Clearing out clutter

By Kelly McCarthy

May 22, 2013 Updated May 22, 2013 at 11:59 PM EDT

Town of Union, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Clearing out clutter at home is a task many people avoid, and for some it can even lead to distress and denial.

A local counselor who stopped by the Broome County Senior Center Wednesday provided help and inspiration for those looking to downsize.

Linda Johnson calls herself a "recovering clutterer."

"I've been to the senior center a couple of times talking about this," Johnson said. "But now I can honestly say to them, I did it!"

Clearing out clutter can be a daunting task, years in the making. Johnson said living in clutter develops over time, and most of the people looking for help are over the age of 50.

"I think you reach a point where all of a sudden you realize life would be simpler if you just got rid of a lot of stuff," said Barbara Ford, of Endwell.

A lot of "stuff" could become normal for people living in clutter, but even the word clutter carries with it a negative connotation.

"People don't use that word necessarily to compliment somebody when they come into someone's house," Johnson said. "In fact most people aren't going to say anything about it because they're like 'Oh my goodness, what is all this stuff.'"

Parting with valuables can bring relief, and even cash.

"All the furniture you see in here," said Brad Kirby, owner of America's Attic, "All the case goods, all the dressers and the chest of drawers and the collectibles, those are all the things that come out of local estates here."

Johnson now shares her story with other seniors in Broome County and encourages them to find open space.

"The biggest feeling I know I experienced for myself doing this was relief," Johnson said, "Enormous relief, that I no longer was responsible for all this stuff I collected through the years."

Linda Johnson was a guest speaker for the Broome County Office for Aging.

America's Attic offers estate liquidation and appraisals.

You can visit their website here.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.