Lifehacker is my favorite website. It’s so good that I have made it the home page on my browser. Here are some good articles on clearing clutter and selling your stuff. These work best if you are youngish, computer-savvy, and can take a leisurely approach to clearing out.
Two other sites that are favorites are:
Both of the above links are good for those who must clear out a home in a short amount of time, very likely the adult children of a parent who kept stuff.
The books listed are in my personal library. With one exception, in general I have not made links to any online seller. Why not spend money locally and keep small bookstores alive?
Take the U Out of Clutter by Mark Brunetz and Carmen Renee Berry. This book is on the top of the list because it addresses the real reasons people hang on to their stuff – the emotional attachments they have to their stuff.
The Boomer Burden: Dealing With Your Parents’ Lifetime Accumulation of Stuff by Julie Hall, The Estate Lady. Her purpose in writing is to give a heads-up to the adult children who will unexpectedly find themselves parenting their parents or handling their estate.
Digging Out: Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding, & Compulsive Acquiring by Michael Tompkins, Ph.D. and Tamara L. Hartl, Ph.D. This book offers guidelines for addressing the problems someone else’s hoarding creates for you.
Buried In Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, And Hoarding by David F. Tolin, Randy O. Frost, and Gail Steketee. This book is written directly to the people who are doing the hoarding and want help.
De-Stuff: A Step By Step Guide to Help Seniors Preparing For An Estate Sale & Downsizing by Jan Durr, Certified Appraiser. This is for the brave folks who want to put on their own estate sale.
Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate? A Guide to Passing on Personal Possessions a workbook put out by the University of Minnesota Extension Service. This is a great book to get the conversation going between generations about who wants Grandma’s stuff and how to distribute it with a minimum of stress and hard feelings.
The Best Filing System
I purchased and tried several filing systems for my work as an organizer. The one I settled on is the File It and Find It ® system. This is the one I use at home and like to set up for my clients. My husband and I are both creative types and a bit ADD. I would look at a paper that needed to be kept and found again and think of several categories it might fall under. My husband wouldn’t think of any of my categories when he was searching for something filed. When we discovered the File It and Find It ® system we agreed that their categories made sense and furthermore it specified which paperwork belonged in each category. And we’ve lived happily ever after as far as filing goes. There is a Small Business version as well and I use that, too.