We have all heard it. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I even have those words on a rubber stamp.
When I go to large book sales or auctions my cycle starts to look more like: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reclutter.
This year I am concentrating on all four actions in the circle, making sure that every “reclutter” is followed by “reduce”. I hold myself accountable for some basic actions.
Be selective when purchasing. I don’t buy just because the price is cheap. It has to be something that is actually worth my time. I may buy large quantities or box lots to get a great price, but I do not keep anything that has no value to me. I have found that it is best to sort through my treasures quickly – the same day if possible.
Throw items into the trash or recycle bin. Some things are past the point of being of value to anyone. The only question may be whether or not it can be recycled by the city. I do not want to become a candidate for one of the hoarders shows!
Give to friends and local nonprofit organizations. Think nursing home residents, church fundraisers, friends and their families, thrift stores like Goodwill, etc. I have a friend with an elderly live-in relative that enjoys jigsaw puzzles. I am always happy to donate my clutter if it will be appreciated by someone else.
Have an annual yard sale. I never feel like I am ready, but I make myself plan a sale with friends every year. I price things cheap, take offers and make box lot deals with shoppers. I need the money and the space, so I measure my success in dollars and empty boxes. It’s a way to meet people from the neighborhood, too!
I admit that the reclutter stage is the most fun. Because I am getting pretty good at reducing, there are empty shelves waiting for my newest treasures – so it won’t really look like clutter at all!