Say it with me: Keep, Donate, Store, Retail, Trash
Say it again: Keep. Donate. Store. Retail. Trash.
One more time: Keep! Donate! Store! Retail! Trash!

Ok, good. Let’s begin:

Sorting through your life can seem daunting, and I’m just talking about material belongings. If you have the “too much stuff not enough space” Space Bag commercial running through your head 24/7, you may be in deep. Fear not, there’s still hope. Welcome to “The Purge: Organizing.” These categories are meant help better define that process for those of us overwhelmed by piles of stuff.

Keep: Used everyday, every week or often enough that putting it into storage would be legitimately inconvenient. This is stuff that makes or breaks your life. Without it something would feel wrong. Don’t let this be your default pile. Really NEED this stuff.

Donate: Gently used. Good condition. Just don’t like it, but someone else might. There are various options for donation: drop off at a collection facility (Salvation Army), or box (Planet Aid), schedule a pick up (Purple Heart), or contact a specific organization for instructions (Operation Prom Dress). Stay tuned for my post on just this!

Store: Used once in a year or less. Seasonal & sentimental. Utterly irreplaceable. Again, don’t let this be your default pile. Really LOVE this stuff. If you have problems with over collecting — even hoarding — this may be the most difficult pile to sort into. You can do it! Remember memories are more precious than materials. Keep small reminders of the past, but do not weigh yourself down with junk.

Retail: Broken into two subcategories — Return & Resell. Before you get rid of anything check for price tags/receipts & check the store’s Return policy. Sometimes, even after years, you can get store credit. If the item is valuable and in great condition, consider a “yard sale” or consignment app for Resale. Either way stuff you didn’t use ends up being funds you can use.

Trash: Out of anything you may have left without a pile, is it… Expired? Discolored? Broken? Torn? Ripped? Nasty? Smelly? Mutilated? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s garbage. In the VERY slight chance, it isn’t really, it belongs in “Store.” If you’ve been holding onto a lot of stuff for a long time, it may be hard to distinguish keepsakes from legitimate garbage.

(I keep everything, like everything. BUT I make intricate scrapbooks & prefer custom collage murals to paint or wallpaper. Stay tuned for my post on just this!)

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