Some of the organizing strategies that seem to go in one ear and out the other, but here are a few tips to help get you organized and may save some cash while your removing some clutter. I practice these strategies once a month and it help enormously.
The easy way to remember it is STRUMF
1 SELL IT! This is always the best cash producer. All it takes is a craigslist or ebay account, a paypal account, and perhaps a camera. The "stuff" I have stored, taking up space because I think its too valuable to toss. Sometimes it takes a special consignment shop or a boutique type of web store that will buy your stuff, say like collectibles; but invest some time into finding the venues. Sometimes it could be as easy as posting a sign in your front lawn-like having a yard sale. But once a month I make a concerted effort to sell SOMETHING. This might free up storage, closet or drawer space and put some cash in your pocket.
2 TOSS IT! If you're not going to use it or fix it for using at a later time, call your charity, and arrange for pick-up. If it can't be salvaged, and you have had it stored in the garage or shed with intentions of fixing it, and its been more than two years, get rid of it. If you did without it this long, you will do without it now and forever. There are some exceptions-if items are of sentimental or seasonal value. Obviously, if it was a mild winter, you might want to hang onto that snowblower for a few more years and wait to check to see if global warming is totally making this machine obsolete. But sure- first "toss it" to a charitable organization, you might just be helping someone else less fortunate while you take the tax credit.
3 RECYCLE IT! What to do with gadgets that you should really keep out of the landfill! Just Google it! I found my best ideas to recycle coat hangers, dish drainers, potato chip cans, and even soda tabs by just googling it and choosing an idea. We are talking about turning even the old wheel barrow into a planter or a beer or soda cooler for parties, reupholstering the patio furniture, or better yet the dinette, using washing machine drums to build bonfire pits. I have even figured out how to turn an old pair of jeans into a chic denim beach bag with a sewing lesson, and some bling. Keep from reaching into that wallet on artsy craft ideas for decorating, gardening, and parties instead of running to the department store or local Target. Save the planet, and a couple bucks, and maybe even learn a new skill.
4 USE IT! Go to the storage cabinet- you know the one-and become familiar with the stuff thats in there. Maybe some craft supplies like crepe paper, maybe some canning jars, maybe last years left-over seed packets, a rolling pin, a new set of sheets, an old CD that you haven't played in years. Get these things out and use them. You spent good money on it, so use it. If you find Halloween decorations that you haven't used in years, vow to use it one last time. Go immediately to your phone and make an appointment with those decorations. If you saved them this long, you might as well use them one last time before you toss them. This way you get the ultimate benefit for the money you spent. Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard--and when she finds the cupboard bare, that's a great thing. Because there is nothing more wasteful than picking up a can of chicken broth while its on sale; but if it just sits on the shelf, its not doing you any good.
5 MAKE IT! Learn a skill! Paint it. Cook it! Curl it! Sew it! Take an art lesson. Build a garden. Glue it! Nail It! Do something handcrafted. This complements the "recycle it" and "use it", and "fix it" segments of this lesson because if you have stuff to "unclutter", you have to gain a skill sometimes to get organized. And if you are saving a buck or two on ridding yourself of junk laying around, then you can afford to gain a lesson or create a skill to help you get that accomplished. However, when I explain "make it" - for me that is a step up from fixing something, or recycling something. So even though I use a sewing machine to create those recycled beach bags, or I might also use the sewing machine to re-hem a dress. But actually starting from scratch with a pattern, some pins and fabric, I can beam with pride when I produce my own home-made pot holders or terry robe that i make with my own two little hands!
6 FIX IT! This speaks for itself. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to get organized and find a shed full of "projects" that never get completed. If you can't fix it, hire someone that can or unload it to the recycler, or get rid of it.
I usually put a reminder on a white board on my refrigerator so that when I accomplish these tasks each month, I check it off with a notation of the actual activity that I did. For example, next to the letter T- I will note "plastic bowls"-the ones that I took to a function along with popcorn and pretzels for an event that I signed up to bring some "eats". This way the plastic bowls were used and donated to whomever cleaned up after the function. And they are not creating clutter in my "party" cupboard.Because for me, we have an incredible amount of tupperware, storage bowls, and the like and it was starting to feel a bit overcrowded.
One last thought when trying to keep your home organized- always, always return things you borrow. It saves money to borrow, however, if you abuse the privilege, you will stop saving money if you continue to lose other people's things because you lost them in your clutter.