PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- How much stuff is tucked away around your home and you have no idea where it is or even what is there?
Uncluttering our living space is no small challenge and Leslie McKee of McKee Organizing says start with a simple rule.
"I say if you haven't touched it in a year you should really think about what you're doing with it."
Thinking "I might use that someday," is the common downfall of the decluttering process. "We do hear that and then we try to do a reality check," says McKee.
When they are asked to help someone McKee and her crew set up categories. "Everything is either active, reference, or archive. So we want your active things around you the things that you use all the time, and reference things put away, and then archive things put even in a less easy to access area."
Anything outside those categories has to go. "If you can't find it and it's getting ruined and it's not gaining value is not really a collection, and it's time to start thinking about getting rid of it."
McKee says there are an abundance of places that are ready and willing to take your stuff. "Goodwill, American Legion, Little Sisters of the Poor, St Vincent DePaul, and Construction Junction," can take your things that could be used by someone else.
But first you have to commit to parting with something and McKee says often people hang onto things simply because they have for years and feel a commitment to keeping something they really don't need or want.
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So what about getting rich selling your stuff? That rarely happens and McKee says a good indicator of the value of your stuff is if you offer it to family or friends and they aren't interested. Put it on the market for sale but McKee warns, "Don't be disappointed. The marketplace is really going to tell you what things are valued at."
She says start by doing some surfing research. "When you have something you can look up with a model number or a vintage or a brand that's something you want to look at selling online. Facebook marketplace, Let Go, Next Door, these are little platforms that people are engaging, every day, and they're on all the time."
McKee says other listings of similar items will give you an idea what price to set. "Look at the sold price, not what people are trying to sell things for. The good news is that we have so many resources. The bad news is that the markets are flooded."
Garage sales, McKee says are rarely profitable and actually just a reason to keep your stuff even longer. "A lot of times with garage sales you have no idea how many people are coming. You don't know your audience. It could be a rainy day and it's a lot of work."
You might be able to get some money back that you spent on your clothing but the clock is ticking. McKee says, "Make the decision quickly. Don't wait for 5 to 10 years to make the decision. Do it every year when the things have a chance of being more current." And the clothes need to be in good shape. Most clothing is better as a donation.
As for your antiques that you have finally decided to let go. "There's so many people who have that and I think that you know you need to call some reputable dealers and understand what the value of those antiques really are." She suggest going to a place that sells antiques and as them what they would pay for it.
But in general, furniture is hard to sell. McKee says people are looking for 'shabby chic' or project furniture. So don't expect to get much for furnature even if it is well loved.
While you might not get a windfall from clearing your clutter, McKee says the windfall is the amount of space you get back in your home which she adds is your biggest investment.
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