I have a confession to make. I had grand intentions of becoming less hoardy last winter. I decluttered the house and cleaned. I wrote organization posts. (Like this one and this one). I had to have the clutter gone before the semester started.
It started and ended. The kids’ school year ended. Summer started.
And the clutter piled back up. The problem is that I am cheap and I can pretty much remember where stuff is even if it is buried under three pieces of mail, a stack of foam plates, and the scrapbook paper that I’ve already cut to the size I need. But there comes a point where I just can’t think and I am tired of it. Like right now.
Dropping the clutter habit is turning out to be a lot like quitting smoking. Tweet
It took me years and many, many tries to kick that habit.
(I quit long before I had kids thank goodness because sometimes I think they may drive me back to smoking.) If my memory wasn’t so darn good and if I would stop focusing on other things, like writing or swimming with my kids…
Alas, even my mighty brain is getting twisted up by all the crap everywhere. I sat down earlier today to write and I.just.couldn’t. I couldn’t do it. My eyes kept getting drawn to the unfolded laundry and the old textbooks piled up next to my desk.
It was too much.
I don’t enjoy shopping. I wish I did but I just didn’t get that gene. Because I don’t enjoy shopping, I don’t like to get rid of things that I have bought. They may come in handy later. I don’t (thank God) ever feel the need to go dumpster diving or pick up furniture left on the curb by my neighbors. If I bought something ten years ago, I don’t still call it “new.” I just don’t like getting rid of things that I specifically went out and bought myself. To me, this is the fine line that separates my disorganization and clutter collection from true hoarding.
Either way, it is impeding my ability to think and to parent. My goal is homemaking smarter not harder and I still have a ways to go.
I tried to public accountability thing by posting my intentions on the blog last year. I forgot about those posts until today so that didn’t work. This time I am focusing on the “cheap” part by decluttering for cash. It is not an organizational issue when you have far too much stuff to have a proper place for each item.
About nine years ago, I had a successful though short-lived eBay store selling used children’s clothing. I ended up closing the shop because my work schedule changed from working nights to days. When I worked nights I would do the listing and shipping while my husband was at work during the day. When my schedule changed, shipping items and getting good natural light for photos became impossible. And now, I no longer work days and after going through all the kids clothes today, I have a lot of inventory.
So I am bribing myself to declutter. I will buy myself a treat with my declutter money once the items are GONE.
Craft supplies and completed crafts are going to be sold on Etsy. I also had a crochet and knit store on etsy years ago but all the crocheting started to cause pain in my fingers and wrists. I still crochet but I am no longer a photo prop or hat factory. I got season tickets to Disney for the whole family one year with my “hat money.” I count that as a success. So if you are interested in some of the crafts or destash that I will be listing be sure to stop by Scruggbug Corner on Etsy. (Shameless plug but my decluttering “treat” will be used to make this site more awesome.) If you check out the sidebar, you’ll see some of my newest items listed.
I don’t have a store on ebay any longer but the second hand clothes will be listed over the weekend under Scruggbug2. It’s been a long time since I sold on eBay so I don’t know if this will work as well as it did in the past. I’ll be sure to let you know.
For those of you who are considering it, here is a pretty good list of tips and a how to get started:
Anything that doesn’t sell or won’t really fit with Ebay or Etsy will be donated to Goodwill. I don’t actually earn money this way, but the tax deduction is always helpful. For the last several years, I haven’t sold anything and just donated everything. This is perfect when you don’t have the time to list items, especially when they have a drive through donation center.
If I really get disgusted with all this stuff, I might have a garage sale. So far, my disgust for having garage sales outweighs my disgust of the current state of clutter. Who knows, though?
There are other declutter options:
Swip Swap Facebook groups are also an alternative. My sister swears by Craigslist but I don’t like having strangers come to my house or meet me while I have my kids in tow–and they are always in tow.
I found this awesome post on Living Well Spending Less that really goes into how to sell your stuff!
These are some of the ways I am going to get rid of stuff in my house. What decluttering strategies do you follow?