Home inspection findings by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, Professional Real Estate Inspector TREC# 9073

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Does Organizing Mean Throwing Things Out?

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I wish I lived like those people in that magazine. A perfect home which is always clean. Reality sets in, and I have to find a way to store all of the items that are left out on the kitchen counter.

Do you collect junk? I never thought that I did, until I took a good look at my kitchen cabinets. I found all of these containers that I swore that I was going to use, and I never did. I had a cabinet full of glass bottles over the refrigerator, and I am not sure why they were there. Then there are the gadgets that I thought I would use to help me create wonderful meals. Well, many of those gadgets were gifts that others thought would help me. That pasta machine only comes out a couple of times per year. I have never used that foamer, which I was never sure why someone thought that I had a desire for it. If I gave all of this to charity, would I simply be passing along junk? Should it be thrown out?
    I began recycling items that could be placed in the bin. That began to free up some space. We just do not seem to throw things away. Every few months my wife goes through her papers to clean out what is not needed, but until then, there is an overflowing box in the kitchen that looks like a mess to me. I save papers in my desk to the point that I have a stack sitting on my desk. My daily working file is how I think of it. I began emptying out items that obviously were not needed (why did I save that newspaper article again). There are toys all over the house, and I wonder which ones will be played with again. We hold onto things, because we think they have some significance or value.
    Why not give them value? In cleaning out the kitchen, I found these porcelain containers that I bought when I was starting college. I have not used them in fifteen years. They are not in bad shape, but they are not needed. I thought about how could they be repurposed. They could make interesting pots for plants. Sitting on a kitchen window, I could have a few herbs inside the house. Today, in biting cold and rain, I went out to harvest a few herbs for my lunch preparation. That herb pot idea may not be so bad. Maybe my daughters could use them for their games. Have you ever noticed that children are always finding treasure boxes?
    As I continue to move through my home, I am finding more items that are hanging around. Parts for an aquarium that I no longer have. Will they work with my new tank? Is that why I saved them. I have decide to create an imagination box. Watching the children play, I see them scouting out objects to use as something else. A tube becomes a telescope, and that sort of thing. You may not have children, so may I suggest a little art project? I realized that one of my casserole dishes could make a nice planter for the garden table. With a little more consideration, the family could find new ways to use these goods.
    If the items are still in good shape, I would hand them over to a charity before throwing them out, I hope that the next step is to recycle them. My wife and son love the idea of a garage sale, but I find them more work than they are worth. We will see what happens, but I am going through my cabinets slowly to find what I will do with those things in good time.

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© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States
713.781.6090

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