I work with a client decluttering an area. We end up with a nice pile of items for donation. Perhaps the client is going to continue to work some more after I leave. Great!
I come back two weeks later and the pile is still pretty much there and the client is not real happy looking at it. What happened?
I tend to see several patterns:
I’m not positive about letting go of some of these items – I need to think on it a bit more
I know I should take pictures of all this and then type up an itemized list and then log it in with the charity – I don’t have time for all of this
I know I should donate these items so others can use them but I really don’t have any spare time and now I feel guilty and resentful when I see this pile
This is how I respond to these situations:
Pull out the items you are unsure about and box them up with a label – then stash that box in the back of a closet for 6 months, a year, or whenever you tackle that closet again. Then see how you feel. Meanwhile, donate the rest.
The idea is that you want a charity to have these items. What do you have time to do? I can help you with a quick itemized list and then put them into your car (or mine). The list does not have to be exact, or typed – just a remembrance. You don’t even need the list if you do not care about a tax write off.
Your main concern is that these items go away. Your sanity and time is more important than getting these items to charity. Just let them go.
Once you have made up your mind that you no longer need or love items, they should leave in a timely manner. You can get on the list of some organizations that will call you when they are in your neighborhood and pick up your items. So, have a donation box in a closet and drop items in as soon as you decide you no longer want them.
Then wait for the call and just put the items on the curb. If this is done frequently enough, it is not too difficult to take a picture and write up a list if you do want the tax write off. And bottom line, these are your things. You do have the right to just pitch them.
Jonda S. Beattie Professional Organizer