Do you have an exit strategy for things you no longer love, want, or need in your home? Do you find yourself making piles of old, unwanted items throughout your house because you don’t have the time to deal with them right now? Are you tired of constantly sorting through kids’ clothes and toys that have been outgrown but find they keep creeping their way back into drawers and toy boxes because you don’t have a system for discarding or donating them? By keeping this extra stuff in your house, you are creating clutter and most likely stress!
My challenge for you this week is to create a process in your home for dealing with these discarded items. I recommend having multiple donation stations set up throughout your home, located in the places you generally ask yourself these “keep or get rid of” questions. The most common locations are inside bedroom closets, tucked inside an entryway closet, a dedicated space in the garage, a playroom/hobby room, and in a corner of the main living area. The donation station can be a simple dollar store bin, pop up mesh laundry bag, wicker basket with a lid, or a simple cardboard box. Choose whatever fits your lifestyle, décor preferences, and budget. The receptacle doesn’t matter as much as making a habit out of the process! As soon as you come across an item you no longer want, toss it in your box immediately. This is why you want it close to those decision areas. Don’t hang it back in the closet or put it back in the toy box to deal with later, get it out now so you don’t have to make the decision again! I also recommend having a notepad and pen tucked away near the box to record items as you put them in, so you have an itemized record when claiming donations on your taxes.
As soon as your box is full, empty it into a large trash bag and take it to a donation center. If you need a more structured schedule, then dedicate a specific time every week or month (depending on your family’s collection patterns) for delivering the bins. Find what works best for your family and stick to it.
The key to getting, and staying, organized is consistency! If you consistently fill these bins with items you no longer want and consistently deliver the items in your bins to your chosen donation center, you will quickly see less stuff just lying around waiting to be dealt with later!
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