Creative Ways to Clear Out Clutter
Do you stash things and never look at them again? Do boxes from your last move more than a decade ago sit unpacked in a storage room? Are the items you’re hanging onto too valuable to donate or sell at a yard sale? Do they carry too much sentimental worth to discard? Do you repeatedly put off decluttering your house because it seems like too much trouble?
If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, you need to consider regifting as a fun opportunity for clearing your home of some clutter. Passing along heirlooms and useful items you no longer need allows you to spread joy while simplifying your life.
Holding onto items you never use fills your living space, attracts dust and bugs, and, as stuff accumulates over time, makes cleaning, organizing and freeing up room nearly impossible. So stop treating the need to clear out your clutter like a job and make it a joyful act of giving.
Make a list of people named as beneficiaries in your will, or just some close friends and relatives, and pick out one heirloom from your stash that each might receive eventually anyway to give them now. In addition to targeting your gift-giving, presenting heirlooms in person helps prevent estate battles between your loved ones.
Jewelry you no longer wear, collectibles you’re tired of cleaning around and fancy shawls and scarves make perfect candidates for passing along to the next generation sooner rather than later. Similarly, if you’ve gotten older and slowed down, golf clubs, tennis rackets, bicycles and that box of yarn you kept for 15 years after giving up knitting are likely to get more use when handed off to younger relatives and friends.
Wrap the items up as gifts and pass them along. Even if you don’t have a will, you can just match up friends and family members with items you own that you would like them to get. Regifting instead of bequeathing gives you the benefit of seeing recipients’ joy – an experience you would otherwise miss.
If you’re not sure who should receive each item you want to regift, or if the items are too dissimilar in value to distribute fairly, invite recipients over for a fun gift-swapping game. Gather the guests and have them take turns picking an unopened gift from a pile or “stealing” an already opened gift from someone else.
Look at regifting as an excellent opportunity to solve your clutter problem while helping others. If you know young adults who are just starting out, think back to what you needed to furnish rooms and fill cupboards when you moved into your first apartment. If anyone aided you back then, sharing your extra furniture and kitchenware today lets you follow their example and pay that generosity forward.
Once you experience the joy of seeing your legacy live on, you’ll find yourself spending more time looking for heirlooms and needed items to regift. Uncluttering your life can be this simple and enjoyable.
-by Shari Coxford