When household possessions push against the borders of our homes, the results lead to a crunch of space, time and money. But space-saving solutions can generate cash and restore sanity. That's the verdict from Gia Lipa, who writes for the Digerati Life blog (thedigeratilife.com). "I was born a pack rat," she told me. "I come from a long line of pack rats" • Her parents encouraged her to "keep everything," just in case an item might be needed in the future. Rebelling from family tradition, she developed a system for sorting, selling and storing household items. A clutter-free environment improves the quality of life, Lipa says. Here's how she does it. McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers
Start a value system. Home storage is prime real estate. Measure the value of your space against the value (emotional, financial or practical) of your possessions.
Set up buckets. Accelerate the sort-and-purge process by creating four buckets, namely: save, sell, donate and toss out. Periodically, place your possessions in one of those four categories and take action.
Hold an annual sale. Sell castoffs through online flea markets, yard sales, consignment shops or classified advertisements. The venue is less important than the timing. At least once a year, we should try to convert our clutter into cash, according to Lipa.
Be creative. Save space by using unconventional storage areas, according to Millie Kay Grand, a contributor at the Smarter Wallet Web site (thesmarterwallet.com). For example, in her home, a footlocker serves as a coffee table and storage for comic books.
Recycle and reuse. Find new uses for traditional household items. A shoe bag, for instance, can be used to store jewelry, hair accessories, sunglasses and "other on-the-go accessories," Grand says.