It is an amazing feeling when you have finally decided to let something go in your home that you no longer want or need. There is often such a huge sense of relief because you have finally made the decision about that item that may have taken weeks or even years. And these decisions are never made easily because there are often feelings of guilt, sadness or even shame so when the time has finally come to get rid of the item, you will most likely have a sense of urgency about it.
But that’s when life throws a curveball because life gets in the way, and before you know it, the item has been sitting in limbo for months. The last thing you want is for ANY unwanted items filling up your house and using up valuable space but this so often happens. You are not alone. This happens to many of my clients for quite a few different reasons.
This is probably the most common factor in delaying any of your clutter getting from your house to anywhere else. Not only is it the time to transport the item to its next destination that can cause a delay but it can also be the time needed to find out where you can take it to be donated or recycled. Here you were thinking that making the decision to let go of the item was going to be the hardest part but sometimes it just comes down to the time you leave yourself after you have decluttered. Factoring in the extra time for this step before you make any decisions can mean the difference between any unwanted items leaving your house or not.
Let’s face it; decluttering is hard work, and the last thing you feel like doing once you have decided to let go of some stuff is spending more effort in taking the items somewhere. This can also be true if the place that you take any items is inconvenient so it’s perfectly reasonable to feel like putting it off. Also, you’ve done the hard bit; you’ve already made the choice to get rid of the item so what difference will it make if it sits in a bag or a box in your home for a bit longer? The truth is that the item is still clutter as long as it’s taking up some of your space so go on, just do it. Take that item and donate or recycle it once and for all.
3) It’s Challenging
It can be hard to know if something you no longer want is in a good enough condition to pass on. For one person, a slight rip in an item of clothing might not bother them at all but for someone else, this may be a no-go for them. Because there is such a sliding scale of what may or may not be acceptable, it can be difficult for you to decide whether something is suitable or unsuitable for donating. One suggestion would be to pass on items that you would feel good receiving. If for any reason, this may be different in the organisation that accepts them, then the decision can be made by them as to what to do with it next. The other reason that getting rid of clutter is so challenging is that sometimes the usual places such as charity shops are not accepting donations or won’t accept what you are donating. This makes it much harder to clear out your clutter, and you need to be more creative about where you can pass items on. It can be good to check in your local area to see what places might be out there.
The reality is that for some of you, the most important part of the decluttering process will be making the decision to keep something or let it go. It’s possible that after this has been completed, you may feel like you’ve done all that you need to do. You might be feeling tired and a bit fed up after all of that so your motivation to do the final thing might falter. For some of you, it may also be because it’s sometimes a struggle to see things through to the end. This is completely understandable. If decluttering was easy, then there wouldn’t be so many books and TV shows about it. It’s perfectly normal to hit a wall when you get to this stage of decluttering. Having a plan about what you will do with any unwanted items before you start making decisions can really help you to see this final step to the end.
Eco-guilt has been around a while but it has become such a huge consideration in the last few years for an increasing amount of people. The idea that something that you have but no longer want will just end up in landfill is causing a huge amount of guilt. While this is a valid concern and consideration, there are a few things to consider when it comes to feeling guilty about the outcome of your unwanted items. It may be important to do what you can to reduce waste and minimise your impact on the environment but there need to be a balance for you, too. Being paralyzed to make any decision about an item you no longer want will not benefit you in the end both mentally or physically in the space it takes up in your home. Remember that you can choose to offset any actions about clutter that may be causing you guilt in other areas of your life.
6) Lack of Resources
This is a big one because not everyone has access to the organisations or places that you might find in larger cities. Depending on where you live and what items you are trying to let donate, it can be hard to find a charity or other places that will accept the items. Hopefully this will not always be the case, and that one day it will be easy for anyone to donate or recycle most household items. In the meantime, most areas will have free sites where items can be posted so that someone that is searching out there might just be looking for whatever it is that you are donating.
Donating or recycling unwanted items can be a great way to reduce waste or prolong the life of items but it does require some planning and effort so that it is worthwhile both for you and the planet. For each person, the investment will be different so you need to decide what feels best for you and go with it. Good luck!