declutter

Photo: David Tsay

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Cynthia, administrative assistant, 49
"I have a problem letting go," admits Cynthia, who traces her pack-rat tendencies to a painful 1990 divorce. After struggling to get back on her feet, she clung to each hard-won possession as "proof that I was making it," she explains. But as Walsh points out, the thousands of dollars she has spent to store extra linens and clothing isn't exactly liberating—or helping her move forward.

Her Giveaways: When Walsh holds up a large beige blanket, Cynthia defends it as "warm." "But if it's in storage, you're obviously not using it," Walsh says. Cynthia reluctantly agrees that it can go. As for a stack of neutral-colored towels and sheets, "I think of these as money," says Cynthia—but admits she hasn't used most of them since she was married. "Cynthia," gasps Lorraine. "I was 2 years old then!"

Get rid of it for good: Operation Blankets of Love distributes towels and blankets to shelter pets in need of comfort. (operationblanketsoflove.com)
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