In cooperation with Gumtree
Decluttering is good, decluttering is great. It makes me feel lighter and freer and more me-er than me.
I’m on a bit of a roll – taking boxes and boxes of stuff to the charity shop. I even sold some mobile phones that were rattling around in our bottom drawer. It hadn’t occurred to me that they might be worth something until I looked at the price checker.
This is all part of us building a beautiful life, because it frees us up for adventures and any money I make I’m putting in the adventure fund.
My dad’s cot. My cot. And for a brief time (until we figured out why modern cots have safety standards) my son’s cot. Oh, my heart.
Yes, I’ve written about the benefits of decluttering and I’ve even talked about it in a workshop on Slowing Down (okay, my co-host, Brooke from Slow Your Home, did most of that sort of talking).
I come from a long line of hoarders on both sides. I’m a complete softy, sentimentalist. I love objects that tell a story. They open up a sense of wonder in me. I think about who has held the object before and what his or her life was like.
This means I love a lot of things and where decluttering can get unstuck for me. Because, I love this and this and that and this and that and this and that…
I love this cot, but I have no use for it. Yes, we’ve decided two children is our lucky number, so I’m cashing in my fertility chips. Not that we can use it as a cot anyway, because it doesn’t meet modern safety standards. It would make a gorgeous day bed, but we don’t have room for one of those.
This cot languishing in our attic goes against my belief in making the most of what we have and minimising our impact. It can’t fulfill its usefulness rammed in a dark corner.
I’ve decided the best thing to do is find a good home for it, someone who will love it. So, I’m biting the bullet and advertising it to search for a good home.
How to declutter sentimental things – eek!
- Ask what value it’s adding to your life?
- Take photos to remember it by (they take up a lot less space).
- Think what the extra space or money can do for you now, rather than the expense of storing something forever that you may never, ever use again and the longer you keep it the more obliged you feel to keep it and so it goes on.
- Repeat with me: Love people, use things.
- Remember the person or memory doesn’t live in the thing and do you want to be weighed down by the memory or would the person want you to be burdened by this thing?
For inspiration, I’m thinking of the lady I bought my favourite car from. She sold me her beloved Mini Cooper (the best car I’ve ever owned). She had owned it for 23 years and raised her family in it. She welled up when she told me she had been waiting for someone who could give it a good home, since she could no longer drive. And I was that person. I was honoured
I’m sad to be letting go of the cot, but I know it’s worth it. My family will be lighter and better off without it and someone else can use it and love it.
There will be tears, because, yes, I am a softy sentimentalist.
Do you have any advice to help me?