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Dealing with Items used annually
Advice from Jill Ellen Shankar

Q. What do you suggest for items that we only need once or twice a year (holiday plates and decorations for example)?

I can't crawl around in the attic like I used to to get them but I can't keep them out year round.

A. Since you can not get into your standard storage space anymore, you will need to trim your collection to a manageable size, and then keep it in more accessible locations, like in under bed storage boxes, or in the garage.

Thus, my first suggestion is that you go through your inventory and purge what you no longer love or use. A good rule of thumb is that if you did not use a specific decoration last year, get rid of it.

This may be difficult emotionally, so take your time, and know that you may need to repeat the process to make any headway.

A good method is to sort each object into one of three categories:

  1. Things that you can't part with;
  2. Things that you may be able to part with;
  3. Things that you definitely can part with.

Then, part with the items in the third category. Next, go through the other two groups again, using the same procedure, and so on. Keep going until the belongings that you simply cannot part with will fit into those accessible storage locations.

Then place the second category items in the garage; you don't have to part with them yet. Just let them sit there, and see whether you miss them, need them or forget about them, and then handle accordingly.

Go nice and easy. I've never had a client who wanted the old stuff back once it was gone!

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Jill Ellen Shankar
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