Cleaning Out the Stuff

As a homeowner and a listing agent, I dislike clutter. The more that is removed, the better.

Last fall I spent some time on the perpetual project of organizing and cleaning out our basement. There were four boxes of empty 3-ring binders that had been on their way out for quite some time. All the paper they used to contain was recycled long ago. After removing the labels and other personalizations, it was time to get them out of here.

Empty Binders

It occurred to me that much of the clutter in our house comes from things we bought but no longer use.

The binders are a great example of something our lives have moved on from. When we were in business school we used business cases rather than textbooks, so we had to have shelves full of binders to store all the paper. It was important at one time, but that time has passed. The things we have moved on from have to go.

We have more than just binders that are no longer in use. Much of it I’m ready to part with, but there is still an attachment to other items. Some things have sentimental value. Others are still there because I believe they might come in handy one day.

Cleaning out is a process, and I’ve found that it’s good to evaluate everything regularly.

Cleaning out is especially important for people who are selling their homes. Once the home sells, all of that stuff is coming out of the basement, and attic, and closets, and garage no matter what. Do you need it in your new place? Do you want to pay to move it, especially if it to be shoved back in the attic and never heard from again?

It’s okay to get rid of things. And for sellers, eliminating clutter can help you get a better price for your home.