I have had a couple of conversations lately with people who are struggling to gain momentum with their decluttering. They are making fitful starts here and there but get frustrated. I have discovered through these conversations that the main underlining theme behind their difficulty is that, once chosen, they don’t have a plan in place as to how to get rid of the clutter. As a result all they end up doing is moving it around the house.
Most of my regular readers have this situation well and truly in hand. So much so, that they can also easily investigate and discover an outlet even for those odd items that don’t fit with their usual system. This comes with practice and experience of course. For those starting out though it is better to keep it simple and grow from there.
With a little forethought, a few phone calls and maybe a little leg work anyone can set themselves up to be successful declutterers from the start. The fact is, that knowing how to get rid of the stuff is equally as important as being willing to let it go in the first place.
So here are my suggestions for what to do to get yourself set up for declutter success…
- Keep it simple. Choose a few methods for getting rid of your stuff that will make it easy to achieve success. You can always get more imaginative with your disposal methods later when you have worked out how to really flex your decluttering muscle.
- Let your fingers do the walking. Use google or your local phone directory (online or off) to find where the thrift stores are in your area. Phone them and enquire what items they are willing to receive. Many such organisations have web sites these days that give all the information you will need. Choose the one that receives the widest range of items because that will make it easier for you to get rid of lots of things at once and will save you a lot of running around. Better still, choose one that will come to you if that is an option.
- Make freecycle.org your new best friend. Listing stuff to give away on freecycle is a great way to offload things that are still good but not accepted by your local thrift stores.
- See if curb-side decluttering will work for you. Just put something out with a FREE sign on it and see if it is taken. Please don’t leave things out overnight though.
- If you are feeling adventurous and think you may want to sell some things through online selling sites like ebay, Trademe or Craigslist etc, investigate how that works and do a trial run with an item you have chosen to send on its way. Talk to a friend or family member who has used these sites for advice on how to go about selling and what strategies have worked best for them. My suggestion is to keep it simple to begin with; don’t worry what day or time your auctions begin, just get them up there. Limiting yourself with best times can have the effect of slowing you down. I find it makes no difference as to how my auctions perform so long as the auction ends at a reasonable hour of the day.
- Consider having a garage/yard sale. This way you can put the stuff aside for a while until you have enough items for the sale. What isn’t sold at the sale can then be donated.
Once you have yourself set for success that is exactly what will ensue.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter something used for food preparation.
Today’s Declutter Item
I have a timer on my oven, a timer on my microwave and a stopwatch on my cell phone so why do I need this old fashioned egg timer. I don’t! So out it goes. I can’t imagine how I have missed decluttering this for so long.
Eco Tip for the Day
Avoid using throw-away items where possible. Eg. paper napkins, batteries, paper cups etc. Instead, replace these with reusable items to reduce on waste.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast