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Deciding What To Throw Away

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ClutterOne of the toughest parts of cleaning and decluttering your home is deciding what to get rid of. Many people hesitate to throw items away. Maybe they have an emotional attachment to them, maybe they feel that they could come in handy some day and maybe they just don’t like getting rid of things they own. Whatever the reason, it’s usually difficult for most people to throw out a large number of items.

Sometimes it’s an issue with letting go. You remember when you bought that couch 20 years ago and even though you sink to the floor when you sit down these days, you can’t bear to throw it away. Other times you feel like a failure for getting rid of something you honestly intended to use. We see this a lot with exercise equipment. You bought that ab machine six years ago and used it twice, but you’d feel like a quitter if you gave it away.

There are a few ways to decide what to throw away. One good method is to make quick, immediate decisions on things. Go through your clutter and quickly sort things into three piles.  Make a “keep” pile, a “throw away” pile and a “maybe” pile.  Don’t take a long time to make these decisions. Just quickly place things in piles based on your first instinct. When you’re done, split the “maybe” pile into the “keep” and “throw away” piles. Don’t second guess your decisions and don’t be irrational.

You have to be honest with yourself and truly put effort into your clean up. If you haven’t used something in over a year, honestly think about why you’re keeping it. Some items are mementos and you may want to keep those items, but a lot of the things you are saving are probably useless to you now.

Just because you once spent money on an item or just because something once worked is not a good reason to keep it. If items are broken or missing pieces, think about whether or not you can fix them. Then think about whether or not you actually WILL fix them. If the answer to either of those questions is “no” it’s time to say goodbye.

And if you’re worried about creating more garbage and filling up landfills, you can relax. Junk It recycles as much as we possibly can. On average, up to 60% of the items we pick up for disposal are recycled.  Some items are even donated to charitable organizations.

When it comes to cleaning and organizing, deciding what to throw away can be the most difficult part of the process. But with a little willpower and honesty you can cut down on your clutter and open up your home to all kinds of new opportunities.

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Written April 30, 2010 by Christopher Luciano

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