Decluttering: 5 Lessons I've Learnt


As promised, here’s a quick decluttering update on my 30-Day-Clutterbuster Challenge. (What's that? Click here to check it out) It’s incredible how much one little exercise can teach you … and this one has taught me a lot.

Decluttering - Lesson 1 - It’s tough to get rid of stuff.
I know what you’re thinking… duh! But… stay with me for a minute. You’d think that once you’ve made up your mind to give away stuff you’d just be able to do it. Guess again. After I sifted, sorted and went through everything, I needed to move those things out of my sight, my home and my life.

I could sell, donate and try to give away stuff, but until it actually leaves my home, I will need to find a place to organise and store all that stuff.

Decluttering - Lesson 2 -  How to get stuff done?
SPREAD THE WORD. Use any and every channel available. Use social media, local Facebook groups (I use Garage Sale -Mumbai and On the Curb), ask family and friends and enlist everyone’s help. There is no better way to get the word out there than actually putting yourself and your stuff out there.

Once I knew exactly what I want to get rid off, I put them in piles. SELL / DONATE / THROW AWAY. Done…. Great - that was easy!

Decluttering - Lesson 3 - When all else fails, try this!

While separating stuff is easy, deciding on a timeline for EVERYTHING to go can be a bit difficult given how much time you have to spare for this activity anyway.

While I was trying to sell something, I decide on reasonable date or limit. (For me that date is Dec 31st)

Here’s the IMP bit -

Once you pass that date, everything needs to go. Yes… EVERYTHING!

Besides giving me a great goal to focus on, anyone who wanted to come pick up/ get stuff also knew there was an expiration date on the offer.

You might think this is extreme, but I once stored a stack of 10 books for 4 months for someone who expressed their interest in them but never showed up to collect them. Well….lesson learned!
Can’t sell it? Ask yourself this? Do I know people or social service groups that could use it? If not, drop it off at your nearest raddiwalla or scrap dealer.

Can’t donate it? This is unlikely but very possible. Re-evaluate whether you want to consider another channel to give it away. E.g. If you’ve been trying to give away computer spare parts  Facebook, but aren’t generating too much interest, try giving it to your local computer repair store. You just might make a new friend.

Throw away - Unless you have something radioactive I don’t think you’ll have too much trouble with this bit.

Decluttering - Lesson 4 - Let it go!

It’s easy to get frustrated when things don’t go your way. `Something you think is valuable may not generate a shred of interest. In those moments, I was tempted to put them back because it was just too difficult to give them away.

I’m pleased to report, tempted though I was, I didn’t. Do I regret it? Happily nope!

Also really important - once you have decided something needs to go, don’t let (well-meaning) friends, siblings and family talk you out of it. It’s your process. Make peace with the fact that there is a slight possibility of someone saying “I told you so” at some later point. But, if you have been thorough and truly evaluated what you want to keep and what needs to go, this is a very unlikely scenario.

Decluttering - Lesson 5 - You’ve got friends in plenty of places.
When I first decided to do this challenge, I was a bit apprehensive. When you put yourself out there, failure is not an option. Everyone is on board with getting rid of “old”, “worthless”  stuff. But, in an increasingly commercial cityscape, it could be very difficult for everyone to get on board giving away new stuff, particularly if it’s expensive.

Things I’ve heard:
“Are you crazy?”
“Why are you giving away ALL your stuff?”
“Are you in some kind of financial trouble?”

and my personal favourite…

“WHO gives away books? I thought you loved your books”

On the other hand, the positive support has been overwhelming. Not only have other people joined me in my 30-Day-Clutterbuster Challenge, but so many more have come up to me with these:

I don’t know what I’m keeping half the things I own for…
Come to think of it, I don't even know

For now, I’m pretty pleased with my results and I hope to be in an even better place by the end of the year.

Until my next video, Happy Holidays everyone!

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Music: Blizzards
Artist: Riot
Camera: Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i
Thanks for watching!
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