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Consumer Reports' tips on clearing your clutter

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Posted at 1:04 PM, Sep 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-06 14:11:50-04

(CONSUMER REPORTS/WTVF) — No matter if you live in a studio or one bedroom apartment, or a larger house with many rooms, you might feel overwhelmed by your stuff.

From cleaner closets to better basements and attics, Consumer Reports has advice, so you clear the clutter once and for all.

“The first and the hardest step is getting ready to let go. So, starting with a small project will actually make you feel lighter and propel you into tackling the bigger projects,” said Kevin Doyle, Consumer Reports.

Three questions can help you get a jumpstart on letting go: Do I really need it, can I easily replace it, and if I’m not using it now, will I want it in five or 10 years?

If you haven’t used it, get rid of it. If you can replace it in under 20 minutes for under $20, there probably won’t be much regret if you toss it.

“People do get tripped up with items they have in storage and worry that they are going to want to use again. The best thing to do is to set some simple ground rules like I’m going to throw out every magazine that’s older than 6 months or I’m going to throw out every blurry photograph. You can also use a mantra like ‘use it or lose it.’ Anything that’s going to help you move through the junk faster,” said Doyle.

Some more pro tips don’t touch the items you’re considering throwing away. Instead have a friend or a professional organizer hold up the items for you. For photos and heirlooms, keep what’s precious.

“Pick just a very few of them that have the most meaning and get rid of the rest. And those things are going to have so much more value for you,” said Doyle. Consumer Reports says items like paint, batteries, light bulbs, insecticides and other household chemicals are really dangerous for people and the planet.

Many communities offer pick up for these items. You can also check out Earth911.com for access to sites that accept hazardous household waste.