Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Is de-cluttering easier than organising?

I've read a lot recently about the benefits of starting your 'organisation project' with a good de-clutter. I can see the merits - a lot less stuff to find a home for and less stuff to keep putting away. However, I think I disagree because I love my stuff! I find it so hard to let go. While I am not quite as fully fledged a hoarder as my parents or those folk on TV who can't live in their homes anymore I definitely hang onto things. I just don't like letting go...

So I've established that I'm not a natural de-clutterer. I certainly can't just whip out the recycling box and bin lots of things in one fell swoop. No it doesn't make me feel better. All those professionals out there who claim you'll free and better and everything obviously don't understand people like me (or am I alone?! eeek!). However, I do know things need to change.

OK, so I'm not that bad but did you know there is a support website for hoarders and their families? Oh yes there is!

I've been thinking about how to handle the de-clutter for a while now. I threw out *a lot* of stuff (or so I thought) as we packed up our flat to move into our cottage last autumn. However, the unpacking revealed a lot of things that probably shouldn't have been kept! Interestingly there are lots of things of my husbands I would be more than happy to be rid of (years of magazines why oh why?!), and equally he feels the same about some of my 'junk'. Last night I was finally (ahem) unpacking from our wee trip away last week and I found a bag of things that hadn't been touched for four months - did we even need the stuff that was in it? Some of it yes. The rest, well probably not. So its official. We have too much junk. And yes it really is junk!

Right. So here we are:
1. I've recognised there is a problem to be fixed.
2. I know I feel a little uncomfortable physically sick if I just 'do it'.
3. This requires a challenge... that moves at a comfortable (sick averting) pace.

So here is my challenge.

The challenge:
1. For the month of August choose one item each day to be discarded/donated/recycled/freecycled/sold.
2. This can not include 10 days of 1 birthday card per day, or equivalent items.
3. Review progress at the end of August and update as required.

Now I'm realistic. I know myself well enough to know that I won't do this *everyday* but by the end of August I want 31 items removed from my life. I'm also frugal enough to know that some items have real value and while I'm more than happy to donate to charity/freecycle some things might be easier to let go of if we got some cash value out of them (probably only fairly expensive items, or things that wouldn't get an audience in a charity shop, but might on ebay). These items will be stored in a 'for sale' box until the item is sold. If unsold after one month they are to be donated.

I'm optimistic that this is a reasonable pace to accept initially, but I have enough junk around the place that I would like to up-the-pace come September. You never know, maybe I'll start enjoying it. 

So for all you reluctant de-clutterers out there who don't understand the obsession with fast de-hoarding, take a page out of my book and do it slow and steady. I reckon this is actually more likely to work for me as I won't feel a gaping hole suddenly exploding into my life!

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