We sold our house much faster than we had anticipated. We then moved into a small apartment and now are paying a lot to store stuff that I wanted to go through carefully before donating or selling. How do I get started?

- K.

A: Congratulations on selling your house quickly - moving is a big project, even in the best circumstances. As you are personally finding out, clutter is stressful, even you aren't living with it.

It's nice that your extra possessions are not in your space, but you will have to make an extra effort to deal with it all.

Just the same way you'd approach decluttering a closet or your garage, start with a time limit for yourself. Set out four bags, boxes, or general areas on the floor. Dedicate one for donations, one for recycling, one for trash, and one labeled "Not Sure."

The items you're keeping or selling don't need a box. Be very liberal with items to sell vs. donate. Can you get enough cash out of an object to justify the time to sell it and the money you're spending to store it?

Choose a single errand goal, such as giving to your favorite charity. Swing by your storage unit, set out your boxes, and focus mostly on the most accessible things you know you're donating. Then start grabbing. Once you have enough donations for a carload, head to your charity and unload.

Set recurring appointments for yourself. Can you add this stop to your daily commute? If not, choose a weekly or monthly date. I know how the monthly rent adds up.

As you rearrange items you know you want to sell, take photos of them and post. Save time by setting up meetings with buyers at the storage place. Good luck and let me know how it goes.


Jennifer Adams is a designer, author, and TV personality.