If your closets are brimming with stuff, Anna Braasch of Edina-based Simplify with Anna can help exorcise the demons she calls “delayed decisions.” As you sift through your surplus, “look at each object, decide if it will help you accomplish your goals,” says Braasch. To avoid decision-making agony, she recommends setting a timer to a reasonable amount of time and then see if you can beat the clock.
You need not achieve all your spring cleaning in a week. Start small and de-clutter in increments. Limit initial efforts to a closet or the surface of your dresser. The gratification you’ll get from completing a small task will motivate you to do more later.
Disposing of a child’s belongings without their input is “very traumatizing [and] can create a lifelong need to hold onto items,” Braasch says. Moreover, it is a missed opportunity. “Teach [your] kids how to choose. It’s an incredible life skill.”
When it comes to re-shelving, first decide “how much real-estate to give to a certain [category of] item[s].” If twelve bedspreads won’t fit on a designated shelf, consider paring down.
If you’ve determined a cherished item must go, Braasch recommends taking a photo as a keepsake. Donating can also make the process easier. “It helps to know that you’re blessing the life of another,” says Braasch, who donates high-quality items to World Relief’s refugee resettlement program. Arc’s Value Village, a nonprofit that supports individuals with developmental disabilities, accepts a wide variety of donations at its Richfield storefront or in the blue bins you can find around our area.