Did you make a New Year’s resolution to have a house clear out? Perhaps you plan on doing a little spring cleaning soon? Whatever time of year it is, now is as good a time as any to start making a difference to your home. Tidy house, tidy mind, as they say.
But what if you don’t know where to start? What if you’re not sure what to get rid of? It can be harder than it seems for some people. It’s easy to form sentimental attachments to things, leaving you to develop some hoarder-like tendencies.
Here are some tips for clearing out your home…
What Are You Getting Rid Of?
The first step is to try and work out what you’re going to get rid of. You may already have some items in mind, so aim for them first. But then you’ll also have to work out what else needs to go.
It may help to set up “keep”, “throw”, and “maybe” piles to help with decisions. If you find throwing away stuff hard, use certain rules such as asking yourself if you’ve used the item in the last year. If the answer is “no”, it should be in your “throw” pile, or at least your “maybe” pile – unless there is a certain value or sentimentality to it that requires further consideration (a loved one’s old wedding ring, for example).
Another helpful rule is to take inspiration from the catchphrase of famous organising consultant and tidying guru Marie Kondo: “discard anything that doesn’t spark joy”. You can even watch her TV show on Netflix if you need more motivation.
Is Anything Worth Saving?
If you really can’t bear to part with certain items, but they are old or have seen better days, see if there’s a way to restore or improve them.
For example, perhaps you have an old piece of furniture, possibly inherited from a relative. You don’t want to throw it out, so what do you do?
Try getting creative by removing, replacing and re stuffing worn fabric coverings and so on. You’ll create something new, yet still have the spirit of the old piece. You’ll just need some practical tools, such as a staple gun and tack remover, plus decorative accessories such as upholstery nails.
Is Anything Worth Money/Donating?
If you manage to chuck things away, that’s great, but you should also consider selling some items or even donating them to a local charity shop.
Old video games and consoles (as well as computers, phones, tablets, etc) could stand to make some money, especially rare or old items, as there are plenty of collectors. You could even try contacting a collector through Instagram to see if they’d be interested.
Getting Rid of Clothing
A very popular item to sell and get rid of, as clothing can quickly take up a lot of space. You might gain a bit of extra cash from clothes by selling them on websites like eBay and Vinted. Some people even turn this hobby into a full time job, or at least a side hustle, depending on how much of a shopaholic you are.
Unique items may fetch the most profit. You should also do a bit of research and see if something you have from ten years ago has circled back round into fashion trends again.
Vintage items will always be popular online, as will certain merchandise like band T-shirts, especially if it’s retro merch you can’t get anymore.
You can also donate clothes to certain stores. For example, H&M offer a £5 voucher for a bag of unwanted clothing.
Tips for Selling Online
Whether it’s clothes or other items, try to get good photos in decent lighting and include as much detail as possible. It will set you apart from other sellers, as it’s frustratingly common to have sellers online with bad pictures and minimal detail – even some professional online retailers could do with better images and more descriptive detail!
But spending time to do this will be worth, so when writing a description, make sure you include things such as:
- A detailed, yet concise overall description, not too long, not too short (around 100 words)
- Brand name, whether that’s clothing brand or manufacturer
- Specific model name and numbers, year (if selling hardware)
- Measurements and sizing (for clothes, furniture, gym equipment)
- Material (also for clothes, furniture and other items) – check the label on clothing
- The condition of the item
- Any unique details (such as a jacket that has patches, etc.)
- Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags to attract customers if the site you’re on uses them
Enjoy Your New Found Space
Whether you sell, donate, or get creative by reupholstering old equipment, you’ll be sure to feel the practical and mental benefits of having a good old house clear out. So put some of these tips into practice today, and get ready to feel the difference.