I have a client, (who will remain anonymous as I will be posting pics and she would be mortified) whom I have known for a while. She has 4 wonderful children, 3 of which no longer live at home. When she hired me to start restyling her home I started to see a pattern, high school everywhere!!!
For almost a decade the kids clothes, toys and books sat in plastic bins, tucked away in the corner of their basement and/or bedrooms in a pile that doubled in size as each of them moved out.
It was time for some tough love! It's easier for me as I have no attachment to these items so -
Find the perfect home for everything
Pick out your most important possessions. Only keep what’s useful, sentimental, or you absolutely love – the rest is just stuff. Dust collectors!!! #Ifyouloveituseit
Let go of the things you don’t need. This is the hardest part but the most important. I read a great article a few years ago and it talked about the Five-second rule — if you can’t decide if it has value to you in five seconds, say goodbye. I used this ALOT!
You have to be able to use it now – do not keep it in case your other one breaks down or when your children may need it if he or she moves into a new home.
The items have to be useable in a living area of your home - unless it’s seasonal (Holiday decorations), if you are putting it back in a box in the basement or garage you don’t need or love it.
Family Heirlooms? You are not obligated to keep anything you don’t want and doesn’t fit your lifestyle. If it doesn't bring you joy, say goodbye!
I am a big believer in having the 3 boxes available, KEEP, DONATE, TOSS
Here are a few things to start getting rid of today:
All of the things you never really liked even if you paid a lot of money for them- remember Joy??
Clothing, Shoes or accessories (scarves, hats, belts, jewelry) that are outdated, wrong size or colour. If it doesn’t fit and you know you won’t wear it again SAY GOODBYE!
Broken appliances - why? you will likely never get them fixed!!
Gifts or inherited items. Don’t hold onto things because you think you have to, or some misplaced family responsibility.
Things that belong to someone else, give them back! They probably forgot!!
Things you’ve been saving for your kids. My suggestion is take photos of the items that are the most important!! Then make a slide show or photo album for your kids (and grandkids) to look at when they visit.
So you have your boxes full.... Now What?? It's important to act fast -don't wait! The longer you wait to the greater chance it will never happen! Do it the same day!! Put the bags and boxes in your car immediately to drop off when you’re out and about. START THE CAR!!!!!!.
Donate to charity shops such as Restore ( Habitat For Humanity) Salvation Army Thrift shops or any local thrift shops you have in your town.
Make sure they are in excellent to good condition. They don’t have the resources to get rid of your garbage.
Have a Garage/Yard sale and put some of the items up for sale! You could also put furniture and antiques on consignment in local shops. Post with online sellers such as eBay, your local area Facebook Swap & Buy, and Kijiji, however don't have high expectations. You may find your valuables are, well, not so valuable. Just because it’s old, or you once paid a lot of money for it doesn’t make it valuable. They made junk 20, 30 and 40 years ago, too!
Call any friends and relatives (such as your adult children) who have stored items in your basement and maybe have “forgot” to pick them up them up and ask what to do. I took one of the daughters on this process when cleaning out her room it was eye opening for her. Then if they don’t get them right away, you can dispose of the items as you see fit - don’t feel guilty about it. You are under no obligation to keep things that belong to someone else.
Here are some before and after shots of one of the basement bedrooms for you to look at...
Before I sign off I want you to know that I am aware this is not an easy task, it is emotional and it takes time. I worked for 4 months on this project and it wasn't even my own home! Start small, do a little bit at a time. Ask a friend for help if you know you will be easily side tracked down memory lane.
Take Care Y'all and Have a Happy Monday!