It's pretty easy to get rid of useless clutter, like garage sale purchases you probably should have left in the garage you found them in. What about your collections, the stuff that might have value? Declutter them with honest evaluation.
Once bitten by the decluttering bug, most people have little trouble getting rid of the crap they have piled up on or in their office desk, or the magazines they didn't get around to reading. When it comes to digging into personal collections or memorabilia, however, people can be quite stubborn.
In the following video Marc Sotkin, of the Baby Boomer-centric blog Boomer Alley, urges us to take a good hard look at our collections of things and decide if it's worth having them around:
To help you evaluate your collection, you may want to consider the following questions:
- Is it valuable? Most likely not. Very few collections of things have any real value beyond the value we give to the manufacturers by buying their stuff.
- Am I displaying it respectfully? How you store and display something says a lot about whether or not you truly value it. Cherished things don't usually gather eons of dust in the corner of your musty basement.
- How do I benefit from it? If your aren't getting anything out of your collection whether it's monetary gain or a deep personal satisfaction, it's time to get rid of it.
- Am I keeping it out of guilt? Whether you're keeping it because you'd feel guilty getting rid of relative's things they passed on to you or you feel guilty that you spent your hard earned money on something silly, guilt can keep you holding on to junk for a long, long time.
- What is the collection in the present? Not every "junky" collection starts off life that way. The collection of cassette tapes sitting in your garage were once used and enjoyed and it's fine to acknowledge that once upon a time the things in question had value and purpose in your life and now they don't. Admitting that something is no longer valuable doesn't mean you're saying that it never had value to you. Evaluation your collection in light of what it is now, not what it was once upon a time.
One technique that can help when it comes time to get rid of collections is to photograph the items before getting rid of them. Storing a few pictures of some sentimental items is much easier than storing the bulky items themselves. A few pictures of great grandma's old china are a lot easier to store than three crates of it in the attic. If you've employed some tried and true techniques for helping cull your collections and reclaim your space, let's hear about them in the comments below.