cull the clutter challenge: accepted

What a perfect weekend, to stop, breathe, and do a recount of the first quarter of the year, focus on the next quarter and develop a growth mindset for the remaining year ahead.

I believe a growth mindset accepts challenges. The challenge that I took on this quarter was to address the clutter in our home. One of the goals I had set for the year was to: toss, restore and organise. I hadn’t really done much about it in the first few months of the year, and decided to tackle it head on in March.

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I cannot begin to tell you how satisfying it is to get rid of the “stuff” in your life. There are so many benefits to de-cluttering, the two that stood out for me most was that it gave me an opportunity to give to others, plus it lifted my mood. I promise you, you will have a happier outlook when you get rid of the junk in your life and move more freely within your home and garden. The task of decluttering can seem overwhelming, or in my case boring, and quite anti-social. However I have discovered some great ways of making it fun and involving people into what may seem quite an unattractive task.

Late last year I heard about a facebook group called buy nothing, whereby people within your community, post pictures and a short description of items they no longer need, or want. The others in the group, would comment ‘please may I be considered’ and then on the occasions an item gained a lot of interest, someone was chosen at random. I thought this was a brilliant way of efficiently getting rid of the clutter, and assisting my neighbours with items that they may need. Β Overall it benefits my neighbour, takes care of our environment, our economy, and helps me achieve one of my goals. Winning!!

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I have held a garage sale in the past, but I tell you I had so much more fun with the buy nothing group. I enjoyed creating amusing posts to go along with some quite old and random items I was gifting, this generated some fun banter between the community. I told you I could make the task of decluttering fun!

How do you join? It’s super easy, just type into the search bar of facebook, buy nothing and your suburb, and a group will pop up. If there isn’t one created yet, why not create one for your area? You can invite your friends, family and neighbours in your area. Good news travels fast. Soon enough you will have an eager community who will be posting the toys their children are no longer playing with, their once beloved CD collection, or vintage fashion that have since made a come back.

I really do need to highlight the ‘buy nothing project’Β is more about the community rather than the stuff. I really do love the feeling that giving back to our community brings. Sure, I am banging on about the benefits of decluttering within this blog, however the essence of the buy nothing project is that the community is there for you. It’s bringing back that old school principal of borrowing a cup of sugar from your neighbour, or lending a hand when they need it most and choosing kindness above everything. The power of giving is significant. You release yourself from worrying about the future, and you can break the over powering urge for more over your life.

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Whilst living in Manila, I hosted regular playdates with a delicious themed morning tea and encouraged my friends to come and join in the fun! The catch was to bring along something for those less fortunate. Everyone loved the opportunity to be able to give back to the community. We managed to collect loads of items for an orphanage, bottled water, clothing, formula, nappies, rice, and toys. Most items were new, however second-hand clothing and toys were welcomed. The orphanage was absolutely delighted with the gifts.

If you’d like to make your declutter challenge a little more social, why not host a declutter party? Yes, you read that correctly. Of course your favourite party girl would find a way of making one of the most boring of goals a little more fun! Β If you have a load of clothes and books to purge, why not invite your friends and neighbours over for some wine and cheese. Almost like the regular playdates I organised in Manila, you can host the party, and you and your friends can make an impact with all your unwanted items. All the guests can bring along a bag of items they would like to gift, you can lay out all of the items, and you and your friends can exchange items with each other. All items that aren’t chosen on the night can be donated to charity. Essentially it’s a like a shopping party, minus the dollars needed. Hello, free shopping!

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I was so thrilled with the generosity of others through the buy nothing group, a lovely lady in my area gifted some black cushions, and another lovely lady a box of red and black lanterns which worked perfectly for my son’s recent Japanese-inspired birthday party.

A word of warning, getting rid of clutter can be incredibly addictive. My husband was absolutely delighted with all the space I created in our living room, our garden and the shed, but did suggest I slow down a little, as we may soon have a very empty home. We obviously haven’t yet embraced minimalism as yet.

There are plenty of options to put your unwanted items to good use, rather than just throwing them in the bin. Gift them to your friends and family, your community or local charity. You can go to bed smiling knowing that not only have you checked off one of your goals, but you have done it in such a way that your generosity has helped others, and the environment, and bought you a happier perspective in life.

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