When in doubt, throw out all that clutters your home
Even people who set out to be better organized may find themselves getting stuck on clearing out certain items — items that accumulate relentlessly, and usually pointlessly, over the years. Busy parents, downsizing homesellers, crowded apartment dwellers, they all trip over the same junk. The answer: throw that stuff out. CDs and VHS tapes
These audio and video recordings seem to cause endless questions about whether they should be kept for sentimental reasons, disposed of in an environmentally friendly way or donated, or whether they will ever be valuable again. My best advice: If you have no machine on which to play them, get rid of them. The best option is to recycle them in the proper environmental manner. This may mean through a private firm or at the local dump. Electrical cords
Raise your hand if you have a box labelled “miscellaneous electronics/cords.” OK, maybe your box isn’t labelled, but chances are you have a collection of cables, plugs and electrical components somewhere. They’ve no doubt been accumulating for years, and you’re simultaneously scared to throw them away and annoyed that you’re keeping them.
Here’s the rule: If you’ve never located a missing cord or other accessory in your pile, you don’t need any of them. At the very worst, you’ll have to purchase a new cord. Or replace the device, if the cord’s no longer available. Frames and vases
How many of each do you really need? Just because someone gave you flowers for a special occasion or a picture as a gift, you are not required to keep the vase or frame forever. Finding space to store 24 vases is not necessary. If you haven’t used a frame in a few years, is it worth keeping? No. Keep a handful of vases and frames in a variety of sizes and give the rest to someone who can use and enjoy them. Craft supplies
I know craft supplies can be very expensive, which is why you’ve been keeping them, but let them go. Give supplies to a school, an assisted-living facility or a neighbour. You’ll feel instantly lighter. Warranties, product booklets
Many people fastidiously file product information and instruction manuals. But when something goes wrong with your TV, toaster or fridge, you usually call someone to repair it, or realize it’s just time to purchase a new one. Almost all product paperwork is now available online. If you must keep something on paper, list the make, model and serial number of major appliances. That way, you’ll always be able to find the corresponding manual easily online.