7 Ways to Clear Last Year's Stuff for This Year's Treasures ...

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Clearing out old things to make space for new can be quite a daunting task. Guest contributor Jennifer Gilligan shares her tips on how to effectively do just that!

For those of us who have moved in the last few months, we know what it means to clear out our stuff, and make room for the new and improved. However, once we settle in and relax we tend to forget how to manage our things and they grow into monstrous piles of stuff. With each approaching holiday and the holiday festivities bringing more and more things, you might find yourself losing square footage in your humble abode. Fear not, here are a few ways to – productively – get rid of your old stuff and make room for the new.

1. Donate

If it’s fully functional and not dingy, there’s no reason to just throw it away. Something that you might not need any longer can always help an underprivileged family, shelter, or other friend or family member. Someone will always be able to use it, so why throw it away when you could simply make someone’s day? Check your local charities, scour the web for national advocates, or just Google a cause you’re interested in.

2. Create

Say you have a monumental amount of jars or other once desirable goods. With the advent of Pinterest and other crafty resources on the web, you can turn those things into something a little gift worthy. If you have extra jars lying around, clean them out and make composite candles out of old burned out ones. All you have to do is grab a few wicks from your local craft store and some ribbon. Place the wick at the base of the jar and put the wax inside of the jar once melted. After the jar’s cooled off, tie a ribbon around the neck of the jar and voila! You’ve created a jar candle for the office Christmas party.

3. Sell

If you need a little extra cash for the holidays, jumping on the sellers’ bandwagon is a great way to make up the dividends. Posting your undesirables on a classifieds site or holding a garage sale of sorts is a great way to get rid of the excess stuff and clear out the cobwebs in your wallet. All you need is a little patience and you could be sitting on a pile of new crystal glasses.

4. Friends

Open your doors and have them ransack the place. You know exactly what your friends have been eyeing, and what better way to get rid of a few old relics and boost your appreciation for your friends than to let them have it. You’d be surprised what people would love to take off of your hands, and how much space you could have after all is said and done.

5. Re-Gift

We’ve all had that instance where we’re sitting at our desks or at home wracking our brain with what to do for the Secret Santa activity. We’ve walked through stores, gone online, and contemplated paying your niece or nephew to come up with something cute just so you can give it away. Instead of running yourself ragged trying to find the ideal gift, go through the things you haven’t used in the last few months and ask yourself if they’d be better suited in someone else’s possession. Unlike donating, you might want to look at things that can be used as decoration or are more stationary; more for look and aesthetics than function and purpose. This way you can still donate what you’re not using that has a full-function, yet still get rid of a few pieces of an old style that just might not fit you anymore.

6. Storage

If you need to keep a few things that have been with you for years, or something of the sort, storage might be the way to go with that one. You’ll be able to find a few deals closer to the holidays or during turning points in the year (i.e: school years, summer flings, etc.). Yes, it’s a little more pricey, but when you are ready to move forward and get a few things done, you’ll be able to dip back into your inventory and resurrect your own vintage chic.

7. Trash It

If you don’t know what else to do, you don’t need the stuff, you can’t donate it or do anything else with it, then it is time to trash it. If you’re having a hard time trashing something, call a friend for moral support, but remember that it needs to go. If you have something that you’re unsure of how to trash it, call your local waste management agency and ask them where to put your stuff.

There are always ways to clear out the old in order to bring in the new, sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper and take the adventurous route.