When I was a kid, I had a retainer. Which, I threw away. More than once. It was traumatic. Aside from the fact that I had to go through trash (gross cafeteria trash) I also got yelled at by parents who were ready to pull their hair out trying to make me understand the value of the process that I hated.
This has left scars that you can’t see.
Many times a day, I stand at the trash and feel a sense of loss that I can’t quite explain. It’s been decades, but I still question if I’ve thrown out my retainer. I can be completely sure that I have indeed NOT thrown out a retainer, but I still have a sense of loss that makes me pause.
Fear can paralyze us from throwing out items that we truly need to let go of. No matter what the root cause. Letting go of cables that we might need for that thing we can’t remember. Clothes that we mean to slim down to again. Shoes we can’t walk in, and so many other things. I get it. I have hangers that I’m pretty sure I don’t need.
A way that takes the fear out of making decisions. So, Suzanna created the “Wait and See” bin. It’s a container that you can’t see into. An opaque rubbermaid tub or basket with lid that you fill with items you’re not sure about.
Then, stick it in a place that’s out of the way enough so you’ll not be tempted to paw through it mindlessly, but easy enough to add to it as needed. Mine is in my front hall closet, which is a tiny, tiny closet that I never ever use. Florida doesn’t need a place for winter coats, so it’s about the size of a vacuum cleaner. Suzanna’s bin is out of the way in her laundry room.
Once it’s full, without looking, take it to charity. Don’t look at the bin – just hand the whole thing over at the donation site. (Be sure to let them know you’d like the container back when they’ve emptied it.) Chances are good you won’t even remember what you put in there because you simply didn’t need it. If you did, then you knew exactly where it was and had a chance to pull it out and use it. But didn’t.
Often you remember the item, but because the location of the bin isn’t convenient you find another way. For example, you put an egg separator into the bin. Later, you’re baking and need to separate eggs, but decide to just use the egg shell to separate and discover that you don’t really need the fancy tool after all.
In the case of kid toys, simply wait for them to ask you for it. Favorites won’t go unnoticed long. You can donate with confidence after the item has sat in your “wait and see” bin for a while without them noticing.
Now that you understand the genius behind this, go forth! Create your own “Wait and See” bin! Share your pictures with me here or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sparkorganizing/
She has special experience with organization for office, financial, ADD/ADHD, elderly, disabled, overwhelmed and special needs. With the belief that cluttered people are some of the most creative and interesting people she knows, she loves working with her clients in a supportive and loving environment.
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