Last week I started my annual declutter of the house. It’s something I’ve done every November before the deluge of Christmas gifts arrive into the house, but with college it was delayed until now. In recent years we’ve manage to knock the Christmas deluge tradition on the head, but the annual declutter continues.
When I started this process it was an uphill struggle. I just couldn’t make a dent in the amount of ‘stuff’, and decluttering was more of an exercise in reorganising than rehoming.
Thankfully after 5 years of low-waste living I’m really seeing the difference. Having successfully rehomed hundreds of items and refusing entry to new ones, I can now see the bottom of drawers and the back of cupboards.
I won’t lie. It hasn’t been easy. This is because I have a mindset of ‘rehoming’ rather than ‘getting rid of’.
- I refuse to donate anything that isn’t brand new to charity shops, because I know that things that look ‘second-hand’ often get dumped.
- I refuse to bin something that is still functional, even if I can’t find a new home for it.
- I refuse to bin something that is repairable, even if I don’t currently have the money/skill to repair it at the moment.
Part of me wishes it was easier to rehome things in Ireland. People seem very reluctant to buy second-hand items online, which can make the process unbearably slow. But I think making it too easy would have it’s drawbacks.
Knowing how hard it is to rehome things has made me much more cautious about buying things in the first place. Over Christmas I decided I wanted a lovely yearly planner by Badly Made Books and I went to far as to put on in my virtual shopping basket, but I didn’t complete the purchase. I knew I had a few half-filled notebooks in my bedside locker and told myself I could only buy a new notebook or planner when I’d used them up.
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