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Organizing Items Useful Only in the Short Term

by Vickie Dellaquila, Downsizing & Hoarding Expert
September 20, 2017

Question: What is the best way to organize items that are useful but don’t necessarily need in the near future?

Answer: It depends somewhat on what types of items you are organizing.  In general, I like to utilize clear plastic containers and labels.  Clear containers allow you to visualize the items in the box and labels allow you to be specific about their contents.  You can make a general label (i.e. Halloween decorations) or go so far as to list or snap a photo of the contents.  There are even adhesive sleeves for labels that allow you to easily swap the label if you change the contents of the containers.  Plastic containers are great for areas like basements and attics that are subject to temperature changes and moisture, as cardboard tends to break down in these sort of environments.  If you are organizing in a basement or garage, freestanding shelves are a great way to store your bins so that you can grab one without having to unstack several to get to what you need.  It’s also a good idea to review these containers once in a while to see if there is anything that you no longer need that might be of use to someone else.  If your daughter has been hosting Thanksgiving for the last five years, you may no longer need those three turkey roasting pans! They’d make a great donation and a nice tax write-off for you.

Vickie Dellaquila is western Pennsylvania’s only Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization and owner of Organization Rules® Inc. Organization Rules provides compassionate organizing services for every stage of your life®. She is the author of Don’t Toss My Memories in the Trash: A Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Seniors Downsize, Organize, and Move.

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