Get rid of extra stuff!
Here's a quick list of my favorite items to get rid of when I help people organize or stage their homes.
1. Dead plants (or silk plants that look dead)
2. Old candles that are faded, crooked, or melted.
3. Old magazines and newspapers - please recycle.
4. Clothes that no longer fit - please donate
5. Items that belong to friends or relatives - return them to their rightful owners - you're not a storage facility.
6. Craft projects that you know you'll never finish - you're a different person than you used to be - donate supplies to a local group who can use them.
7. CD/DVDs you're no longer using - the local VA center could probably use them.
8. Baby toys and supplies your children have outgrown. This one is hard for me because I love baby stuff (but my kids are 19, 25, and 29). Save a few select things and give the rest away. There are babies and mommies who need those things - the Crisis Pregnancy Center would be a good place to donate them.
9. Food you won't eat. I recently staged a kitchen for a client. He was an elderly gentleman who had canned food that was bulging and rusting in the cabinet. I couldn't get that food into the dumpster fast enough. I was frightened for his safety. Donate over purchased food to the Food Bank and toss anything that is expired.
10. Old make-up. If you can't remember when you bought it - toss it. The chemicals change over time and could be harmful to your skin.
If you get into the habit of throwing out/recycling regularly then you'll never be overwhelmed with junk. If you just toss out 10 things a week you 'll be surprised how freeing it can be.