So you’ve decluttered, sorted, and now have all your donations in a pile, or a tub, or a bag. Wahoo! You did it! Next step is to actually remove them from your home and find a new home for them: donate! Before you load them in your car, sit down, take a few moments and look at the items. Reflect on these questions below:
Why did you bring the item into your home?
Did you buy it because it was a great price or a great need? Or was it a gift you received as a party favor, birthday gift, or other gift? If you didn't know this, you DO have control over what comes into your home. YOU DO! If you need to, just put a trash can next to your front door! You have the power to say "no, thank you" and to resist "deals" just because they're deals, not because you actually need the item. You do. Really!
How often did you use the item?
That "must have" item on your registry but stayed in its box the whole time? Or was it a well-loved-but-still-in-good-condition sweater that got you through many winters and now doesn't serve you? Did you end up not using the item but only moved it around to multiple storage locations around the house until you got fed up with it? I'm not saying you have to use every item in your home, but if a large majority of items do not serve a purpose, are they weighing you down instead of bringing life to your space?
Why are you getting rid of the item?
Is it out of style? No longer fits you anymore? Broken or dirty? (If yes, trash it, don't donate!) Some categories your items could go into: bought but never used, used but no longer my preference, or excess items that contribute to clutter. If you have the financial means, donating your wardrobe periodically may be without issue, but if you don't, consider making fewer trendy choices each season and focusing on more classic, well-built clothing. If the item is excess, ask yourself why you bought the excess. How can you avoid that in the future?
The key to keeping our spaces free of clutter and full of LIFE is to limit what comes in them to only what is the BEST, FAVORITE, or NECESSARY (see previous blog post). Choose your items carefully. Next time you’re out shopping or at a party or the store, ask yourself if this is something you will use or toss. Will it stay with me or just contribute to my clutter?
One more thing: this is a NO SHAME exercise. There is only learning and growing here. None of start out knowing everything and doing everything perfectly, so give yourself some grace and move on. Now, get those bags to your car and out of your house!