The Magic of Tidying Up

Take a picture – it’ll last longer!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

When spring cleaning season arrives every year, we PROMISE ourselves we’ll clean out that attic! But it’s SO hard to let things go! I’ll just keep those Disneyland mouse ears around… and those baby clothes bring back good memories too. With all the sentiment connected to this stuff, how will we ever declutter?!

A study led by Karen Winterich from Penn State may have the solution. The researchers asked nearly eight hundred college students to donate their belongings for good causes. The team split the participants into two groups. One group was encouraged to take PHOTOS of their donated stuff while the other didn’t.

Her findings? Those who took a photo of their possessions are MORE willing to give them away. Researchers believe this strategy helps keep those memories alive. The photographs also prevent people from LOSING their sense of identity. Those special items define who we are!

Like this disco dress – size six. Can’t get rid of that – I KNOW it’ll fit me again someday!