This is what clutter looks like when we take it out of hiding

Dear K&K: I’m doing a big purge to clear out some old energy. Do you have any advice about letting go of stuff, decluttering? Signed: Ready in Rowayton

Dear Ready: First off, you’re brilliant. Decluttering is exactly how to get rid of old energy. We’ve had multiple single clients who hired us to clear out clutter and ended up finding their soulmate.

Letting go of stuff can be easy or hard depending on who you are. Some Classic Structures can literally dump their kids’ school art projects the moment that they cross the threshold. Whereas some Organic Structures hold on to those art projects for 50 years and beyond — yes, true story.

Now, we used those two personality types because these folks are on opposite ends of the clutter spectrum. There are a multitude of people in between. Furthermore, everybody has their “cross to bear” when it comes to clutter. Classic Structures who dump old sentimental items at the drop of the hat, might keep around a slew of sealed chopsticks because they could “come in handy” whereas an Organic Structure would’ve dumped those the moment they didn’t use them the first time around. But, regardless of who you are, decluttering can be a life changing experience.

Our key piece of decluttering advice is that whenever you approach a big clutter project, use a big Magical Later Box. It’s presence prevents mistakes — less fear — and therefore speeds up the process. As you’re decluttering, if you hit upon things that you’re unsure about — sentimental or practical — toss them in the Later Box. When you’re done, put your later box in storage — high up in a closet or an attic — and revisit it in 3, 6 or 12 months. Take however much time you need. Finally, revisit the box without opening it and try to remember what you wished you hadn’t “gotten rid of”. Open the box and grab those things, everything else goes to Goodwill. Often, there’s nothing you remember (or want to keep) and the whole things goes. Obviously, if it’s letters or photos or what have you, you can cut up or toss in trash etc.

Sentimental Items: Use a combination of permanent storage and magical later boxes for the things about which you’re unsure.

Taxes: Keep all records pertaining to taxes for personal or business for 10 years. If you’re really paranoid, 20 years. But, beyond that is just a waste of storage space.

Practical Items: Get rid of duplicates unless they’re in two different homes in your house to make life easier like scissors. While we know this goes against Mari Kondo’s advice, we’re not Japanese. We’re Americans and some of us live in homes where having scissors in only one part of your home is ANNOYING and a hassle. Life Should Be Easy! It’s our tagline for a reason.

Reference Materials: Make sure you will actually reference them again. If not, then they need to find their way into one of the sentimental item solutions (see above). Our Classic Structure grandfather died with tons of “To Read” piles of literature junking up his family room. Sometimes it’s good to just start fresh, clear it all out and admit there’s only 24 hours in a day.

Hope that helps you on your decluttering journey! All our best to you on this journey: Katie & Kelly.

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