Local Organizer Provides Tips for National Give Something Away Day

In observance of National Give Something Away Day on July 15th, Goodwill partnered with Katherine Lawrence, owner of Space Matters and past president of the Richmond Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals. Giving away or donating old and unused items means more than clearing space in your home or office. Downsizing can uplift your life and show you what truly matters.   Read more from Katherine in the following guest post.


Katherine Lawrence headshotDid you know giving away excess clutter in your home can help you realize what truly matters in your life? I am Organizing Consultant and Clutter Coach Katherine Lawrence. I teach my clients how to sort out clutter from treasured belongings. Sometimes this is an easy task like deciding that an old cell phone is clutter and a wedding album is a treasure. But sometimes it is less obvious, like a suit used only for interviews even though you have not had a job change in 5 years, or that bread machine you mayuse if you start eating carbs again. Should you give them away or hold on to them and see if they become useful again?

I have a challenge for you. Try to give away things you have not used in the last year. Here is how this method helped me discover long lost passions.

Box of donations to Goodwill including teddy bear, lamp and pink shoes.I went through a downsize and lifestyle change a few years ago, reducing my living space by two-thirds. I knew I had to be ruthless in deciding what I kept. It was hard. This was good stuff. Stuff I paid money for and knew I could use again. After many trips to Goodwill using the convenient drive-through, I’m sure I got rid of over 100 of my things. And out of it all, there were only 2 items I really missed. They were a yoga ball and a tennis ball hopper. I let them go because they were bulky and were connected to two activities I was doing hardly at all or too sporadically to justify moving them. I can’t even list all the other 98 things I got rid of because I don’t remember; I never thought about them again.

My point in sharing this story is that sometimes you have to let go of 100 things to realize what is really important. Eight years later, I am happy to report that tennis and yoga are big parts of my life. Hardly a day goes by I don’t engage in one or the other. I wonder, would I be so devoted to these activities today if I had not parted ways with their accessories years ago? The thought of letting go of those things rattled my brain so much that I started up my practices again. What activities will you rediscover by letting go of 100 things?


If you need help dealing with clutter, reach out to Katherine at http://www.myspacematters.com/ or join her support group on Facebook, www.facebook.com/groups/mydailydeclutter/.