(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com
I don't know if y'all noticed a ways down in the right sidebar (probably not and that's fine), but I managed to finish off my Get Rid of 365 Things Resolution a week or so ago. I know! Yay, me! Yup, I've gotten rid of (sold, donated, gave to somebody we know, tossed, returned, etc.) more than 365 things this year and it's only October! Hooray!
Things I've learned doing this:
- A little at a time adds up. I keep a large plastic bag under my bed (handy place, not in the way, easy to get to) and as I come across an item I know I don't want anymore I just stick it in. Then, when it starts seeming fullish, I don't look in it ('cuz if I would have really wanted it back, I would have been thinking and thinking about it and would have pulled it out sooner), tie it up, throw it in the car, and bring it to Goodwill (or similar) the next time I'm out and about. Or, when a charity calls looking to pick stuff up, I can pull out that bag, find a few more things to add to it, and set it out for pick-up.
- Do the easy stuff first. Really. Seriously. Chucking/donating/setting aside a few things that I KNOW I don't want/need anymore often makes it easier for me to get rid of a few more things as well. If I start with stuff I'm not sure about, I waffle about it for ages... and often end up just putting it back where it was and not looking at anything else. Even if there isn't carry-over that makes it easier to get rid of some stuff I wasn't sure about, I still have those easy things gone... and they count just as much as the hard ones.
- Giving stuff (esp. nice stuff!) to somebody I know is way easy than just donating it. We're lucky enough to have two children of the same gender, which means most clothes get reused already. But there are some ADORABLE things the girls have worn and have now both outgrown, that I don't feel the need to save... (not that I'm not saving some of their cutest stuff, 'cuz I am!) but I don't just want to chuck in the Goodwill bag either. Enter Pumpkin's last year's teacher, who had a girl baby towards the end of the school year. I've been able to pass along grocery bags full of stuff to her. She's grateful (and uses it!), Pumpkin enjoys knowing their old stuff is being worn by Mrs. M's baby, and it's easier for me to send some of those cute little outfits along knowing they'll be enjoyed & appreciated by someone we know. I'd think if you had a favorite charity/issue to support (Epilepsy Foundation, women's shelter, animal shelter (they often need old towels/sheets), etc.), donating stuff to them specifically might also make it easier since you could focus on the good they (and you!) are doing.
- You can try to sell stuff, but it's a lot of work/lots might not go/but the extra cash is nice. Decluttering has included bringing things to our local Once Upon a Child and selling stuff via Craig's List. I haven't wanted to keep stuff around for a rummage sale (or deal with having one, for that matter) but that could've been an option, too. Lemme tell you, you don't get much at OUAC, they only take some/a little and I usually end up buying at least as much as I get back, but it is a bit of change. With Craig's List, it's been interesting what gets snapped up right away and what just doesn't go. Which reminds me, I've got a few more things I should list pretty soon & see if they go...
- It's still HARD! It's crazy, I know, but I sometimes feel bad for the things I get rid of. Like, I'm sorry for them that they didn't make the cut. Or, "Oh, I've had you for so long! I can't just cast you aside! Don't feel bad; you're not junk!" Between this resolution, and Flylady's "Bless somebody else with your stuff that you don't use/need," it's gotten easier, but it's still really hard for me sometimes.
If you struggle with clutter, too, are trying to simplify, or are wondering why in the world you've been keeping X around for so long, take heart! You, too, can rid yourself of 365 things in (less than) a year! All it takes is a little at a time (and a fair amount of self-encouragement!).