Thursday, March 11, 2010

Recycle that Clutter Please

One of the first things I tell any of my clients when preparing to sell their homes is that they need to declutter. We try to see the house through the eyes of a potential buyer, and if they can't see the features of the home through all the stuff...well, we have a problem.

So what do we do with all that stuff? If you're like me, I'll bet there are things that you don't even want anymore, really. You're just too busy to sort through and find new homes for those odds & ends. Plus, they may be perfectly good, and no one likes to waste or throw away perfectly good things. (Ask Grandma, who grew up in the depression - she saves EVERYTHING. "You never know when someone might need it.")

Turns out a lot of people could use your stuff. There are so many charities right around you that will happily take household goods & clothing off your hands, libraries that will accept your book donations for their annual book sale or library bookstore. There are consignment shops that would love to try to sell your unwanted purses, lamps, etc. You already know about donating to Goodwill, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, but what about the other stuff?

The Hartford Courant ran an article in last weekend's Home & Real Estate section (I told you I read the Sunday paper) that addressed where to donate or recycle unwanted items that I thought you might find helpful.,0,1206157.story

Another article from presented an A-Z type guide or refresher course on what can be recycled.

Do you have something you just have no idea what to do with? We do. It's this creepy picture we found in our attic. For years we toyed with the idea of donating it to the historical society, but never did. Then, a few weeks ago I was looking through Grandma's old photo albums and lo and behold there was the same photo - hanging in her cousin's house in Sweden. Turns out it is my husband's Swedish great-great grandparents. Still don't know what to do with the creepy picture though, so it sits dusty in my attic. Doesn't that lady look angry? I heard she hated clutter too. (Just kidding. Grandma doesn't even remember her name.)

Whether you're getting ready to sell or not, decluttering is good for you. For most of my clients, once it's done, I hear them say they wish they'd done it sooner, and how much bigger their homes feel. If you're a believer in Feng Shui there are added benefits of energy flow, which will affect different areas of your life. For instance, I've always found that if I clean my front porch my business picks up. Coincidence? Perhaps, but it's a win-win every time.

Happy Spring Cleaning!


Carl Guild said...

Have you checked out ? It's a yahoo group where you can post things you want to give away for free so someone else can use it. The purpose is to keep items out of landfills. It's pretty cool!

The GREEN Connecticut Realtor said...

Yes! is a great spot. Thanks for mentioning it, Carl!