Clearing the clutter
Citywide cleanup May 13-16
City crews begin picking up items at 7 a.m. each day. The pickup schedule for discarded items:
Detailed information on what will be picked up during the cleanup is available at the water department at City Hall or online at www.JamestownND.gov, click on Public Notices and under Announcements choose April 15, 2019 - City Wide Cleanup & Stormwater Utility Information
Most people want to do something about clutter but just don't know where to start, said Michelle Watne, owner of DeClutter Me in Jamestown.
Watne, who is a member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, said her instinctive nature to declutter goes back to arranging her mother's cupboards as a child. The idea of decluttering as an occupation came after helping her church avoid an expansion, she said.
"They thought they needed to add on but we just needed to get rid of junk," Watne said.
After 35 years in government work, Watne created a business model for DeClutter Me with the help of the Jamestown Regional Entrepreneur Center. As a professional consultant, she helps others make tough decisions about what stays or goes.
"We accumulate a lot of stuff over the years and we forget to take a look at it and say, 'I haven't used that for two years and I'm not sure I need it anymore,'" Watne said. "Then maybe it's time to give it to someone else in need."
With the annual citywide cleanup week approaching next week, Jamestown residents should be looking through the home, garage, sheds and storage units, she said. Look to determine what is usable, what is in good working condition and what is something that someone else could put to good use through the Orphan Grain Train, Easter Seals Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
"Make that determination," Watne said. "Decide whether it should go to another family member, to sell it, or if it's not working then put it on the curb."
Go through seasonal items when coming and going from storage, she said. Things get worn out or aren't used anymore but people have a tendency to keep storing these items, she said.
Sheds and garages are often full of leftover construction and remodeling materials. Toss the pieces of carpet or tile that will never get used and take the partially filled paint cans to the city baler facility, she said.
Each household has a unique situation, she said. Some people hang on to clothing that doesn't fit them anymore when they could give it away while it's still in style, while others are disorganized with piles of paperwork, newspapers and magazines that could be reduced to the current issues, she said.
"Decluttering helps clear the mind," Watne said. "It is a sense of release to get rid of things."
The mind sees what needs to be done and clutter can be a source of stress, she said.
Look at desks and tables to see if they are piled with stuff, she said. Flat spaces tend to accumulate things quicker, she said.
People hang on to obsolete electronics such as chargers and cables. Piling things into tote containers is nice for stacking them, but hiding unused items is not decluttering, she said.
Save the totes for the children's favorite toys, the Mother's Day cards and other things that are saved and need protection from moisture and dirt, she said. Get rid of Precious Moments collections that don't present a financial value by reducing them to an item or two, she said.
Overcome sentimentality to get rid of unused items, she said. The young generation has a minimalist approach with much less interest in accumulating the junk of the previous generation, she said.
"I have that too," Watne said. "There are things that I hold on to for that reason."
Form a buddy system, she said. Have a friend go through some items and ask what has use or meaning, and then do the same at his or her home, she said.
When someone can't answer right away if something is useful or important then it's probably worth considering getting rid of it, she said. It's important that the owner make the decision, she said.
"In doing this also have them keep a 'maybe box,'" Watne said. "These are for the hard, sentimental items that can be looked at again in six months."
A client who was concerned about giving precious items to children for fear of creating a rift created a silent auction to allow them to purchase what they wanted with the money going to charity, she said.
"It took the guilt away," she said.
For more information, contact Watne at 320-8787, at decluttermend.com and on Facebook.