amazon for the latest facts on selling right here. 

online selling items
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Online Selling Platforms | Option 3: Etsy

Etsy takes us into a narrower market when it popped on the scene in 2005. 

It’s positioned as an online platform for crafters, artists and vintage aficionados. Currently ranking as #3 behind eBay and Amazon,  it’s an ideal venue if you have handmade, vintage or highly unique items. Think crafting and jewelry supplies, specialty fabrics or handmade personal products.

Still, despite the exclusive focus, this venue attracts some 30 million shoppers worldwide! Similar to eBay, you’ll pay a listing fee but your Etsy listing will last for 4 months instead of just 10-30 days. This fee is charged whether or not your item sells.

The fixed pricing model is also cheaper and simpler than that of the above two powerhouses.  So keep Etsy in mind if your items fit this handmade, one-of-kind product profile.

To further explore this online selling platform, head here.

 

top online selling platforms
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Online Selling Platforms | Options 4 & 5: Bonanza and Ruby Lane

These two online selling platforms are still relative newcomers.

Nevertheless, they are on the rise and worth checking out if your items fall into the Etsy categories of unique, vintage, antique, or quirky.

Both are smaller than the preceding platforms but they have respectable reach along with more reasonable fees. They specialize further in the following sub-categories:

  • Bonanza
    • Think garden gnomes or taxidermy (although product diversification has been creeping in)
    • Fixed price items as opposed to a bidding situation
    • To get started, click here.
  • Ruby Lane
    • Specifically for actual antiques and vintage-style goods
    • Excellent customer service reputation
    • To get started, go here.
Facebook and OfferUp
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Online Selling Platforms | Options 6 & 7: FB and OfferUp

Facebook Marketplace groups are  definitely trumping Craigslist these days!

Simply enter terms to find and join local groups. For example, type in “Scottsdale, AZ Buy and Sell” in the FB search bar if you live in Scottsdale, Arizona. When you click to join a group, others will be suggested to you, as well.

These groups are very popular with buyers such as young moms or small community residents looking for online garage sale deals. The sky is the limit for what goods are offered.

You are on your own with seller protection but you will also avoid listing and shipping fees. You need to “bump” or refresh your listing to stay current.

OfferUp merged with LetGo  in July 2020 to create one big mobile marketplace.

It provides an easy way to sell locally with payments tendered with either cash or via Stripe, the electronic payment processing partner. There are some fees involved to consider but it’s still a compelling way to sell just about anything online.   

The scoop on using OfferUp is right here. 

what is the best online selling platform

Online Selling Platforms | Option 8: Craigslist

Craigslist is the world’s largest online classified ads website!

You can sell almost anything here. It’s super basic with no fees and no frills but you’re completely on your own to work with buyers.

Craigslist requires that you sell locally, unlike eBay and Amazon. This means that you arrange for pick-up and drop-off of your items.

When all else fails, you can shift your items to the “free” section, which can come in handy. You need to regularly refresh and repost your listing to ensure you are at the top of the category. So you save on the listing and shipping fees with this venue but you lose protection with questionable buyers, i.e., passing off counterfeit money.

Craig’s List has been around for a long time but contends with stiff competition from other online selling platforms such as FB Marketplace and OfferUp. However, it may still an active player in your community…so why not check it out?

Find a simple video with a Craigslist tutorial over here.

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: Today's post shared 8 online selling platforms to help you rehome your stuff and to deposit some dollars back in your wallet, as well!

There is definitely cash to be claimed using any of these or other online platforms.

But first do your homework! Review your things to sell with a critical eye. Realize that you have a history with the items so your emotions may skew your pricing decisions. Research how similar items are selling. Finally, understand what is entailed to close the deal.

Are you ready to turn your excess stuff into cash?

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