Every collector knows that there's a fine line between curating an assemblage of treasures and hoarding them, something that happens when a collector loses control (or count) of his treasure trove. Even if you've found yourself close to the latter—it happens so easily with beautiful things especially—be comforted that the season of purging is upon us.
In the spirit of spring cleaning, I've detailed below the clutter-culprits that sneak up most easily in my life. I also reached out to my friend and organizing expert Anduin Havens to see what she recommends cleaning out. Let me know in the comments below what items you love to collect and the ones you find yourself accidentally hoarding.
My Top 5
1. Unless you re-use them, eliminate that stash of once-used paper and plastic shopping bags. Paper ones can go right into a recycling bin, and plastic ones can be donated to farmers and flea markets (or even animal shelters) for re-use.
2. Same goes for boxes. Truly beautiful boxes worth keeping are actually rare, so though my Achilles heel is a well-made box, I've limited myself to keeping Hermes and Marc Jacobs boxes.
3. As much as it pains me to say it, get rid of some of your magazines. Rip out the things you're interested in and file them. In the industry we call this "swipe." Martha calls me The Tear-orist because I'm ruthless about ripping things out.
4. Beauty and cleaning products. I don't know what it is, but everyone wants to open that new bottle of product before finishing the last. Toss forgotten half-used bottles or commit to using them up before puncturing a new seal.
5. Mugs. Break them all! Novelty mugs are the bane of my existence. Buy one nice set and leave it at that.
Anduin's Top 5
1. Get rid of clothing! If you haven't worn it in 7 years, it's wasting space. That size 4 you haven't fit into since the 90's is a pipe dream. More and more re-sell boutiques are cropping up, if it pains you to give away something beautiful.
2. Go through jewelry and accessories regularly. Unless it's a classic piece, be ruthless.
3. Kids toys, books and games. Keep the absolute favorites for posterity but toss the junky plastic that has seen better days. Teach your children about charity by donating gently used items.
4. Electronics that you've replaced with updated technology – bring it to an electronic recycling center.
5. CDs! They take up so much space and can be easily uploaded into a digital computer file. If you must keep the actual CD, get binders so that they store smaller and no matter what, ditch the cases.