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Declutter Now

by Jill Santandrea, Broker Manager, EXIT Homestead Realty Professionals

Declutter your living spaces: “Bite your tongue,” you say? I agree. The average person will spend a total of 3,680 hours, or 153 days of their life, searching for misplaced items. Typically, the only time many of us think about decluttering our homes or spaces is when we’re getting ready to list our house or move. Whether you’re moving or just want to save time and space, I have an easy five-bin approach to simplifying your living environment. Applying this approach to reorganizing and discarding items may help you feel less anxious and more in control of the process.

Bin 1: Items that need to be put away. Place items that belong somewhere else in the home in this bin. Eventually, you will put them away; the intention is to put them somewhere while you are clearing the room.

Bin 2: Items to be fixed. Place items that you plan to fix or that need to be washed/cleaned in here, such as toys, dirty clothes or scuffed shoes.

Bin 3: Items to donate. Place items in here that are in good condition, but you no longer need, want or use. Give to friends, family, sell online or donate to local charity.

Bin 4: Items to be recycled. Items made of paper, plastic or glass that you don’t want to keep along with empty drink bottles, food containers and newspapers/magazines.

Bin 5: Items to discard. Place expendable items that you can’t recycle or donate in this bin.

What about sentimental items? Many of us have items we can’t bear to part with because there is a memory or other sentimental feeling attached. Here are a few tips for handling sentimental items.

Decide if it’s worth keeping. If you use or enjoy the item, hang on to it. However, you may not need to retain every piece of artwork your child or grandchild created. It can be helpful to ask a relative or friend when deciding which to keep.

Choose a few items that remind you of a loved one. If you’ve inherited many heirlooms, see if other members of your family would like some too. Donate the rest.

Keep in mind that you can get rid of an item without getting rid of the memory. Take a photo of the item to place in a journal or scrapbook and write why it means so much to you.

Decluttering your home can be a daunting task, so tackle it in stages. When listing your home, remember, less is more. Look at your home through the buyers’ eyes. Just because you think an item is adorable, a buyer might not. Until next week…

Jill Santandrea, Broker Manager, EXIT Homestead Realty Professionals LLC, 1070 E Chestnut Ave, Vineland, NJ 08360; 856-692-EXIT; Cell: 856-362-0967; Direct: 888-856-5455;; E-mail:; Text JillS to 85377 for my mobile business card. Listen to Jill on 99.9FM SNJ Radio Today. Source: 2019 Buffini & Company