You’ve Got Too Much Stuff. 3 Smart Ways to Declutter Your Home by 2024. - Kanebridge News
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You’ve Got Too Much Stuff. 3 Smart Ways to Declutter Your Home by 2024.

Worried about new acquisitions filling up your home this holiday? Here, organisational experts share tips to jettison old, unwanted items—whether you’re motivated by profit, charity or sheer exhaustion.

Thu, Dec 14, 2023 9:04amGrey Clock 2 min

SMUG MINIMALISTS often tout the “one in, one out” rule, a clutter-control practice that involves removing one item from your home any time you add another. But during the amped-up accumulation of the holidays, even typically type-A housekeepers can find themselves derailed and searching for ways to cull the excess. “So much stuff is coming into our homes this time of year, along with pressure to be jolly,” said Chicago-based professional organiser Sarah Parisi of the Clutter Curator. “It’s a natural time to declutter.”

To help expedite the process, here she and other home experts share tips for deaccessioning effectively.

What to Do If…You Want to Make Some Cash

Prioritize. “The biggest question I ask my clients is what’s worth their time,” said Washington, D.C.-based decluttering expert Jenny Albertini. “Identify which pieces offer the highest return and focus your efforts on [selling] those.”

Local auction houses or upscale online décor marketplaces—like Incollect, 1stDibs or Chairish—are Albertini’s go-to for unloading particularly valuable furnishings. For everything else, New York-based interior designer Amy Lau prefers Facebook Marketplace. “It’s quick and commission-free,” she said—and though managing the selling process can be laborious, the payoff is usually worth it.

Craving a truly clean slate? Check to find a house-clearing company to prep your home for a monster tag sale. “They’ll keep a percentage of the profit,” explained Albertini. “But you do much less work.”

What to Do If…You Want to Do Good

“The best way to get rid of stuff is whatever gets it out of your house fastest—usually donation,” said Dallas-based decluttering expert Dana K. White. For that reason, she encourages clients to think of organisations like the Salvation Army as service providers—and not to get hung up on which charity feels like a “just-right” match. Start with local homeless shelters, churches or Goodwill, which is as “ubiquitous as Starbucks” and a “good option for generalised donations,” Albertini said. Animal shelters sometimes accept odds and ends—like pillows and bedding—that other organisations won’t.

If you’re ready to part with an item but believe someone else could cherish it, steer toward organisations like Humble Design. This nonprofit—which operates in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, San Diego and Seattle—collects donated furniture and household items either by drop-off or pick-up and stores the goods in their warehouse. Humble’s designers and volunteers later “shop” the warehouse to furnish homes for families emerging from homelessness. Similarly, to keep reusable household items from landing in landfills, Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores accept used furniture, appliances, housewares and building materials and resell them to the public at discount, using the profits to build affordable housing worldwide.

What to Do If…You Want to Do Almost Nothing

Does decluttering seem like just another chore? For clients who are loath to add another item to their to-do list, Albertini recommends OfferUp, a classified service akin to Facebook Marketplace that requires fewer fussy photos and descriptions. She also likes the consignment site Kaiyo; it will pick up, store, clean and deliver your furniture to its eventual buyer for a percentage of the sale price. For anything leftover, hire a hauling service like 1-800-Got-Junk, Dolly or Junk King, which do 100% of the heavy lifting for you. Bottom line, says Lau: “If you don’t love it or use it, lose it.”

The Wall Street Journal is not compensated by retailers listed in its articles as outlets for products. Listed retailers frequently are not the sole retail outlets.


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Milestone birthdays and anniversaries, weddings, and graduations are momentous life occasions that some like to mark with large and elaborate celebrations.

And the deep-pocketed set are still in catch-up mode after a party-throwing standstill during the pandemic that went on for many months during the height of the lockdowns and social distancing. Bashes since then have become ever more extravagant and experiential—mere get-togethers, they’re not.

Hosts are also seeking any excuse to throw an event and having parties with the same “wow” factor for far less significant reasons, or for micro-occasions as they’re called, and even “just because,” according to luxury event planners who work with this elite set.

Colin Cowie, a planner based in New York and Miami who regularly orchestrates multimillion-dollar gatherings and was behind Jennifer Lopez’s and Ben Affleck’s wedding, calls it the “event revolution.”

“Large-scale events have become the norm,” Cowie says. “The wealthy, who are used to celebrating their life moments in a big way couldn’t do anything during the pandemic and are now going all out for anything they host.”

His company, Colin Cowie Lifestyle, plans 30% more events today than pre-Covid and has a lineup booked for the next two years. An example includes an upcoming million-dollar dinner party in the Hamptons simply to socialise with friends. It’s an affair with free-flowing Dom Perignon, centre-cut filet mignons, and unlimited caviar.

Colin Cowie Lifestyle plans 30% more events today than pre-Covid
Calen Rose

Other high-end planners also attribute the rise of over-the-top celebrations to a “live life to the fullest” attitude that’s become prevalent in the last few years. But they say that these parties aren’t necessarily about spending more than before—rather, they’re increasingly creative, thoughtful, and, with respect to weddings, longer.

Lynn Easton, a Charleston-based planner, says that her typical wedding used to span two days and entailed a rehearsal dinner plus the wedding itself. “Now, it’s a five-day bonanza with events like a groomsman lunch,” Easton says.

Easton also plans glitzy milestone birthdays such as one for a 60th where the host flew 60 friends and family to a private island. Dinners were multi-hour affairs in various locations around the isle with the showpiece being a five-course meal where the food was presented on dishes that were hand-carved in ice.

Another planner, Victoria Dubin, based in New York and Miami, says that, in a new precedent, the weddings she’s tapped to design kick off with striking welcome meals. She recently planned an al fresco rehearsal dinner at the Brooklyn pizzeria Roberta’s that recreated a Tuscan garden. Elements included potted herbs, lemon trees, vintage olive oil cans, ceramic plates, and table cards presented with palm leaves in limoncello cans.

Another planner, Victoria Dubin, recently planned an al fresco rehearsal dinner at the Brooklyn pizzeria Roberta’s that recreated a Tuscan garden.
Aletiza Photo

Pashmina shawls hung from chairs to keep guests warm, and freshly baked pizzas and Aperol spritzes were in ready supply throughout the evening.

Stacy Teckin, the groom’s mother, hosted the party with her husband, Ian, and says she sought to pull off a dinner that made an impression on their guests. “The wedding was delayed because of Covid, and now that we had the chance to celebrate, we wanted to go all out,” Teckin says. “I’m not sure we would have done that before.”

In another example, acclaimed planner Norma Cohen threw a wild safari-themed bar mitzvah for a client.

A four-day wedding in Paris where the ceremony was in a historic chateau and the host paid for guests to stay at Hotel Crillon
Norma Cohen Productions

The memorable occasion transpired at Spring Studios in downtown Manhattan and saw 400 guests be transported to the African plains: Details included mammoth replicas of wildlife such as giraffes and elephants, servers in safari themed attire, and entertainment dressed like giraffes. The event was one of several over-the-top parties Cohen’s arranged recently.

A four-day wedding in Paris where the ceremony was in a historic chateau and the host paid for guests to stay at Hotel Crillon, one of the city’s most luxurious properties, also ranks high in Cohen’s memory.

Then there’s a destination party in London that Cohen planned for a client who was turning 40. It as a six-day affair with dinners at swanky spots such as Cipriani, the Arts Club, and Cecconi’s at Soho House. The finale was Lancaster House, a mansion in St. James, where guests were entertained by cabaret dancers from the famed Ibiza club Lio Ibiza and feasted on prime rib and lamb chops and imbibed on Krug champagne.

“People today don’t want to host events,” Cohen says. “They want experiences that take you away to a different place and make you forget that the real world exists.”