Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Anyone up for a decluttering challenge?

I'm being bombarded with people talking about decluttering LOL. Between a forum I visit off & on, where after so many people talked about needing to declutter someone posted step by step instructions LOL. To another (small-ish) group I'm on where I swear half the group has mentioned their desire/need to declutter & simplify, to this post on another blog I read. So . . . I thought I'd issue a challenge of my own. It's actually revisiting a challenge I started on another site a year or more ago, but then it kind of fizzled & I got side tracked and . . . now I'm decluttering again, but not doing anything "formal" at the moment.

So here's the challenge:

You're mission, should you choose to accept it, is to declutter at least 7 things a week (yes, that equals 1 thing a day similar to Fairy Mum's). And if anyone takes me up on this challenge, I will post each Sunday or Monday asking everyone to tell us how they did for the previous week. Decluttering = physically leaving the house, you can give it away, ebay it, or throw it in the trash (but please be kind to the earth, if it's something someone else could use, or recyclable, please do so). Freecycle is a wonderful thing, you just post what you have that you want to get rid of & people reply asking for it, and then come and take it away. I generally ask them to give me a time that they'll come pick it up & then, whether I'm home or not, I put it on the porch. That way it doesn't disrupt my day, they don't know if I'm home or not, etc. The downside, if you itemize on your taxes, is that you don't get donation credit for it, so from that standpoint you might prefer to give it to Goodwill or another recognized charity. Craigslist is another good option, it's kind of a localized online yardsale type thing, where you post stuff for sale and people buy it & come pick it up (or arrange to get it one way or another). You can decide how you want to count "things" I don't let it "limit" how much I go through, so in a week when I'm going through alot of stuff I might count a whole bag of clothes as 1 item, whereas if all I got rid of all week was the 1 bag of clothes, I might say, hey there were more than 7 pieces of clothes in the bag, so it counts. It's up to you.

So, if you'd like to join my challenge, leave a comment on this thread so I know y'all are out there.


Jennifer said...

As you might imagine - you can count me IN! There is something so freeing about eliminating that which doesn't bring us utility or joy!
See you in a week to check in again!

:otterbyte: said...

Oooh! I'm in! Because I already did my 7 things. :) Sold a bunch of my Fuzzy stash to another babywearer and her friend. Maybe I'll get motivated to sell the rest? Also gave a supercute outfit to a neighbor for her baby boy. It was funny, part of me felt bad for not selling it, since we're trying to bring in more money. But you know, the happiness I got from giving it was worth a lot more than the 5 bucks or so I would have gotten for it. And it's one less thing cluttering up my physical and mental space. I have to remember that whenever I'm deciding whether to sell something or donate it - my time and peace of mind are also worth something, I don't have to 'earn' the right to give something away. Does anyone else have this hang-up? Or is it just me? ;)

Sweetpeas said...

The sell vs donate conundrum is one that's plauged me for the last couple years, and actually is a large part of why, over the next few weeks, I'll probably be giving away more than 7 things per week, most of the stuff for this week is stuff that I "culled" from the house over the last couple of years, but stashed in the basement for a future yardsale. I've finally decided that it's not worth keeping it in the house, even "out of the way" in order to make a few dollars. I *have* listed some books on half.com and will probably list more as I go through stuff, and there are a few other things that have enough value to be worth listing on ebay or craigslist, but for the most part, I've decided that I'd rather just pass the things on to those who can use them. My goal is to learn to live with LESS stuff, so I shouldn't "need" the money from this stuff to buy new stuff . . . that's the theory anyway.

The other consideration is freecycle (or similar) vs. goodwill (or similar). For us right now, there isn't a significant tax advantage in officially "donating" things (in fact, when I mentioned to dh that I'd given a bag of stuffed birds to the church to use in SS (so a valid donation for tax purposes) he said this year, there's no point in keeping track of it), so I'm taking the easy route and freecycling (I like that as soon as I have a bag full of something, I can send a quick e-mail, and then leave it on my porch for smeone to pick up) BUT for those who itemize on thier taxes, at least if you're giving away large quantities of items or more valuable items, giving them to a qualifying charity, and keeping track of what you give, can provide tax savings.