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  • Leah Cee

The time is now Declutterers!

Now is our chance fellow South Aussies - to get decluttering. We are a month into Spring, there's still a week left of school holidays, the weather is starting to show some promise and Christmas will be on our doorstep in under 12 weeks!


Charity shops are OPEN! We can do a few car load drop-offs to our favourite Op Shops and be done with clutter.


Bunnings is OPEN! This weekend we can drop into the old Hammer Barn and grab a snag - and while we’re there, grab a few empty boxes to start filling as soon as you get home. I guarantee if you’ve got some empty boxes to fill, you’ll find stuff to put in them. Once they’re chock a block full, seal them up and get them to the charity shop pronto. I say seal them up to discourage you from having second thoughts!


This weekend could possibly be the best weekend to start. The public holiday on Monday means for some people, there's an extra day off to get stuck into decluttering. How delightful will it be to clear the dining table of junk or get the clutter off the kitchen counters, so that making those lunches next Monday morning doesn't seem quite so disorganised?



Or maybe it’s just time to finally tackle that Tupperware? Or hit up the top of the wardrobe and see what’s in those dust-covered boxes? Or sort through the craft room to clear space and finally enjoy that project you started 12 years ago?



Now is the time. Let’s get our stuff to Op Shops while we can and remove the clutter from our homes once and for all.



** If you happen to be reading this from the Eastern seaboard and unfortunately find yourselves stuck in lockdown but feel motivated to start decluttering, it’s still possible. Op Shops are most likely closed again, but I do have some tips in my Holding Zone blog. Click on this link to find out how you can still declutter without being able to move the stuff from your home.


If you’re keen to start decluttering but you just do not know where to start, here’s a quick guide to things you can declutter - room by room:


THE KITCHEN

  • Tupperware - broken, lids missing, lids that don't seal, too much of it, or just bits that you don't use - eliminate it.

  • Old appliances you don’t use - donate or responsibly recycle.

  • Utensils that haven’t been used in more than a year.

  • Mugs. Seriously - how many mugs do you need?

  • Glassware. Someone else will be glad of your extras.

  • Expired pantry items. Yes it’s a waste - but if you’re not going to eat it, bin it.

  • Junk mail. Just recycle the lot.

  • Bills. Set up digital billing and stop the paper flow. They are always available on line if you need to go back and look at them. If you need the paper copy, find a high-vis coloured folder to put them in and attend to them as soon as you can.


THE LOUNGE

  • DVD’s you don’t watch. They’re not worth anything sitting in your cupboard / cabinet / DVD storage unit. Donate them.

  • CD’s you don’t listen too. As above.

  • Old cushions / throws / blankets / rugs that have seen better days.

  • Trinkets and dust collectors that are sitting in cabinets and really don’t mean anything to you anymore. Take photos of them, preserve the memory then donate them.

  • Books you’re not going to read. It’s hard breaking up your book collection, I know. I moved about a thousand books 16 times in 20 years, but instead of filling up the bookcase, free up the space - someone might love to read those books. It’s liberating.

  • Cables. if your TV / Foxtel / DVD player / Fetch / Xbox / Playstation is working just fine, eliminate the extra cables.

  • Photo frames. Can all those photos be put into one custom frame? That’ll give you a clean surface and as an added bonus - think of all the Mr Sheen you’ll save.

THE BATHROOM

  • Expired or mangy makeup / pharmaceuticals / medicines

  • Anything that has mould on it or in it. Bin it immediately. Mould is toxic.

  • Unused kids bath toys - if they are clean and free from mould, the local kindy or childcare centre might like them for water play.

THE BEDROOM

  • This is your private sanctuary. Remove anything that doesn’t promote calm, restful sleep and / or intimacy with your partner.

  • Clothing you don’t like or wear.

  • Clothing that the moths gorged themselves on.

  • Clothing that you’ve been hanging on to because you’re going to do the Fast 800 and lose 40kg. When you lose that 40kg, give yourself a big high five and treat yourself to something new and fresh to go with your amazing new look.

  • If you have clothing that is past its best, can’t be donated but you don’t feel great about throwing it in landfill, H&M and Zara have been accepting fabric and clothing to recycle. It may be worth a call to check they are still taking these items before a trip instore.

  • Old pillows that may or may not be full of sweat and dead skin cells. Treat yourself to a new Tontine.

THE KIDS BEDROOMS

  • Broken toys

  • Unused toys

  • Crappy toys that come with junk food and are cast aside five minutes after they’re opened.

  • Toys and books that are no longer age appropriate.

  • Clothes that no longer fit. If you are keeping them for younger or yet to be born siblings, vacuum seal them or put them in a plastic, sealed, labelled tub.

  • If you have pre-school aged kids clothes that are no longer needed, try donating them to the local childcare centre or kindy. Pre-schoolers are highly likely to have a toileting accident or fall over in mud or water and need a change of clothes. Even clean, unstained socks and undies may be taken as backups for little ones who have accidents.


THE LINEN PRESS

  • Towels, flannels, sheets, pillowcases that are worn, threadbare or not used. Vets, Animal Hospitals, the RSPCA, Animal Welfare, Koala Rescue and Fauna Rescue are all known to receive linen donations.


GENERAL TIPS


If you think something is worth selling, try Facebook Marketplace. If you list good quality items at low prices over the weekend, you could find yourself with some easy sales. Always keep in mind that something is only worth what the buyer wants to pay. Cast aside sentimentality to the item or what you originally paid. Rarely will you get your money back on an item. In most cases, you won’t get close to what you paid. Treat on-selling as a bit of pocket money and bear in mine it can be laborious, time consuming and sometimes defeat the decluttering motive if you hold onto it waiting for a sale.


If it’s ok to donate, put it in the charity shop box. A good rule of thumb is - if it’s not ok to donate to a friend, then don’t donate it to the charity shop. Charity shops are usually run by volunteers who do not want to, or have the time to be sorting through rubbish.


Local kindergartens and childcare centres may welcome various donated goods. If they have a mud kitchen, they may take old kitchen pots and pans or plasticware. They love craft materials (but perhaps not small beads!) and anything that can be used as “making”. Fabric swatches, balls of wool, water based paint, paint brushes and coloured paper are all great items to donate. As above, preschool sized clothing may be very welcome for “emergency” changes of clothing.


As much as I like to responsibly and sustainably recycle, sometimes stuff just has to go into landfill. If you just want stuff gone, you’ve used up your council allocated kerbside hard rubbish collections or you have no room in the bin, try 1800 GOT JUNK. They will come and collect your stuff and dispose of it for a fee.



Or alternately if you're in Adelaide, try Jarrad at Be Gone Rubbish Removals. He'll happily come and take away your stuff so you can start living clutter-free.



There are so many different places to donate your unwanted, unused or pre-loved but time to get rid of items. A quick google search will usually result in somewhere local to take your stuff.


Whatever your declutter goal is, just start. It doesn’t matter where you start - the important thing is to start. Yep, it’s overwhelming. I know it. I’ve been there. I’m still finding areas of overwhelm myself and I’m constantly decluttering. But I also know the beautiful feeling of calm and clarity when a space is cleared of clutter. In this time of uncertainty and chaos, at least we can control what’s going on inside our homes. And there’s no better feeling than a calm, tranquil space to retreat to.


Enjoy the lightness of less!

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