Take This Teacup—Please

I’m not here to offer advice about decluttering, like “if you haven’t worn that shirt in more than a year, get rid of it.” I’m here to admit that my clutter is a result of avoiding making decisions for decades about what to keep and what to get rid of. It’s been easy because I’ve been in the same house for 30 years, a house big enough to stuff my belongings in the back of a closet or a room in the basement and forget about it. I’m paying for it now.

In going through old folders (that is, paper folders), I’m finding paycheck receipts for jobs I had 20 years ago and coupons that expired more than two years ago. Those are the easy things to get rid of because I can toss the papers in my recycling bin. It’s harder when I want to be socially responsible and not add to ever-growing landfills: clothes that maybe someone else can wear (even if they are 20 years out of fashion), winter boots that the homeless could use, or books that someone else might want to read.

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