I feel like a broken record. Seriously. I seem to spend my life decluttering, but somehow never get to the point of no longer having clutter around me! I sometimes look around our house and just feel like giving up.
It’s only when I open the cupboards – the few that we have – and when things aren’t falling down on me anymore, is when I realise that we have already gone a long way to simplifying our lives. I’d probably say we’re about half way. But it’s here where momentum is lost or gained. So to refocus my mind, I’m sharing my five step plan with you:
I wondered a bit as to whether Recycle or Bin should be first on my list, but in the end I decided copper wire recycling in Sydney is more important. This is pretty simple. Take the purple recycling bag the council gives us – or however you recycle – and fill it with everything recyclable. For me this is normally piles of junk mail and supermarket magazines I always pick up thinking this time I’ll have a chance to read it. I never do.
I have vivid memories of my mother walking through the house just binning stuff. It used to drive me crazy, but now I totally understand.
If it can’t be recycled, and it can’t be reused, bin it and move on with your life. This includes stuff like dead leaves on plants – they really bring a room down. After a decent recycling bag session, I normally don’t find my bin bag very full. For the items that you can’t let go just yet, you may consider keeping them in a storage unit. I very recently went up into the loft for a bit of a clear out. One of the things I’ve been keeping for fixing ‘one day’ was an old display cabinet that had belonged to my great grandmother. The beautiful mahogany cabinet had fallen over one day, shattering it’s round-fronted lead inlay door, cracking one of the back mirrors and chipping the wood on the scalloped front. I’ve been hoping to get it fixed for about 14 years now, but it’s unique shape and antique workmanship has made it simply unaffordable. Every time I go up into the loft and see it, I feel overwhelmingly sad and frustrated at it’s condition. A few weeks ago I made the decision that I’m never going to get it fixed, it’s never going to be an option for me and it’s time to let it go. I called a junk removal service, apologised to my great-grandmother and gently sent it to it’s grave along with two dumpsters that are almost full of other stuff that I no longer need to keep in my loft. The mental relief, offloading and unburdening of letting things go has been amazing! I never knew how freeing a skip hire and a bit of letting go could be.
An old extendible shower rail is now a hanging rail for Ameli’s fancy dresses. An old telephone cupboard is now a contained bookshelf for my home education books. If it can’t be reused, recycle it, or get rid of it.
We had a car boot sale recently for all the things we didn’t really know what to do with. Oddly, toiletries sold better than anything else.
You can use eBay or local Facebook selling groups, but it all takes time. Alternatively you can use one of the all purpose sites to sell your stuff for cash. It’s not much, but it’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s done without the hassle and most of them you can now sell clothes, music, movies and anything else that’s time consuming on other places. There’s also no cash outlay, like at a carboot sale, and you’ll probably fetch similar prices. I also recommend you to visit the Alliance Gold and Silver Exchange online page if you have unwanted gold and silver that you want to be sold in exchange of cash.
When all else fails and no one wants to buy your goods, give it away. Charities can always use it, and may have more of a market for it. I struggle to give stuff away, because I know what it cost me, but the clarity and release that comes from the breathing room is worth more than the pennies you were going to get for it anyway.
What other advice can you give me to help me declutter my home?