The Decluttering Blog – Part Four

There are two aspects to decluttering. The first one is the charity stuff, I need to drastically reduce the amount of stock for the stall, and then keep sales ahead of donations. My primary goal is to raise funds for the charity, my secondary goal is to make sure that things sell as fast as possible,
The second aspect is my own, personal journey to reduce the amount of things in the house. A lot of it is books, a lot of it is yarn, and a lot of it is papercrafting paraphernalia. Several boxes contain stocks of my own Ransomed Hearts books. I am happy to give some of the read books away, but will be keeping as many as possible. Once I’ve found out how many books I actually have room for, I will institute a very strict one in, one out policy. Maybe two out, if the new book is a thickie. Oh yes, please buy my Ransomed Hearts books, they’re good.
Destashing yarn, at the moment, is a big NO. I get why I feel that way, it’s under control, in boxes, and there are no hidden piles anywhere. I will use it. I like owning it, I like the potential for creativity and for making gifts for other people, or items to sell on the stall. The same goes, in a big way, for the papercrafting stuff. Right now I have a lot of cards in stock, made by other people, to sell on the stall. They’ve caused a bit of a bottleneck in terms of my own papercrafting, but the volume of cards is going down, and meanwhile I’ve made some space to cut some labels, the lack of which has been niggling for a year or so, since my cutter went into storage. I’ve sold some cards on the craft stall though, which has helped.
I’ve been doing craft fairs on Thursday evenings to try to move more stock, but they’ve not been that successful, and most of the items that I’ve sold have been smaller things. I have moved a shoebox of cards to another volunteer though, which has helped. Happily, the fairs have led to other sales, which has slightly reduced the stock.
Ebay sales haven’t been bad over the last month or so, and I’ve taken several shopping bags full of stuff to the post office. I’ve also priced up some more cards ready for the big sale that we had at the beginning of September, I hadto make sure that all the boxes of greetings cards are full, with priced up, well organised cards. That’s another large box emptied into an existing storage space, so even though the cards are still in the house, they’re taking up a lot less space. I did sell a dozen or so cards on the day.
In a typical craft stall scenario, a lovely friend of mine bought something, and gave me an equal volume of items to sell. I can’t feel bad about it, her cards are beautiful.
I’m continuing to go through files on an almost daily basis, there’s a lot of paperwork around that I’ll never need again, and honestly, I’m not responsible for archiving 21st century daily life. I need to remember that. I filed a bank statement within 24 hours!
I’ve taken some ‘useful’ cardboard boxes and large carrier bags to another volunteer, she’ll make good use of them. I’ve also binned a damaged storage bag. No, it will NEVER come in useful. I also took some ornaments that a neighbour had given me for the charity. I did well, I only brought one hardbacked book back with me, for eBay. Oh, and that twenty year old tote bag, I did give it a gentle wash before donating it to the charity, but it wasn’t as well made as it looked, and fell apart. Maybe the dirt was all that was holding it together, as they say. It’s in the recycling tub now, ready for a trip to the recycling centre. I also took some empty ink jet cartridges for recycling on the day I replaced them. I think that’s a first, for me.
A neighbour is moving soon, we’ve given him a dozen or so large cardboard boxes and have promised him a large box of packing material. We’ve been keeping all that stuff in case it was needed, and lo and behold, here is someone needing it. It’s actually cleared a fair bit of space. I’ve also been to the recycling centre twice and got rid of two buckets full of recyclables.
I’ve used cards from my existing stash for three August birthdays.
Additions – I bought a keyfob from another stallholder, I’ve given it to my husband as a surprise gift. I also bought something from another stallholder as a gift for an upcoming family birthday, which I’ve posted already, along with a lightweight tote bag that I bought last year as a potential gift. I also bought some aran yarn from a fellow volunteer who was selling her late mum’s yarn stash. About 500g, max. Yeah, I don’t have a yarn problem at all. I’ve finished that giant ball of grey yarn and all of the ‘new’ aran, and have now made a start on some beautiful pure wool aran that I bought a year ago. I’ve also found a home for some half used craft kits and associated yarn that I saved from being thrown away, it’s going to a friend of a family member, who will use it. That’s another big carrier bag full of stuff that’s gone. However, it’s been replaced by lots of random yarn that’s basically unsellable because it’s in part used balls, or because it smells a bit from storage. The only option is to knit it up, wash the finished items, and add them to the craft stall stock.
I’ve tackled a box of donated books, several of them are too damaged to sell, so they’ve gone to the recycling centre. I’ve listed fourteen of them on eBay, and sold nine so far. There’s another box to go through when this lot have gone, and then I’ll have some free shelf space in the garage. I have plans for that shelf space! I also gave away the last two books I’ve read. Go me! I also took a box of books to the car boot sale to sell for the charity, and said goodbye to four of them. I brought the rest back, but they will go somewhere. I also added to the book problem by buying a lovely hardbacked non fiction book from a charity bookstall. I’ll make it my next read and let it go when I’ve done with it.
I’m really struggling not to add to the book collection, lots of my favourite writers have new books out, and I’d usually just buy them, but I have more than enough books, including many unread ones, some by those same writers.
We’ve cleared the huge pile of boxes in the ‘spare room’ now, a lot of the stuff in them is either under the bed in plastic storage boxes, on the bookshelves, or in my study. We’ve also gone through our collection of framed art, and hung about two thirds of it. Two or three items have been donated to a local charity shop, and I’ll try to sell the rest of the pictures.
The decluttering has given me the space to do some cardmaking, and I’m making a couple of dozen Thank You cards for the charity. It’s a drop in the ocean, but it’s something.
So, progress is still happening, but it’s slow. More news next month.

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