Resisting the Presidents’ Day Promotions

The Founding Fathers would never have believed the range of merchandise that American consumers have available today, though George Washington and Abraham Lincoln probably would have enjoyed advanced dental care and mattresses that weren’t stuffed with horsehair. Some of the best deals of the year are available on Presidents’ Day weekend, however, so if you’re in the market for a new vacuum, mattress or couch, now’s the time to buy. Good Housekeeping lists some of the biggest promotions, but The Organizing Blog urges readers to refrain from buying anything just because it’s a good deal; #stuff you don’t need creates #clutter. #PresidentsDay

Shopping the Memorial Day Sales?

Like so many American holidays, Memorial Day is a great day to shop for deals on big-ticket items such as automobiles, mattresses and furniture. While we at The Organizing Blog would rather be eating hot dogs and barbecue beans, #cleaning the #garage and playing a round of bags, we won’t judge if you shop the long-weekend sales on furniture, outdoor gear and other products. Just remember the cardinal rule of #decluttering when you take delivery: To keep your amount of #stuff from getting unmanageable, get rid of one similar item (or two) for every new item you bring into your home. #MemorialDay

So You Shopped the President’s Day Sales

Happy President’s Day!

We at the Organizing Blog know that we’re a little late in telling you this, but since retailers were trotting out the deals over the long weekend, you may have celebrated your day off shopping for mattresses, furniture or other household goods.

Having recently moved in to a new home, we did the same. And some of the discounts were incredible! But that doesn’t mean we bought a lot — some things weren’t that great a deal, most we didn’t need, and many would have created more problems than they solved.

Unless you’re starting over, any decorative item or piece of furniture you buy is likely redundant. If you’re short on space, you need to make sure whatever you buy actually replaces an existing item, or you’ll wind up surrounding yourself with #clutter.

You can buy things and still avoid this problem. Is your living room already crowded with furniture and knickknacks? One new couch might be able to do the work of two old loveseats, or a new wall unit could help you make sense of what’s on display.

Some furniture — like beds frames with storage underneath — can actually create space by offering a place to store some of your stuff out of sight. But you’ll need to observe a strict out-with-the-old policy to avoid #clutter.

With large items like beds, mattresses and couches, the ultraminimalist one in/two out rule doesn’t always apply. But be sure to get rid of the one old thing as quickly as you find its replacement, and donate it to if it has some life left in it.

For smaller stuff, make an attempt to find two items in the same category to get rid of as soon as something else enters the inventory. This will preserve the thrill of the shopping “hunt” while slowly downsizing your possessions — or at least keeping them in check.

Observe this simple #decluttering rule, and before you know it, any new stuff you find at the weekend sales will help your home look brand new, stylish and spotless, and the old stuff that survives will consist only of things you truly cherish.

You don’t necessarily have to stop shopping to keep the #clutter at bay!

Get Ready for Garage Sale Season

The weather is finally heating up in many parts of the country that suffered a long and inclement winter and spring. A dreary spring is great for spring cleaning, of course, but are you ready to make the most of the new season — garage sale season?

Here’s hoping that you have been able to go through your home room by room to sort out some of the excess junk you’ve accumulated over the months and years. If you haven’t given that stuff away already, now’s the time to make some money off it.

To get your sale ready, get everything you want to sell in one place. There are some things that will need to be trashed, of course, but you may be surprised at what people will want to buy, says

“Try to sell everything! What’s junk to one person is often someone else’s treasure. Even broken appliances can be sold for parts. And don’t throw out your old magazines. Stick them all in a box and sell them for a quarter apiece.”

Arrange your selling space — whether it’s the garage, driveway or yard — like a store, with tables, racks and aisles to group similar stuff. Sort items into areas: clothing, tools, kitchenwares, electronics, knickknacks, jewelry, etc.

Post bright, colorful signs around the neighborhood, and save extra grocery bags for people’s purchases. Play some background music at your sale and greet shoppers to put them at ease while they browse.

If you plan on having more than one sale this season, you won’t have to haggle on prices much. But if your goal is to clear that crop of excess stuff (#clutter) out once and for all, allow shoppers to bargain and slash prices in the sale’s final hours.

You won’t sell everything, so contact to schedule a pickup in the days immediately following the sale. Not only will your donation of lightly used clothing and household goods help veterans, it will reduce the temptation to take any of the excess merchandise back into your home.

Garage sale season lasts from now into fall, so get ready to get rid of the junk you don’t need. Whether you stage a single sale or decide to make garage sales a regular outlet for #decluttering, you’ll be happy how streamlined your life can become — and have a few extra bucks to spend, too!

Don’t Treat Holiday Shopping Like a Job

While most stores will stay closed through the Thanksgiving holiday, a handful of major retailers such as Target and JCPenney will be open late Thursday to launch the make-or-break holiday shopping season. The Organizing Blog doesn’t necessarily approve of shopping while you’re supposed to be feasting, but knows that a few readers may attempt to beat the crowds and get the best deals. Dress to go from cold, outdoor weather to warm stores quickly, Money Crashers says, and don’t treat shopping like a job. “No matter what happens on Black Friday, remember to relax and try to enjoy yourself. Shopping for holiday gifts isn’t the highest-stakes thing you’ll do this year.”