National Clear your Clutter Day on March 19 is the ideal opportunity to dig out their stash of unused items and sell or donate them to charities.
Dubbed the ‘Queen of Cash’, organiser Jasmine Birtles, TV consumer crusader and finance expert, said it will also help the one-in-five UK households in ‘bric-a-brac bother’.
She said: “Britain has long been a nation of hoarders, with 20 per cent of households admitting to having enough clutter to fill a whole room. The initiative benefits ever yone – the hoarder, bargain hunters, and UK charities.”
Jasmine has kindly offered us her top five de-cluttering tips…
1. Make a bid for freedom
Look on de-cluttering as gaining space and freedom rather than having to get rid of things. If you see it as gaining something you’re much more likely to throw out things you know you don’t love or need.
2. Do it space by space
Don’t try and do your whole home in one go. Do it drawer by drawer and cupboard by cupboard. Start with the easiest room in the house (probably the bathroom) and once you’ve cleared that room, give yourself a quick break and then start on the next easiest room. Once you’ve done two whole rooms you will already have more of a sense of satisfaction and control over your life which should spur you on to do more cluttered parts of the house.
3. Do it with a friend
Get a friend or family member round to help you. It will make it more fun and help you sort more of your home than you would on your own. If you’re a natural hoarder, bring in someone who loves throwing things out, so that you’re not tempted to just keep everything.
4. Use the four box rule
Get four boxes which are marked ‘throw away’, ‘charity shop’, ‘sell’ and ‘recycle’. Everything you decide not to keep should go into one of those boxes. The ‘throw away’ one is easy (although even some broken electronic items could be given away through Freecycle for parts). The ‘charity shop’ one is obvious – take it to your nearest favourite charity shop, remembering to give them your name and postcode so that they can Gift Aid it. The stuff to recycle could be decorated, put in nice packaging and used as a present, or, if it’s clothing you might be able to dye it, put new fastenings on it or add trimmings to give you a whole ‘new’ item you will actually wear. With the items to sell, you should photograph them and then just upload their details to an internet sales site while you’re watching TV in the evening. Sorted!
5. Do one a day.
If you can’t stand the idea of spending a day, or even half a day, de-cluttering, just get into the habit of clearing one item a day. It’s not hard to do just one a day and, doing it this way, by the end of the year you will have sorted 365 items! It could be that once a day you put something online to sell or give away or you just drop off something to the charity shop on your way to work each day.