7 toy storage solutions that will save your sanity

Playing

Whether through a few too many well-meaning gifters or by your own hand, you may have reached a point where there are too many toys and something needs to be done. There are several benefits to downsizing and better storing your children’s toys, from encouraging creativity to simplifying your life. If this sounds good to you, here are some tried-and-true dos and don’ts to get you started.

DO:

Rotate toys

Consider packing away toys that aren’t played with as much. Every few weeks, make a point to rotate them back in and pack away another few toys. Make sure when you do this that you are involving your child in these decisions. According to Dr. Kim John Payne, “An avalanche of toys invites emotional disconnect and a sense of overwhelm.” Playful Learning actually has this down to a science, spinning off a ton of reasons you’re going to love it, including fewer sibling fights, easier cleanup, and deeper engagement with the toys that remain.

If you’re in need of storage for toys in rotation, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® provides a variety of boxes ranging in size to fit any toy you’ve got!

Get crafty

Making toy storage into a DIY project has the added benefit of giving you a chance to get crafty. If you enjoy that sort of thing, this can be a fun activity you can even get the kids involved in. Bianca over at Cute DIY Projects shares more than 30 of her favorite toys storage ideas for crafty moms, including arty wooden crates, a toy box on wheels, and toy sacks for quick picking up on-the-go.

Upcycle household items

Repurpose used items around the home instead of throwing them away. Not only will this help get your toy situation in order, it’s good for the environment and saves you money. Common items to consider include planters, coffee tins, baby wipe containers, paint cans, and mason jars. Slap on some paint or fancy paper and you’ve got custom-made home storage without spending a bundle.

Get smart about space

Ottomans with hollowed out insides for storage are your best friend. Not only can they enhance the decorative appeal of the home, you also are maximizing your space. Using hanging storage is another way to maximize limited space. Combine your crafty and upcycling skills to deliver a triple threat of hanging toy storage that’s cute, crafty, and green!

 

DON’T:

Buy containers without planning

Before heading out and stocking up on containers, take inventory of what needs to be contained. For example, is it a small-toy situation that could use a sack? Are there too many stuffed animals, something a stuffed animal hammock could solve? Making a list and customizing your storage solutions will not just save you money, it will save you the insanity of having a bunch of unused containers floating around adding to the clutter.

Take a one-size-fits-all approach

Different containers serve different purposes. It’s a common mistake to buy a bunch of storage containers that are all the same size and use them for everything. Instead, try to diversify. Some popular examples of toy storage types include steel trunks and storage baskets. Wall organizers, hanging baskets, under-the-bed storage, and caddies also are popular choices.

Forget your audience

While organization is great, don’t forget your audience! When plotting your toy storage solutions, ensure the toys you want your children to access can be safely and easily accessed. In addition to considering physical constraints, think of ways to make it fun so that your kids will want to play along. This could be in the form of a storage crate or sack custom to each kid, or a chalkboard toy box they’ll want to use again and again!

 

Content developed in association with The Parham Group and Noah’s Ark Self Storage.

Rock the block with your next garage sale

Written by Jessy Howe

Garage sale shopper

Garage sale season is upon us! In an effort to de-clutter your home of items you no longer need while making some extra spending money, we’ve gathered our top tips to throwing a rocking sale!

Choose the date

Many communities have “neighborhood sales.” If your area does this, take advantage! Traffic will be busier than normal and those who are out are ready to find your treasures. Have your sale over the course of two days, Friday and Saturday typically have the best results, and be ready for customers early. 8 a.m. is usually a great time to start.

Pricing

We recommend pricing everything you intend to sell. With people making a mess of your tables all day, you’ll be thankful each item is tagged. Pick up sticker price tags from your local dollar store, they usually have a selection of blank or pre-printed price stickers to choose from. Masking tape is a great price tag alternative. Go with “easy-to-pay-for” prices. What I mean by this is tag your items at .50 cents, $1, $5, and so on. Not .30 cents or $1.70. Lastly, price to sell! This is something my mom has always said when it comes to yard sales. You will not get $15 for your worn jeans, even if they are in good condition.

Make it a family affair

Ask your family and friends if they’d like to get in on the fun! Chances are they’ve accumulated some junk as well. Because multi-family sales are larger, they are more appealing to those driving by and provide incentive to stop. Keep items separated when selling by putting that family member’s initial on the price tag. Keep a notepad at your cash table with columns for each seller to jot down who has made what.

Prepare for the weather

Unless you are in a garage or barn, set up a tent or canopy if possible. You’ll have a shady area to cool down on a hot day and a place to move your items if it rains. Cover your tables with tarps overnight to avoid the trouble of taking your set up down just to put it back together the next morning.

Set-up matters

Trust me when I say that appearance does matter. People are more willing to stop when they see you have items nicely set out. Put your children’s toys in one area, books and movies in another, fold men’s clothes on one table and women’s clothes on another, you get the idea. An organized sale makes it easier to look through, and buy!

Garage sale set-up

Let people know!

Post to Facebook on community garage sale pages in your area, or perhaps your town’s Facebook page shares these type of updates. Purchase an ad in your local paper- normally no more than $10- and include when, where, and a brief list of items your selling. Descriptions can be as simple as “women’s clothes, baby clothes and toys, antiques, furniture, tools.” If you choose to have a multi-family sale, be sure to mention this. Most importantly, put signs out near busy intersections and at the end of your street to help direct people. Use large letters and stick with simple wording such as “Garage Sale” followed by your address and directional arrow.

Include your kids

If you have children they can easily be part of the weekend. Bake cookies the night before and set out a cooler of bottled water for them to sell, or set up a lemonade stand. They’ll love having their own job and will be occupied throughout the sale.

Donate what’s left

Pack up the items you are left with at the end of the weekend and donate them to a shelter or organization in your community. If you are in need of cardboard boxes for your donation items, visit your local TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® to choose from a variety of sizes.

Do you have any garage sale tips to live by? We’d love to hear them! Like us on Facebook for more helpful tips and updates. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward!

A clean closet makes for a happy home

Written by Jessy Howe

Tips to an organized closet!

Decluttering your closet can be quite the task and it’s definitely not the most fun weekend activity. Often times there never seems to be enough room and the mess always works its way in, despite our best efforts to find a place for everything. Through a mixture of personal trial and error and Pinterest inspiration, we’ve gathered some of the best ideas on mastering the challenge of a clean, organized closet you’ll never want to leave!

Clear out your clothes

The best way to begin tackling your closet reorganization and gain additional room is to clear out clothes. Begin by trying on everything! Yes, everything.

Keep the item if: you love it, you wear it often, it is flattering, or if it has sentimental value.

Throw the item away if: it is damaged beyond repair. If it has a minor blemish such as a missing button, this is a quick fix. If it has a rip or permanent stain, it goes in the garbage.

Donate the item if: it is in good condition, you no longer wear it, it no longer fits, or if you just don’t need it.

If you’re like me and can find a “good” reason to keep everything or there is just an item you’re feeling a bit indecisive about, put it in a bag. In three months, revisit the bag and items inside and reevaluate your decision to keep, donate, or toss out.

Go by season

Out with the cold, in with the warm. Store away your bulky sweaters, boots, and scarves in a box (or suit case!) during the spring and summer months. When the weather begins to cool down again, clear your closet of shorts, swim suits, and sandals and replace them with your cold weather items. If you’re in need of a storage box for an inexpensive price, we carry a wide variety, including wardrobe boxes!

Keep the floor neat

Floor space is commonly overlooked as an area for organization. Consider investing in a shoe rack to neatly place shoes or line up baskets or bins to store your swim suits, ties, or hats while keeping them out of sight.

Use the door to your advantage

Display accessory items by purchasing over the door hooks to hang belts, ties, bags, and scarves. Over the door jewelry organizers and shoe bins can also be a huge help, especially since shoe organizers can store almost anything!

Organize in a way that makes sense

There is no right or wrong way to organize your closet as long as it is done in a way that makes sense to you. But rest assured, once you find your organization method, getting ready each morning becomes so much easier. Some of the most common ways to organize are arranging by color, sleeve length, or by type of item. For example hanging all button-up shirts, followed by all t-shirts, followed by all sweaters and so on. Another idea is to categorize sections such as work clothes, dress clothes, casual clothes, and workout clothes.

Organized and clean closet

Once you’ve found a process that works for you, hold yourself to it! This might be the most important tip in mastering closet organization. Revisit the status of your closet every few months so your hard work doesn’t go to waste.

If you have any closet organization tips we’d love to hear them! For more closet inspiration and tips, visit our Pinterest board or like us on Facebook. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward!

Refreshing your home in preparation for spring

Written by Jessy Howe

It’s nearly time to enjoy the long-awaited spring weather once again! With the warm sunshine and flowers beginning to bud, there is nothing worse than coming back inside to space that feels like it could use freshening up! Below is a checklist of spring cleaning to-dos in each room of your home, but before we get to that, here are a few simple tips to help this process run smoothly.

  • Do a quick inventory check of your cleaning supplies before beginning your spring cleaning. If you find you’re out of paper-towels or running low on Windex, make a list and head to the store.
  • Consider investing in a cleaning caddy. These are inexpensive and can be found at most stores. They are convenient not only for carrying supplies through the house while you clean, but also to provide an organized storage place for your items.
  • I find it is easiest to work on one room at a time. Jumping around the house from room to room allows for distraction, tasks not being completed, and results in spending much more time cleaning then necessary.
  • Due to the amount of deep cleaning that is done during the “spring cleaning cleanse”, remember it is okay if not everything is completed at once. Spread your tasks out between two days to avoid feeling overwhelmed or simply take breaks between rooms.
  • During this time, I also gather unused items and put them in either a donation bin, or storage spot for garage sale items come summer. Since I am already going room to room deep cleaning, it is easy to lump this into my spring cleaning routine.

Now on to the list. As mentioned, I find it most efficient to clean one room at a time so naturally tasks are separated in this fashion. Of course depending on where you live or if you reside in a house versus an apartment, the list may vary from person to person, but hopefully it will serve as a good starting guide when you begin your spring cleaning!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Spring Cleaning Checklist

If you have any spring cleaning tips we’d love to hear them! For more cleaning tips and tricks, head on over to our Pinterest page or like us on Facebook. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward!

Organizing your not-so organized closet

Written by Nicole Harrison

Closet organization is not many people’s strong suit. Closets are the one place in a home where things get shoved when guests come over, and it’s safe to say items accumulate easily in these hidden corners of the home. If you’re anything like me, you rarely spend time cleaning and organizing your closet because let’s face it, who has time for that? Having a clean closet is beneficial for so many reasons – the number one being our sanity. A well-organized closet helps you come up with the perfect outfit especially on those mornings you’re running short on time.

Here are five foolproof tips to give yourself a clean, stress-free closet.

Color code your clothing. This one is self-explanatory. When you are looking for that one grey shirt you got from your aunt Betty for Christmas and can’t seem to find it anywhere, a color-coded closet is the perfect solution. Not only does color coding make finding clothes easier, but it looks refreshing and put together.

Categorize your clothes. Sort your clothes in different categories. Put blouses, sweaters, cardigans, t-shirts, dress pants, dresses, skirts, button downs and whatever else you have hanging in your closet in their own sections. You will find it extremely helpful to keep your dress and casual clothes in separate locations. Categorizing clothes makeTMATSPRING2013140-2627556146-Os putting outfits together a breeze.

Invest in organizers. Trust me on this one. If you don’t have built-in shelves in your closet, we recommend you invest in some kind of organizer. These are perfect for your shoes, sweaters, pants, and other items you don’t have places for. One of our favorite and most handy organization tips is to take your old moving boxes and cover them with scrapbook paper or fabric and use them as bins for small, miscellaneous items. If space is an issue consider investing in a wardrobe box where you can fit three feet of hanger clothes from your closet in addition to out of season shoes and store in a basement or utility room until the seasons change.

Flip your hangers. Do you have too many clothes? Is it hard for you to get rid of the clothes you don’t wear? After you have organized, color coded, or categorized your closet, you can start the downsizing process. This trick will help solve your crowded closet problems. Flip all of your hangers backwards for a certain time period (usually three or four months does the trick). After you wear something hang it back up facing the normal direction. At the end of the three or four months, get rid of the clothes whose hangers are still backwards. If you’re still unsure about tossing certain clothes, ask yourself if you would buy it again today.

Clean your closet. Once your closet is sorted and organized, take time to deep clean it. Just because it looks nice doesn’t mean it’s clean. Vacuum or mop the bottom of your closet and take a rag and wipe down the walls. Most likely you will find dust bunnies on the bottom of your closet. Spending time deep cleaning your closet will add that extra sparkle as a finishing touch.

These simple steps should be a helpful guide to get your closet in tip-top shape in no time. If anything, hopefully this post inspired and motivated you to go through your closets and get organized. This winter has consisted of brutal temperatures and icy roads, organizing your closets could be the perfect cure to your cabin fever!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

Preparing to downsize using these helpful tips

Written by Nicole Harrison

You’ve decided to downsize. After finding the perfect place and closing on your new home, oftentimes the panic starts to set in. Thoughts start racing through your mind as you lay awake at night wondering what you’re going to do with all your stuff. You have so many treasured items you’ve been holding on to for years, now you’re asking yourself “keep it or trash it?”

As you start the downsizing process, it is recommended you make a concerted effort to work on one room at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed. As you begin assessing and sorting through your household items, keep three categories in mind: save, donate, or throw away.

Questions to ask youOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERArself

We have created a few questions to help make your downsizing plans go as smoothly as possible. When sorting through items stored in various areas of your home, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I love it? Have I used/worn it in the last six months?
  • Does it have sentimental value?
  • Am I keeping it out of obligation or expectation?
  • Is it broken? If yes, is it fixable?
  • Do I own more than one of these?

Asking yourself these simple questions should give you some guidelines when going through your items. How you answer these questions will give you a more definite idea as to whether you want to save, donate, or throw away items. Remember, if you find yourself keeping something “just in case,” it’s a good indication you should donate it or put it in storage.

Measure your furniture

In addition to sorting through smaller items, you need to reassess the “big” stuff. Measure your furniture and large decorative pieces such as sculptures, paintings, etc. Get the measurements of your new rooms to be sure your current furniture will fit. Before moving into your new home, create a mock layout of each room. Use the furniture and room dimensions to ensure your large items will fit. Creating a mock layout is a terrific way to evaluate your furniture and to decide if you will keep it or buy new.  Two Men and a Truck

If you find yourself getting rid of numerous household items, consider hosting a yard sale! Getting extra cash from your old stuff is always nice! Yard sales are great incentives for household owners to part with more items.

Storing your items

Once you have downsized and completed your move, you may be challenged with a lack of storage space in your new home. Take advantage of the nooks and crannies your home may have. These hidden spaces, such as under a staircase or odd-sized closets, can be transformed into storage spaces. Both are great places to build shelving units. Shelves are one of the best ways to store a variety of items, and you can even add decorative bins to shelving units to group together smaller items that are hard to store — while dressing the shelf up! Another great place to utilize for extra storage is under your bed. Invest in long, skinny containers that you can slide under your bed, as this storage spot is perfect for those “someday” items. Finally, invest in an ottoman that has a removable top where you can store blankets or other household items. Ottomans are a terrific asset that have multiple uses.

Oftentimes, downsizing creates a headache and a whole lot of stress no one wants to add to their daily lives. With these pointers, we are hoping it will help make your downsizing process go as smoothly as possible.

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® we realize moving needs are unique for every customer, so we’re ready to customize a move to ensure the best moving experience. Our uniformed movers and drivers participate in extensive training; they are permanent employees and undergo background checks and drug testing. They are committed to exceeding expectations and ensuring your move is completed efficiently to keep your moving costs affordable.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For additional tips and information on moving or packing services, subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

Home Staging and the Laws of Buyer Attraction

Guest Blog Post by Jennie Norris, ASPM®, IAHSP-Premier®, ASP-SRS®, ASP-REO®
Owner, Sensational Home Staging – Serving the Greater Denver Region

home soldThe spring market is in full swing around the country as homeowners take the plunge and decide to sell.  It is important to make the very best first impression for buyers and that means staging your home before selling. Barb Schwarz, creator of Home Staging® coined a phrase used by many in the industry, “The way you live in your home and the way we market and sell your house are two different things.” What that means is there is nothing “wrong” with how you choose to live in your home. However, selling a house requires a shift in mindset because you are looking to attract a buyer.

Staging is the process of preparing a house for sale so it sells in the quickest time and at the best price. It is an up-front investment in time and dollars to ensure you maximize the rate of return on the sale of your house.

Think about a time you went to a job interview or on a date. Did you shower, dress up nicely, and present yourself well to the person you were meeting? Hopefully you answered, “yes.” Selling a house is no different. Buyers preview your potential property online and I call that the interview. When they come in person to see the house – it’s a date. In both instances the house has to look its best. If the photos are not good, then there is no date set to see the house in person which means no offer. One leads to the other and both are essential in getting you the best price for your house.  It’s the laws of attraction at work.

You might be in a “hot market” where houses are selling quickly, yet staging will help you get the very best price and in some markets results in competing offers for the property because it looks so good. In a traditional market, statistics show that staging helps houses sell 2-3 times faster and anywhere from 5-20% MORE than the un-staged competition. Your ASP® or ASPM® Accredited Stager can explain the difference between “Staged List Price” and “List Price” which can mean more money in the sale of your house, as well as show you the statistics that support staging.

We live in our homes and sell a house or product. Staging is about preparing the house for the unknown buyer and that is why we have to put things away that are personal to us or might be distracting to buyers. All you know about a prospective buyer for your house is  they have money to invest in a property and are searching in your area. You don’t know their age, faith, race, background, politics, education, what they do for work, or family status. In order for your house to attract all buyers, you need to remove any of the above items from your home and turn it into a house that all buyers can appreciate.

Staging also helps protect the seller. By removing things that are too personal such as family photos, financial information, and health issue items such as prescriptions, you are protecting your family from potential predators online and in person. Even something as generic as kitchen knives in a butcher block need to be removed because they are weapons. In fact any weapons in the house need to be removed and/or secured before any buyers enter the house. It is both a safety and liability issue.

I have seen my fair share of interesting things in homes. Things we are really proud of or a unique item we installed in our home may not have the same appeal to buyers and should be removed so it does not become the only thing someone remembers about a house. For example, I once staged a house where there was a very large oil painting in the formal dining room of a nude woman reclining on a chaise. Turns out the woman in the painting was the owner. I had to tactfully get her to remove that painting so I used techniques learned in my training to do this without hurting her feelings. The fact is the painting was special to her, but buyers don’t want to see a naked woman painting in the house. It’s too personal and too distracting. The house would be memorable for the wrong reason.

Here are some tips you can use to help get your house ready to sell:

Clean your house – top to bottom, inside and out. A clean house tells a buyer you take care of your home and allows them to feel better about the purchase. If you don’t have time to do the really deep cleaning in bathrooms and your kitchen, hire someone to help you. It will be well worth the investment.

Clutter-Free – removing all the excess from corners, counters, and rooms is key. You are packing – just pack up early so when you get that offer, you are already well on your way to being ready to move. Think about the things you have now and decide if you really want to pay to move them – and then purge and donate things you no longer want or need.

Color – we paint our walls custom colors we like but have to understand they may not appeal to buyers. Paint any bold-colored walls to a nice, warm tone neutral.  If you love that color, you get to paint it in your new home. Remember we are selling SPACE so open up those rooms visually by putting warm tone neutral paint on the walls.  You can add color with artwork, accessories, accent pillows, and bedding. Do add color to the exterior of your house with fresh annuals that are cheerful and inviting.

Room Arrangement – Stand at the entry of your rooms and ask yourself if there is too much furniture.  If the room feels crowded or access pathways to sliding glass doors or other areas of the house are blocked, it is a good idea to remove some items. Furniture should be arranged to highlight a focal point or feature of the house. This is where having a professional ASP® Stager come and help you is key. Being able to visualize the best way to arrange a space is important and when we are moving, we are stressed. Plus we are used to how our home looks and it is hard to imagine it another way.

Pets – What do we do with our fur babies when the house is for sale? Buyers may have positive or negative experiences with pets so you need to minimize the evidence of pets for photos and showings. Buyers may assume a pet soiled the carpet or damaged the home if there is evidence of activity. Leaving a large dog that barks in the backyard or garage is not a good strategy. Taking them with you, putting them in a day-kennel, or having family members help out is a good plan. Pets that are strictly indoor pets need to have a discreet area to do their business that are kept very clean, and if they are housed in a cage or terrarium, it should be clean, covered, and located in a discreet part of a bedroom. Make sure pet hair is cleaned up before any showings, and take time to remove any dog “bombs” from the back yard so buyers don’t track that inside.

Personal Items – As you prepare your house for sale, remove anything of value. If you leave things out on display they are at risk because a buyer could handle them, accidentally break the item, or even steal it. Jewelry should not be left out nor should prescription medications. I recommend sellers take those things with them when there are showings. Just stuffing these things in a drawer is not a good idea because buyers may snoop.

Get Help – The last recommendation I have is for you to get an objective, third party opinion on what your house needs to prepare it for sale. Find an Accredited Staging Professional® (ASP®) Stager in your area and have them prepare a Staging Consultation which is a documented detailed summary of what you need to do room by room, inside and outside. On average a consultation investment can range between $125-$375 depending on where you live. If your house is vacant, an ASP® Stager will preview your house and provide a staging estimate to stage the key rooms in the house.

To find a qualified, trained, Accredited Staging Professional go to www.Stagedhomes.com and click on the ASP Directory Link.

About the Author:
Jennie NorrisJennie Norris, ASPM®, IAHSP-Premier®, ASP-SRS®, ASP-REO® is the owner of Sensational Home Staging, serving the greater Denver region. Since 2002 she has Staged nearly 3,000 homes and over $1 Billion in property values. She is a Board Member of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals® (IAHSP®) and is the President of the local Denver IAHSP® Chapter. Jennie is also a Certified ASP® Course Trainer with Stagedhomes.com and since 2005 has helped educated thousands of Realtors and Stagers. Staging is her passion and she enjoys sharing the value and benefits of Staging with Realtors and Sellers. Jennie is a marketing expert, author, blogger, mother to four teenagers and wife of 26 years.

 

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

7 Benefits of Spring Cleaning

By Claire Schneider

Are you getting tired of the winter blues? Well it’s finally getting to be that time again for the ritual of spring cleaning; that is if Mother Nature ever decides to cooperate. Spring cleaning is a tradition that allows us to freshen up our homes and get a head start on the seasons of spring and summer so we can enjoy them with our friends and family. Here is more information on the ritual’s history, benefits and a checklist for spring cleaning:

Spring Cleaning Infographic

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

Reject These Common Reasons for Keeping Clutter

Janine Adams
Janine Adams is the founder of Peace of Mind Organizing®

Written by guest blogger Janine Adams

As a professional organizer, I often help guide clients’ decisions about whether or not to keep or part with items. For some people, letting go is really tough. When they have more stuff than they can store, it can lead to some interesting conversations about why they want to hang on to things.

There are three common reasons I hear for wanting to keep items that are no longer used or loved. these reasons don’t hold water with me. If you hear yourself saying any of these things about items you don’t use or love, I encourage you to think twice about keeping them.

 1. I paid a lot for that! You know what? You may have paid a lot, but the money’s gone. And the only way you might get any of it back is to sell the item or donate it and take a tax deduction. What’s more, there are hidden costs to keeping it: you probably beat yourself up when you see it, so there’s an emotional cost. If you trip over it, you could hurt yourself and pay a physical and monetary price. And if you pay to store it just because you paid a lot for it, things are starting to get ridiculous.

2.  I might need it some day. You’re right, you might. But then again you might not. And if you can’t find it when you need it, then keeping it doesn’t do you much good. I think we all live in fear of discarding something and then discovering that we need it. It makes us feel stupid. But realistically, what’s the worse-case scenario? You get another one. In my opinion, if you have more stuff than you can store, the actual benefit of parting with an item you don’t need now (i.e. creating space) outweighs the potential benefit of having it on hand should you ever need it.

3. It was a gift. Gifts are tough. You hate to disappoint the gift giver by getting rid of something given in love. But, again, if you have more stuff than you can store, wouldn’t the gift giver prefer that you let it go? Regift it. Donate it. Just get it into the hands of someone who will actually use or love it. It gets even more tricky when the gift giver has passed away. But that unloved and unused gift won’t bring them back. Perhaps you have a mutual friend or family member who would treasure that item. If so, pass it along. It boils down to this: Just because someone gave you something doesn’t mean you have to hold on to it forever.

When you’re trying to conquer clutter, try not to fall into the trap of these excuses for keeping stuff you really don’t need. Once you let the excess go, I bet you’ll feel liberated.

Janine Adams is a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, Missouri, and the founder of Peace of Mind Organizing®. She helps clients create order, harmony and, yes, peace of mind, by helping them declutter and create new systems and routines. The co-creator of Declutter Happy Hour, she is a blogger for Rubbermaid and has appeared on both A&E’s Hoarders and TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive documentary TV series.