If you yearn for a simpler, minimalist lifestyle and are yet to declutter your house, this post is for you.
I’m sharing the ins and outs of our decluttering attempts for our upcoming house move.
Let’s dive in!
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So the crunch time has come!
In just 2 months’ time we’ll be packing up all our belongings to move to Adelaide and the task is not a small one!
While I thought that we’ve been pretty good and haven’t accumulated too much stuff over the years (living in a remote town hundreds of kilometres away from the shops helps!), the volume looked a little different once we started to declutter.
We’ve lived in this town for 13 years and during that time we’ve welcomed our two gorgeous boys into the world and the fair amount of stuff that comes with having a baby and young children in the house.
But it wasn’t just the kids’ toys and clothes that we needed to declutter. My wardrobe needed significant attention, thanks to my every changing body size and shape throughout this motherhood journey.
As eco-minded folk we naturally wanted to rehouse as many items as possible, to save them from landfill and give them a second lease of life. This obviously takes more time to sort and move on, however I can honestly say is not without its rewards.
From giving away items to op shops, friends and charities, to selling them locally and online, here’s the 5 main methods we’ve used to declutter our house.
5 Ways To Declutter Your House:
We held one garage sale very early on in our decluttering attempts. It was great to move on some big items like our baby pram and play gym, but it was especially effective for our baby toys. We had quite a collection of high quality wooden toys priced to move, and naturally, they got snapped up in a hurry.
We went in to our garage sale with the aim to not make heaps of money, but to move stuff on as quickly and responsibly as possible and in that regards it was a great success!
Car Boot Sale
We managed to take a car load of items to two local Car Boot Sales in the past few months and they were worth the time to declutter more belongings. Smaller items like cookbooks, pot plants and children’s books sold well here and the advantage was that we had a steady stream of people checking out our gear. We didn’t need to advertise at all – the people came to us!
Online Auction Sites
We spent the time to upload quality items in good condition to EBay and while they sold for a fraction of the price we purchased them, it was nice to receive some money and give them a second chance at life! EBay was great to help us declutter many new items like clothing with tags and unused shoes.
Local Buy Swap Sell Groups
Our town’s Buy Swap Sell Facebook Group has helped us move many items on quickly with the bonus that we don’t have to post the item. The downside was having people constantly coming to our house to collect their purchase (or not collect in some instances) but that’s a small inconvenience to move items on and continue the declutter process.
The Buy Swap Sell Group was great for moving on items like our toy kitchen, high chair, baby rocker and modern cloth nappies. We found that smaller priced items (anything less than $10) didn’t sell well though – I guess it has to be worth it for people to actually venture out and come and collect!
At the same time, items over $100, despite how good a condition they were in, didn’t sell easily either. People naturally are after a bargain we found if they were going to spend that much, most people preferred to buy new items. So again, in order to declutter and move items on quickly, we just slashed the prices.
Giveaway or Donate To Charity
Without a doubt, this is the quickest, and most rewarding way to declutter your house.
Giveaway to Friends
Friends rummaged through our tubs of baby and boys clothing before we donated the rest to the Local Op Shop. In our decluttering exercise we found that not only was clothing the largest item we needed to move on, it was also the most time consuming to sell! Taking photos and uploading the item online takes TIME and EFFORT and it just wasn’t worth it to sell bundles of clothes for a few dollars.
Giveaway to Child Care Centres
We gifted a large tub of quality jig saw puzzles and books to our local Early Learning Centre. They also happily received a bag of jocks and socks and some clothing too which they use for their toilet-training kids.
Giveaway to Local Op Shop
Our local op shop received bags of clothing in particular (whatever was left after friends rummaged through them) plus a few other odd items.
Giveaway To Specific Charities
Specific charity organisations received particular items including:
- Bras – I cleaned out my bra drawer and donated 31 bras (mainly good quality maternity bras to the Uplift Project. This project send bras to women in developing countries who may not have access to bras or may not have funds to purchase them. http://www.upliftbras.org/drop_off_bras.html
- Prescription Glasses – I posted four pairs of prescription classes to the Lions Recycle for Sight Australia where they’ll be provided to people in need in developing countries.
- Business Clothing – jackets, shirts, pants, skirts and shoes from the days when I worked as a consultant engineer were bundled up and delivered to Dress For Success, a worldwide organisation that distributes business clothing to women in need preparing for their first job interview to enter or re-enter the workforce with a job that could change her life.
Decluttering our homes, while requiring considerable effort, is part of being a conscious consumer in our modern world. We need to take responsibility for the stuff that we not only purchase, but the items we’re given.
We’re responsible for the entire life cycle.
It is such a waste to hang on to stuff. We need to make the effort to move our items on so they’re not sitting idle in a garage, shed or bedroom cupboard. It’s much better to give them to people in need who can use the item.
I’m really happy to have decluttered our home. I’m feeling lighter and more excited about our upcoming move.
One thing that I do want to share is that moving on our Stuff, and spending countless weekends sorting, selling and donating our cherished belongings has made me even more determined to not accumulate as much stuff in the first place!
With Christmas fast approaching I’m particularly mindful as the Toy Invasion is very real. I’m requesting relatives to gift experiences or a very small number of quality items instead. Just trying not to get in this position again where I need to spend a few weekends moving items on!
Do you need to declutter your house?
Are you decluttering at the moment? Where are you moving your items on to? Feel free to share any specific charities below!
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