Finding your target audience

I received this comment from Janetta on June 3rd:

I have a question: I am a quilter and when I left South Africa in 2004 (to travel for two years and then settle in New Zealand) the little group I met up with every week gave me a lovely gift of a miniature quilt (A4 size) from each of them and a group one wishing me all the best. The work is lovely and very reminiscent of them and I have stored them in plastic sleeves in a folder. I practically never look at them and although I am very pleased to have been given them, I don’t really want them any more. I could take pics of them, but what would I do with them. They are so personal I can’t imagine anyone else wanting them. Any ideas?

And my my response was:

I would suggest that you go to a quilting shop near your home and ask for their advice. There is always the possibility that they may want to display them in the store or one of their customers might want them. It would be a shame to just throw them away. If this doesn’t work for you why not try advertising them on Freecycle where you would have a wide audience of people and maybe just one person among those would be happy to take these off your hands.

Then yesterday I got this comment fro Janetta:

Success! I took my mini quilts to our local quilt shop and Alison, the owner, was very pleased to take them, she said they are a perfect size for decorating and filling in corners in the shop!

I also donated the wooden file they were given to me in (I think intended for decoupage) and donated it to an opshop (together with 35 other items), so I am feeling very satisfied with the solution to the problem. Thanks for your advice.

I was so pleased for Janetta being able to pass on some items that she would have felt bad to throw away. Instead they are now being appreciated all over again. Her situation just goes to prove, that if you can identify your target audience you should have no problem handing your clutter on to someone who will get as much enjoyment out of them as you once did. No matter what it is you are getting rid of, if it is still useful in some way there will be someone happy to claim it. I have had success with this many times over the last eighteen months of my declutter mission…

  • Craft items ~ Arranged a sale with a local craft group.
  • Broken Amplifier ~ Freecycled to a man who likes to tinker with that sort of thing.
  • Non functioning Kenwood mixer ~ I sold the accessories on ebay and when one man came to pick up his item I offered him the mixer as well and he was happy to take it.
  • Excess Stationary & scrapbook paper~ Donated to the school up the street.
  • Lamp that needed rewiring ~ Offered on freecycle and a lady whose son was an electrician was glad to take it from me. I am not so sure her son would have been so pleased but that’s not my problem. 😉

As you can see, with a little imagination it is possible to find home for all sorts of things. You may be thinking that Freecycle doesn’t target a specific audience but in a way it does because there are a lot of handy people browsing the offers looking for things they can repair, recycle or repurpose. Like the man that took the top of my entertainment unit. It would have been useless to a thrift store but the man that took it was a retired carpenter who was excited to reuse the leadlight doors and recycle the timber for other projects.

Below are some examples of specific items and who may want them:

  • Perhaps you are no longer interested in camping and you have an old tent you no longer want. Why not offer it to a local Scout Troop, I am sure they would get great use out of it.
  • Maybe your beloved dog passed away and you do not plan get another so you are free to travel in the future. I am sure a kennel or your local animal shelter would appreciate any equipment you have to offer like leads, kennel, beds, toys, bowls etc.
  • You might have fishing gear that you no longer use, try offering them for sale or donate them to a local fishing club if you have such a thing in your area.

The variety of enthusiast, non-profit, sporting, craft… groups out there is almost limitless so use your imagination and I am sure you will find someone who would just love your stuff. Even google ~ the word donate and your item ~ and see what pops up on your screen, it may not give you the exact answer you are looking for but it will stimulate your imagination.

Today’s Declutter Item

I hate it when an item doesn’t work as well as it should. This thermal mug was hard to open and close and even harder to pull apart to clean. Needless to say it ended up in the back of a cupboard unused and unloved. Maybe a thrift store customer may have more patience for it than I did.

Thermal Mug

My Gratitude List

  • Something that I appreciate ~ How fortunate I have been in the game of life so far.
  • Something Awesome ~ Hot beef stew with veggies and dumplings for dinner on a cold windy day.
  • Something to be grateful for ~ My warm woolly slippers. I love to have warm toes.
  • Something that made me happy ~ Spending the day with a friend and getting out of the house for a while.
  • Something I found fascinating ~ How many kitchen gadgets there are out there to choose from. My friend and I had coffee at a kitchen store yesterday and the range of products was insane.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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Continue reading with these posts:

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  • Disposing of this weeks mission yields In a post a couple of weeks ago that asked a range of question about your clutter issues and my blog. One of the readers asked for more information on how to get rid of the clutter that […]
  • A collection of thoughts I've been racking my brain today, trying to come up with an idea for a blog post, without success. I thought of a few experiences I have encountered during the week in reference to […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Perhaps you are no longer interested in camping and you have an old tent you no longer want. Why not offer it to a local Scout Troop, I am sure they would get great use out of it.

    Hey! Are you talking to me here? : )

    • Hi Cindy,
      I have to confess that your previous story did come to mind when I was trying to conjure up ideas to put in that section of the post but please don’t be offended. 😉 😉

  2. Colleen,

    I gave away a TON of scrapbooking supplies and ALL of my equipment to my best friend last week, who was ecstatic to take them. She had to leave all of her stuff when she moved from Hawaii, so to her, it was like getting all new stuff.

    Before I gave it to her, I pulled out enough supplies for a specific project and put them into a gift bag with a pretty little thank you note (recycled from those free ones that come in the mail) to my son’s teacher to tell her what an awesome job I thought she did this year. She was also very grateful, as they are always looking for craft stuff at the school.

    Cindy, I think the scouts idea is fantastic! What better place for a tent?


  3. This is a great post. It is so great to find a recipient for good stuff rather than trashing it. Though I’d hate to see this idea keep people from actually decluttering while they try to find the perfect recipient.
    I had a good thing happen recently of this very kind. I mentioned in my crafting group that I planned to declutter a lot of quilting fabric that I know I’d never use again, and one lady piped up saying she would love to take it since she and her sister had wanted to try learning to quilt and they could really use a stash of fabrics without having to invest money in it. Perfect match!

    • Hi Eve,
      I would also hope that a person would not get too particular about finding the perfect match and allow that to disrupt their decluttering efforts. I would hope though that people give it enough consideration that they weren’t just trashing stuff because they couldn’t be bothered find a new home for their stuff. I have come across plenty of examples of this happening while cruising declutter web sites and it makes me cringe. It is especially prevalent with people doing a fast and furious declutter rather than being slower and more conscious.

      You however did find the perfect match for your fabric and how smart are those ladies trying to keep the cost down while they are deciding whether a craft is right for them or not. You have kept something out of landfill and reduced supply and demand by helping these ladies out. ✰✰✰✰✰ Five stars for that effort!

  4. We live in the country. This limits some disposal methods, though leaving things at the end of the driveway works. We don’t have Freecycle here so I created my own. When my husband bought a new air compressor, the ancient one still worked but not well enough for his needs and not well enough to offer for sale. So I sent an email to a number of friends saying I had one available for free. Within a couple of hours it had been forwarded to a young person who could use it and had access to parts to repair it. Win/win.

    • Hi Wendy,
      I would imagine the living in the country does make finding homes for your decluttered items some what more difficult. However you seem to have a great system in place to do the best you possibly can. Good for you Wendy! Isn’t the internet a wonderful resource for so many things?

    • Hi Wendy B – emailing friends is a great idea and one that had not occurred to me, so thank you.

      I used to struggle mightily with decluttering because of guilt over sending things to the landfill. Since I’ve started reading 365lessthings, I’m happy to say that is no longer an issue. And now I have one more choice thanks to Wendy 🙂