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How to declutter your home sensibly

By Tara McAlister
Tara McAlister
Tara McAlister is MomsCharlotte.com's Deal Diva, giving you loads of easy tips to save money.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/01/02/17/38/TiLK0.Em.138.jpeg|237
    - Observer file photo
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/01/02/17/38/ZYi2s.Em.138.jpeg|237
    - Observer file photo

If one of your New Year’s resolution is to declutter your home and maybe even make some cash, here are a few tips on getting started.

• Be realistic. Don’t try to declutter your two-car garage in an hour. Start with small spaces. When time permits, move to bigger areas.

• Stay focused. When decluttering, ask yourself these simple questions: Do I need it? When was the last time I used it? Will I use this anytime soon? Is this worth the space in my house?

* Sort then store. Don’t make the mistake of rushing out to buy bins and other great storage solutions. Figure out first what you’re keeping and how it should be stored.

• Organize. Plan to have four different piles: keep, donate, trash and sell. Sort using black and white trash bags and boxes.

• Donate now. The longer the donate pile sits around your house, the more likely you’ll keep the stuff. Give it away as quickly as possible. Consider scheduling a pickup from a local charity.

• Store items correctly. For the stuff you’re keeping, consider first how often you use them. Put the everyday towels in an easily accessible spot. Store like items together. Put all holiday items together.

Making money on stuff around the house

• Clothes: Only high-end, very gently used clothes can expect to find success at consignment stores.

• Furniture, large appliances and outdoor equipment: Start with Craigslist and be sure to include a picture and as much description as possible, including any “issues.”

• Sports equipment: Find your local Play it Again Sports if you have gently used athletic gear.

• Newer electronics, video games and collectables: EBay is a great place to start. Pictures and complete descriptions will help you get the price you want.

• Musical instruments: Call local schools to let them know about gently used musical equipment.

Reach Tara at thedealdiva@bellsouth.net
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