Harley Hahn's
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What should homeowners know about Throwing Stuff Away?

When a storage area is full, you have no room to move stuff around, and it is difficult to get at the things you want. Thus, your overall goal is to discard enough of your possessions so that all your closets, drawers, cupboards and storage areas are at least 1/3 empty.

I realize that you will have to be ruthless, so here is how to make it easy.

Let us pretend that, exactly one year ago, you put an imaginary red tag on every item that you own. Over the last year, whenever you used an item for the first time, you removed the tag. Now, as you go through a storage area, look at each item in turn and ask yourself, "Does this still have the red tag on it?" If so, throw it out.

See how easy it is?

There is, of course, one exception. It is okay to keep anything of sentimental value indefinitely, as long as the item is not too large. For example, you would never throw away family photos or Baby Lydia's first shoes. However, it is okay to get rid of the car that Junior rebuilt when he was a teenager.

Once you have your home organized, how do you keep everything under control? Just follow this one simple rule:

Whenever you bring anything into the house that has to be stored, you must throw away something else that is at least the same size.

For example, if you have a lot of shirts in your closet, you can bring in a new shirt whenever you want, as long as you throw away an old shirt at the same time.

(Note: This system is not applicable to pets and relatives.)