The Decluttering Blog – Part Three

I’ve been keeping notes, and for the sake of brevity, I’ll collate the results. First of all, books. There are a lot of them. I am putting some on eBay, but if they don’t sell fairly quickly then they go to the charity shop to make way for a new listing. I’ve put three tatty old 1960s / 1970s pulp paperbacks in the book recycling box at the local recycling centre, sold two books on eBay, and donated two dozen to charity. That’s nearly thirty books gone in two weeks. I’m not going to pretend it was easy, but it’s done. One of them was a pretty and new hardback from a favourite author that I read and enjoyed, but it’s unlikely that I’ll read it again, so I’ll release it into the world to find new fans.

I paid my credit card bill as soon as it arrived, and filed the statement. Pre-emptive decluttering, or just being a grown up? Not sure, don’t care. I also filed some stray bank statements and some receipts. I now have a specific box for receipts that I need to keep.

A huge ball of yarn that arrived as a charity donation without a label had been taking up space on a shelf. It was going to be hard to sell without an identifying ball band, so I bought it myself and made some beanie hats to give out as gifts. Ironically, a fellow stall holder saw me knitting the last one and asked me to make him one in dark grey, so I then bought a 400g ball of grey aran yarn. I’m making the third and penultimate beanie out of that yarn now, two of them have homes to go to. So, I guess until I give away the original beanies, I have to chalk this down as a failure, I started off with about 350g of yarn and ended up with 550g of yarn and beanies.  

I found a prescription receipt in my bedding drawer. Ahem. It’s gone into the shredding pile. Theatre tickets from a cancelled 2019 event have also gone in the shredder. Also, a four metre strip of plastic ribbon that I ‘saved’ from a hamper, several years ago, has been thrown away.

Another failure, I went recreational shopping with a friend and my mother. I rarely shop recreationally, and when I do it’s for books or yarn. I bought forty cute buttons and 500g yarn. It’ll get used, I’m not worried about it. I also gave away 100g of yarn oddments and some old buttons to my mother for a knit and natter project, not quite balance, but it’s better than nothing.

Four knitting patterns have sold on eBay, they’re not really big enough to be noticeable, but there is enough space in my ‘selling’ folder now to list another small pile of patterns, which are on a shelf and are noticeable. It’s re-organisation rather than disposal, but it still makes the place look tidier.

I had a fairly good weekend at the craft fair, covered the stall hire and more besides, and came home with less stock than I went with. I’ve bought a birthday gift for a friend, and some bird food, which I’d run out of. I managed to refuse an offer of about 2kg of yarn, and am glad I did, for reasons which will become clear later on.

I’ve filed more paperwork, and got rid of a bucketful of magazine inserts and scrap notes. I’ve sorted out some yarn and stuffing for a lady who is crocheting some items for the stall. Then things get cluttery –  we get a delivery of craft related stuff to sell for the charity. There is half a car full. I took two large shopping bags full and will take more as it sells. Most of it is now listed on eBay, including some unopened crafting magazines complete with freebies. I’ve given away a pile of magazines and will give the rest away soon, they’re not something that sells well.

Last week I was feeling glum, for existential reasons as well as having a house full of stuff, but eBay sales continue to trickle in. A drop in the ocean, but the ocean is made of drops, so I’ve been told. I’ve listed four more knitting patterns / booklets today, and put two damaged and unsaleable booklets in the recycling. I’ve also tidied up a crafting kit to car boot selling level, should get a pound for it, and have retrieved some gift tags that may also sell.

I’ve parted with some training course notes from ten years ago, the lever arch file has gone to the car boot sale, the notes in the recycling. The damaged booklets, the tidied up craft kit, the unlabelled yarn and the gift tags are all things that are donated in good faith but need to be worked on.

Sales from the craft stall continue to pay for the stall rent and bring in a few extra pounds. Taking the stall out increases the visibility of the charity, so all sales are a positive. They also reduce the clutter as I move things from carrier bags to the stall boxes.

I’ve sold four smallish blankets online to someone who saw one of my posts on Twitter. That’ll help the charity, and has made room for more blankets in my craft fair boxes.

Addition – I won a nice candle in a raffle at a craft fair, it will make a nice stocking filler for someone.

Years ago, we bought ten rolls of packing tape, and are still working through them. I finished a roll off today.

There doesn’t seem to be any real reduction in the amount of stuff yet, probably because most of it was hidden in a storage unit until last month! I’ll keep ploughing through.

There’s a large box that’s open that had various balls of knitting yarn in plastic bags. I can move them to the main stash. There’s a tote bag that has seen better days, it was a 40th birthday present from a friend, nearly twenty years ago. It has holes in it. It can go. There was also a pebble in that box, it’s been around for a long time, I can’t even remember where it came from. It’s in the garden now. That’s another box emptied.

After the last craft fair I got home to a lovely surprise, my husband had put some shelves up in the garage and reorganized things so there’s space to cut some card for price tags etc. I tackled that old tote bag too, there was a Christmas cracker prize that will go for recycling, some knitting tools that I’ll put in the right place, and lots of bits of yarn. Some I’ll throw away, some I’ll use. I’ll give the bag a wash and take it to the next car boot sale. I don’t need it.

I’ve opened a donated box of hand made greetings cards, I’ll distribute them to other volunteers for fundraising once I’ve priced them up.

I’ve also repaired a damaged pull up banner, it can go to another volunteer to be used. I now have a fairly large amount of stuff ready for redistribution, I just need to get it to the right people.

Finally, I’ve gone through my ‘car’ file, and got rid of several years of service records and a cardboard folder, also an exercise book that I’d filled with notes from my language courses. I don’t need to keep it.

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