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Dealing with those basement treasures

This blog is courtesy of Cindy Bernstein and Aim4Order.com

Anyone who has a basement has boxes of mementos that are taking up space. When your little boy Johnny is 36 with a family of his own, do you still need to keep his third grade art project? Of course, the answer is no. While we are all proud of our kids, is there really anything you need to keep in those boxes?

It can be just as hard to bid farewell to your own belongings as those of your kids. Old term papers from college, your favorite teen idol poster and the ticket stub from your first concert lose their importance with time.

If you are really proud of everything in the box, you can scan it all to your computer. A thumb drive or two filled with scanned images take up a lot less space than a big box. If there is something that is really spectacular, you can get that item framed and say goodbye to the rest.

Old books often contain wonderful memories within their pages. Less people are reading books and more people are turning to electronics for reading material today. If there are books that are valuable because they are first editions or signed copies, you could hang onto those. Or, if you would like to hand down your favorite book to your child or grandchild, that would be a reason to keep it, but what are you waiting for? Hand it down now. Books can be donated to any number of non-profit organizations. No one is accepting encyclopedias these days as they are outdated and readily available on DVD.

Cloth napkins, tablecloths or other keepsakes are often cluttering our closets or storage areas. If you don’t use them, give them away to someone who may better appreciate them. Cloth napkins are “green,” save trees and are coming back in style for younger people.

If you have old music laying around with no way to play it, that definitely needs to go. You can sell, give away or donate LPs, cassette tapes or other outdated music. You can fit more music on a little smart phone than in your big box of old records.

Dishes that are not complete sets or that have cracks and chips are another basement item that could be donated or given away. If you know someone who collects old dishes you have, it would make a welcome gift. If not, either use it or get rid of it. If you have China, there are sites where you can either complete your set or sell off your odd pieces. Replacements is one such site that includes China, crystal and silver. Even if you don’t know the name of your pattern, you can search the manufacturer or describe the pattern. If that doesn’t work, you can photograph a piece and email it to them. They will help you identify the pattern and give you an estimate for your pieces.

Other items that you “might use” in the future should probably find new homes as well. Take a few minutes to go through one box every day until you discover what you have in all of your basement boxes. You will feel a liberating sense of accomplishment once you have made the decision to eliminate some basement clutter and give yourself more space.

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