If I had to name my biggest achievement of 2017, it would definitely be my decluttering /death cleaning project. It didn’t start out as a huge project or a new year’s resolution. I just began getting rid of a few things every day. It felt so good that I continued. It became a habit to take something to recycling or to the local homeless charity shop every time I went out. The majority was clothing and books but also kitchen items, DVDs, CDs and jewellery.
Then I began selling more valuable items in consignment shops and on auctions. Gifting things to friends and family. Things they loved and that I would never use. I never regift though – all gifts I receive mean the world to me and they will be part of my home and life forever. The only things I give to others are things I have bought myself.
So, over the past few months, here are some of my former belongings that I have seen for sale out and about. The homeless charity I support has about 20 shops and I have found things I have donated in at least half of them, which makes me feel good because they are now making other people happy and the proceeds go to help the vulnerable. I enjoy spotting my former belongings beginning a new life where they will be used and appreciated.
I can definitely recommend this type of project. I feel lighter, freer, and I can find things more easily. Plus the things I have left, I love. I have managed to make some money and I have also helped people in need. If doing something like this feels overwhelming, don’t let it put you off. All you have to do is see it as a long term ongoing project and do a little at a time. One drawer or shelf at a time. I have a paper carrier bag next to my front door and I pop things in there as I go around my days. That way, when I leave the house I just take the bag with me.
At the moment I am using Facebook groups and several apps to donate larger items of furniture. People can come and collect them from me for free. I have gotten rid of several desks, tables, shelving units and wardrobes this way. Because space is at a premium in Stockholm, many people do not have room for larger items or cars/trucks to transport them so they are harder to get rid of. Thankfully there are Facebook groups and several apps which makes this less of a hassle.
At the same time I have rewritten my will and specified exactly who will get the family jewellery, antique furniture etc. For me it was vital to do that because I have no close blood relatives and my family is all ‘adopted’ and have no legal rights to anything. It feels good to have all that sorted and that my loved ones one day will not have to spend weeks sorting through unnecessary clutter while they are grieving. Or fighting about who gets what.
I am definitely going to continue with this into next year. The hardest part to tackle will be downsizing my collection of handbound notebooks, Filofaxes and traveler’s notebooks, which is why I have been doing other stuff first. But it has to be done. No one on this earth needs as many of them as I have!
I cannot recommend doing this enough. It makes you feel so light and free.