Once I did the last attack of decluttering in my house I gathered everything to go in once place. I divided it out into a charity shop pile, a to-work pile, a recycling pile, and a to give to friend’s pile.
Then I made a plan to make sure it was all done ASAP. There is no point in finally finishing the declutter and not being able to enjoy your beautiful fresh house because you feel guilty you haven’t rid your house of the stuff you’ve decluttered.
If you don’t have a car this is not an obstacle or an excuse. I got a taxi, filled the boot and went to the charity shop first and then to the recycling centre. It cost me €5.50 (neither places are far but there was so much to carry). It was the best money I could have spent.
I contacted the people I wanted to give specific items to and made plans to meet them that week.
I brought the stationary and a book that I need at work there immediately.
Be warned. If, like me you are environmentally conscious, you will feel guilty about all the stuff you are decluttering. Forgive yourself but try keep the memory of that guilt in your head when considering buying new objects. For example, in my previous house there wasn’t a huge amount of wardrobe space and I had so much clothes back then (think 20 bags of now donated clothes more). At the time I bought a cheap clothes rail without thinking twice about it. When I moved house three years ago I brought it with me by default despite the fact that it constantly collapsed. It didn’t function anymore so I shoved it in the under stair closet to deal with at a later date. I couldn’t donate it broken so it just stayed there making me feel guilty that I bought such a flimsy item. Now I finally have brought it to the recycling centre where the guy working there told me that the metal bars can all be easily recycled and the broken plastic bits could be recycled and the cloth covering too. I’m glad it could be recycled but I will never buy such a quick fix again.
I feel guilty that I had to declutter so many things and some even had to be straight thrown out because they couldn’t be recycled. However, I feel more guilty that I bought them in the first place than I do about getting rid of them. I can now move forward consciously. I will consider whether I really need something before purchase and keep in mind the lifecycle of the product – will it last a long time and can it be fully recycled and not downcycled? None of the things I decluttered were bought in the past year so I obviously have learnt a lot about consumerism. Therefore, I leave behind the guilt for objects past and turn a new leaf.