Thursday, 28 June 2018

Tips for De-cluttering Your Room with Gumtree

My whole life I've been guilty of holding on to things "just because". It's shocking how much stuff you can accumulate over the space of a few months, and even though I like to keep my space at home tidy it’s FULL of once loved items I no longer use. 

Every now and then I like to have a big clear out to help clear my mind, so it was perfect timing when I had a few days off work and was challenged by Gumtree to take part in a campaign to de-clutter my home. I have also recently bought the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo in an attempt to change my attitude to hoarding.

So, after sitting down to read the book (what a great way to procrastinate having to tidy) and setting aside a day to clear through my unused items, here are some of the top tips I've learnt and used for de-cluttering...

Does it bring you joy? Marie Kondo's book sets out a clear method for tidying - put your hands on everything you own and ask yourself if it brings you joy. If it doesn't, thank it for its service and get rid of it. If it does, only keep hold of your joy-giving belongings and put everything in a place where it is visible and easily accessible.

This was a tricky one for me as I always keep hold of things that evoke memories – such as old theatre tickets, gifts I've been bought over the years, and trinkets I bought on holiday as a child - but I found one way to get around this was to buy a large box which I'd use as a memory box and store only the most important or special items in. For everything else, it was a case of being ruthless.

Is it worth any money? New research by Gumtree has revealed Brits are increasingly overlooking valuable equity locked up in their homes, with £2,589 worth of items they no longer need or use per household. When clearing out I'm sure most people have a tendency to just throw things away, but if there is money to be made, taking advantage of sites like Gumtree. Selling your unused items means you’ll make some extra cash and your items will go to a good home.

Recycle any un-used packaging. This may sound like a silly or even obvious one but as a blogger it's amazing how much packaging I was holding onto. A lot of makeup and beauty products come in beautiful boxes but truly I don't need them, and they take up far too much space. I filled up a bin bag just of cardboard that was storing makeup palettes. This actually freed up a lot of space in my bedroom and makes my products a lot easier to access.

Tackle your closet. My wardrobe always ends up being used as a dumping ground, but keeping this tidy makes my days so much easier when I'm in a rush and panicking about what to wear. Once you've got rid of any unwanted clothing, fold everything neatly so your clothes are easily displayed and keep things such as bags and hats neatly stored or organised with empty shoe boxes.

Most people may think selling unwanted goods is 'too much effort', but I have used Gumtree in the past and it is such a quick and easy process. When I moved to a new house just over a year ago I had a lot of furniture I needed to get rid of and no way of moving it myself. It was just a case of taking a few pictures and popping up a quick description (no selling fees and no working out postage costs!) and within a couple of days, I had already sold each item and had arranged for the buyers to come and collect everything themselves. I made around £250 from selling an old dining table, chest of drawers and two bedside tables.

During my recent decluttering challenge, I came across a lot of unused technology and gadgets that were sitting in drawers, including my old DLSR and a very old Nintendo DS. I sold the camera for £100 and listed the Nintendo DS for £30 as I was happy to get rid of it! Best of all, I came across an old fish tank in my garage that I sold for £20 (which only would have gone to the dump otherwise) and the man who came to collect it said he was buying it for his daughter. A week later I received a message from Goldy the goldfish saying he was very happy in his new home. You never know how much your old clutter can benefit someone else!

You can sell pretty much anything on Gumtree - from furniture to clothes, books, health and beauty and music instruments. The website even has a freebies section, so it's worth having a browse to see if there is anything you'd like. There is also swap shop, and a 'stuff wanted' section in case you have anything that fits the bill.

Decluttering may seem like a chore but once you start it is so much easier than you thought and can even be fun. You will feel relived once your home is free of clutter! 

*Post in collaboration with Gumtree

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