Last week, I delivered a huge pile of stuff to our local op shop. There were about three boxes and as many garbage bags full of clothes, shoes and toys.
I know there are books, blog posts and more out there that tells you how to do a massive clean up – I know because I’ve read them. Every time I read something I think “that sounds great, let’s give it a try”. And always very little happens.
What I do now is clean out a little bit at a time so that part of the house works for me. I have an empty cardboard box near the stairs that is marked for the op shop. As I am am sorting things out, I consider whether or not I want to keep different items. In general, I think “would I want to move house with this?” (It’s not as if I’m moving any time soon, but it’s a good way to decide if something should be kept.)
If I decide we don’t want to keep it, it either goes in the bin or in the op shop box. If something isn’t good enough to sell, it goes in the bin – or if I decide I don’t want the boys to remember it exists and want to keep it (like McDonald’s toys). If it is good enough to sell, then it goes in the op shop box.
The sorts of things that end up there are clothes that I no longer wear, shoes that are still good but don’t fit, toys the kids have grown out of, books that we don’t want to read any more (I do keep a lot of books after I’ve read them), and a number of other items, such as the Red Nose the boys got from a Santa visit a couple of years ago.
When the box or boxes are full, we take it down to our local op shop.
I find that doing this makes the job seem a lot smaller than trying to de-clutter the whole house or even a single room in one go. It’s also easy to get the kids involved as they often add things to the op shop box, sometimes without any prompting. It also means that I de-clutter as I go and don’t get overwhelmed by the task ahead. Hopefully when we do eventually move, there will be a lot less junk in the house than the last few times we’ve moved.