I really dislike the word “declutter” — to my mind, it implies messiness, dirtiness, and disorganization. I prefer “simplify and reduce” because it feels less judgemental and more direct (the Google search engine tells me I’m in the minority as far as which phrase people actually search, though). The truth is, even the neatest, most organized of us have clothing that needs to be purged; books we’ll never read again; stacks of paper or kids’ artwork that needs organizing; or maybe even an extra piece of furniture that we don’t love but still have sitting in a corner because we never found the right spot for it. Whether you’re getting ready to sell or staying put, it’s very difficult for people to see the details of your beautiful home when there is too much stuff. “Less is more” is especially true when it comes to staging your home for sale.
As summer comes to a close, take the time to do a little simplifying and reducing. Getting rid of extra stuff is not as hard as it seems — in fact, there are plenty of places that would love to have it and will give you money for it! And when you properly dispose, recycle, or donate your unwanted items, you help keep the Earth a little greener for everyone.
Here is our three-step process for finding good homes for your extra “stuff”:
- First, grab three large plastic bins and two trash bags.
- Label the bins and bags as follows:
- Go through the room and ask yourself these three critical questions:
- Do I love this item?
- Do I use this item?
- Does this item fit the style or vision I am trying to create?
If the item does not meet at least TWO of those qualifications, place it in its most appropriate bin.
Store. For those items that you “only love” or “only use annually,” consider storing them. If you’re finding quite a few items in your storage bin, don’t worry! It’s okay to simply store those items to unpack later.
Sell. Craigslist.com, eBay, Facebook, NextDoor, and consignment stores are a great way to sell your more valuable items. Online options generally require far less time and energy than a garage sale. For more valuable furniture and home goods or boutique quality clothing, consider a consignment shop. The Charity Guild of Catholic Women has a fantastic shop in downtown Houston that resells your upscale goods. You’ll make money, and they’ll keep a small portion of the sale for charities that help provide food, education, healthcare, and housing to children in need. Learn more about their consignment process here or call (713) 529-0995.
Donate. Consider simply giving other items to those who need it. List items you don’t want as “free” on Craigslist and Freecycle, and someone will pick it up at your house shortly. You can also donate to the following organizations in or near Katy, TX (some even offer pick up services for large items, such as furniture and appliances):
- Fort Bend County Women’s Center (281) 344-5750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- PennyWise 281-344-5770 or email@example.com
- Katy Christian Ministries (KCM) 281-391-7400 or http://ktcm.org
- Purple Heart (713) 685-5400 or http://donatestuff.com/charity/purple-heart/
- Salvation Army http://satruck.org
- Goodwill Industries http://www.goodwill.org/donate-and-shop/donate-stuff/
Recycle. Don’t trash old electronic equipment! These devices often contain valuable and rare metals, as well as chemicals that can be harmful to you and the environment. Electronics should never be thrown in the trash or burned. For old TVs, computers, refrigerators or large appliances, make sure to dispose of them properly by calling your city to see where each piece is best recycled and handled. Best Buy also offers free electronics recycling.
If you’re getting ready to put your home on the market, we can’t overstate how important it is to simplify and reduce so that potential buyers can see all the beauty your home has to offer! If you need help getting started, give the professionals at Three Bears Home Staging a call at (832) 377-0785 or fill out our contact form here.