In my line of work, I help people beautify their homes by using, mostly, what they already own. My feeling is this: Many of us have plenty of stuff, plenty of stuff we really like in fact, we just don't know how to pull it all together to create pleasing, comfortable, organized spaces.
In fact, sometimes too much stuff is what keeps us from creating pleasing, comfortable, organized spaces.
If that is the case in your home, listen to this: It's OK to get rid of things.
Perhaps to you that seems obvious, but I have run into numerous (wonderful) people who don't see this as an option: Because someone they love owned the thing, gave them the thing, or maybe just because they have Always Had The Thing.
I'm here to tell you: People you love or who love you really, really don't care if you get rid of stuff associated with them. Stop calling them, sending them money on their birthday, or smiling at their memory, that's a problem. Getting rid of the stuff that bottles up your home and gets in the way of loving where you live, that's not a problem.
Same with stuff you've owned for ages. These items are not your friends. Friends don't let friends live in cluttered houses.
Stuff isn't people.
So what to do with it all?
- Hold a yard (tag, garage) sale (I'm having my annual sale soon...more tips to follow).
- Sell items on craigslist (there are some peculiarities to doing this; more on this another time).
- Find a consignment shop. Depending on the kind of store, you can consign everything from furniture and household items to baby equipment and clothes and get a cut of the sale.
- Sell collectible or unusual or hard-to-find items on eBay.
- Donate things to charity. Some charities even pick up.
- Get together with friends and relatives for a clothing, accessory or product swap. (Ever wind up with perfectly good makeup, shampoo or perfume that just doesn't work for you? This is a good way to get rid of them and try something else.)
Go ahead, do it. It's OK.