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  • An Important Lesson

    “Throwers” relish clearing out and will empty a house quickly; “keepers” want to preserve special things as well as memories, and will linger over the process. People who balance these attributes have come to the realization that the most valuable thing in a house is the life that has been lived there. Read more about how “keepers” and “throwers” work together to downsize and declutter.
  • Press for our Book

    “…a downsizing bible” Oregon Home
    "...some items have special sentimental meaning... Huffington Post
    "clearing out the clutter...a wonderful gift to your family..."USA Today
    "sharing tips for getting the job done..."PBS’s Next Avenue
    "Downsizing: What to do with all that stuff?" Forbes
    “…discussions [help] avert misunderstandings…” The New York Times
    “…creative ways…of maintaining peace while dividing the family heirlooms” BloombergBusinessweek
    “practical suggestions for sorting through a lifetime of items…” The Washington Times
    “…about memories, feelings and people…” Chicago Tribune
    “tips on preserving relations and memories while sorting clutter...” The Salt Lake Tribune
    "lessons from two who have 'been there, done that'..."Your Organizing Business
    “…a useful resource...” Senior Living Institute
    “…help is on the way…” Illinois Public Media
    …the only book mentioned in the Comprehensive Checklist for Downsizing a Home Organize and Downsize

  • On Our Bookshelf

    Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home by Linda Hetzer and Janet Hulstrand
    Buried in Treasures by David F. Tolin, Randy O. Frost, and Gail Steketee
    Caring for Your Family Treasures by Jane S. Long and Richard W. Long
    Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern
    Organizing Plain and Simple by Donna Smallin
    Sell, Keep, or Toss? How to Downsize a Home... by Harry L. Rinker
    Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate? by Marlene S. Strum

  • Our Favorite Blogs

Give Your Stuff Away

When I came across Never Liked It Anyway, a site where the recently divorced as well as runaway brides can sell their wedding items, giving once loved things a second chance, my first thought was that I would like to start a site called always-liked-it-but-have-to-get-rid-of-it-and-want-to-find-it-a-good-home-where-it-will-be-appreciated-dot-com because most of the stuff I struggle with are things that have meaning for me, or at least whose meaning is something I would like to share with others.

After giving it some thought, I will probably not be creating that website – at least not anyway soon – so what can I do, what can all of us do?

Give your stuff away.

Saturday May 12 is Give Your Stuff Away Day

Mike Morone has created what he hopes will be the largest recycling event where you can put your stuff out on the curb for others to take. You can join in with people around the nation to make this the day you clean out the closet, junk drawer, basement, or garage and put the items out on the curb.

Donate for good.

Check out the AARP Recycling Guide where you can learn about organizations that recycle everything from batteries to blue jeans or Parade Magazine’s Places That Help Your Clutter Do Good for places that will put your stuff to good use.

Don’t buy gifts.

That may sound extreme but you can let your loved ones know that you are decluttering and suggest alternative gifts like a massage, dinner out, or theater tickets. As Jane Brody suggests in “Making Progress Against Clutter” you can even ask them for services like helping you box up clothes or books to give away.

Or give to a charity or nonprofit organization as a gift. Shift My Gift helps you set up a page where friends can donate to your favorite charity in your honor.

Tell your stories.

It’s been shown that the more we share the stories about our stuff, the easier it is to let the stuff go.

At the recent PEN World Voices Festival, author Margaret Atwood said she was once asked by a moderator “Why write?” Atwood said that the real question is “Why tell stories?” And her answer is “Because we are human.”

Whether we are a recent bride selling the wedding dress, a participant in Give Your Stuff Away Day, or someone donating in place of gifting, we are all human beings telling our stories – and helping to keep our stuff out of the landfill.

≈Linda Hetzer is an editor and author of books on home design, crafts, and foodand coauthor of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home

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2 Responses

  1. The Mail Carriers Food drive is Saturday, May 12, so maybe the pantry could be pared down a bit and the excess given to the hungry. It strikes me as a perfect way to celebrate the day.

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