Love my stuff - how to break your unhealthy relationship with clutter



Nearly eight in 10 Ontarians admit that they have broken or unused stuff cluttering their homes, and another 72 per cent confess that they are too emotionally attached to their old clothes, electronics and other items to do anything about it.

Hellen Buttigieg, Certified Professional Organizer, Life Coach and TV personality has declared this coming weekend 'Break Up With Your Stuff Weekend,' and is calling on people across the province to make a clean break from their unwanted items.

The message is simple - by following a few simple steps, people can overcome their unhealthy relationship with clutter.

'I see the strong emotional bond people develop with their belongings every day,' says Buttigieg. 'People know their old stuff has got to go, but they keep putting it off. Chances are there are items around their home that haven't been used all winter if not longer- if so, it's time to part ways. This weekend, it's time for Ontarians to take action.'

The March 2011 survey by Leger Marketing also found that 32 per cent of Ontarians don't know what to do with their unwanted stuff. As difficult as breaking up with your stuff can be, it's important to consider how best to dispose of old belongings.

Not all discarded items should end up in the trash. Buttigieg recommends considering the environment when cleaning out the garage or basement. Old electronics, for instance, can be recycled - the survey found that 62 per cent of Ontarians are hanging onto old televisions, computers, stereos and other equipment.

'One of the newest culprits of clutter is unwanted electronics, such as an old tube TV that has been replaced by a flat screen, or an old computer or MP3 player that has since been updated,' says Buttigieg.

'A lot of Ontarians don't know that these items can be recycled. Sometimes, they are just tossed in the trash and end up in landfill, which wastes resources and can harm the environment.'

In order to successfully de-clutter your space and properly dispose of unwanted items, Buttigieg recommends these quick tips:

  1. Do the 5-things Dash - Walk into each room of your home with a box or garbage bag and choose 5 things you can throw out, donate or recycle.
  2. Get the Family in Gear - Make a game out of de-cluttering by getting the whole family involved. Give everyone a box, put on some up-beat music, set a timer and see who can discard the most items from their room.
  3. 'Cut the Cord' on Unwanted Electronics - Attached to your unused electrical gadgets? Use this upcoming weekend as your deadline to gather up all the electronics you no longer want or use. Remember, disposed electronics do not belong in the garbage, be sure to visit to find your nearest drop-off location where they can be properly recycled.

Clearing out clutter and having the peace of mind that your items will be responsibly taken care of will allow you sit back, relax, and enjoy your new-found space.

The survey, conducted by Leger Marketing in March 2011, polled a representative sample of 1,000 Ontarians with a margin of error equivalent to 3.1%. is an online resource designed to help Ontario residents learn more about managing unwanted electronics and locate collection sites across the province. The website is run by the Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES), a non-profit organization that leads the charge in the safe and responsible recycling of electronics in Ontario.

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