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Decluttering—Do It Your Way

by Matilda Charles

Consider this a firsthand ac-count of clearing clutter. I read several self-help books; I sought advice from those who call themselves experts.
I suspected that the how to declutter books would be a lost cause when I saw passages that suggested taking photos of cherished items as a way of remembering them; I knew that plan was not for me. It was the same with instructions to take it one room at a time or to take months to finish the task.

In the end, I rejected all I heard and read and opted for doing it my way: quickly and ruthlessly.
The key to successful decluttering is to ask yourself realistic questions:

If you’re working on clothing and realize that you haven’t worn certain items in years, how likely are you to wear them ever again? If you have a set of dishware once owned by your grandmother and have never used it, are you likely to ever use it now? If you’re sorting memorabilia from vacat-ions, do you remember the details of your trip?

Give yourself one month to declutter, working at it for at least an hour every day, boxing things up as you go and dividing them into items to be do-nated or to be thrown out. At the end of the month, call the dump haulers or the people who take donations.

Keep in mind: If you haven’t put up outdoor holiday decorations in five years, you won’t start now. Relatives who indicate they want a certain item need to remove it immediately. You really don’t need 17 sets of sheets or towels. Just because your mother kept her own mother’s cherished items for 30 years doesn’t mean you need to do the same.

Best of all: If something is no longer on a shelf, you don’t have to dust it.