Sunday, April 22, 2012

Implementing the One Year Attic Rule

STEP 3: Get rid of everything that has been in your attic and hasn't been used for more than a year. When taking this step, don't use these common excuses (I tried them all...) :
  •  But (insert friend or relative's name here) gave it to me.
  •  But it belonged to (insert friend or relative's name here).
  •  But I paid a fortune for it.
  •  But I think I might be able to use that sometime...for something.
  •  But you can't buy those anywhere anymore.
  •  But I'm saving that for (insert event or situation that will never happen here).
  •  But I'm saving that for (insert name of person who will never really want it here).
  •  But that was mine when I was a kid.
  •  But I'll fit into that again someday.
Here's how to deal with these excuses (none of which are completely without validity, but cause your attic and other spaces in your home to contain an unimaginable amount of clutter):
  • Gifts become the property of the receiver. Your friend or relative would not want you to be burdened by something you don't like, want or need. Give it to someone who can use it.
  • Your grandmother's china all boxed up and never used does not represent her. Keep a few things which really remind you of her and get rid of the rest.
  • It doesn't matter how much you paid for it. If it does not meet your needs now, or your tastes have changed, it needs to go. 
  • No, you'll never use it. I have NEVER really needed something that cost more than a dollar or two and realized that I used to have one, but I disposed of it. Honestly!
  • Sometimes there's a reason you can't buy those anymore. No one likes or uses them anymore.
  • What you're saving it for is theoretical. Junk is for real.
  • The person you are saving it for will never want it.
  • Keep your favorite childhood items (in good shape only) and let the rest go.
  • If you can ever fit into it again, it'll be out of style. It probably already is.
Still having trouble? Try asking yourself these questions:
  • Have I used this since our last move?
  • Would it be worth it to take this with me if we move again?
Make as many of these decisions as you are mentally capable of this time around. If you've made a big dent in it, give yourself a break- you can go another round later. However, if there's not a huge load of stuff waiting to be hauled away, keep going. It'll be worth it. I promise.

Next post- Step 4. 

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