Clutter guilt is a real thing, y’all. I did a whole video series (or two) about it. When someone (me) stresses over the possible uses, possible future need, and possible life-threatening consequences of NOT keeping something, it’s only natural to also stress over the nobleness or lack of nobleness of various decluttering methods.
Irrational Stress = A Really Good Reason to Just Not Make ANY Decision.
When the kids were little (and I was in the throes of Clutter Accumulation because the Frugal, Resourceful Me couldn’t say no to a bag or ten of hand-me-downs from well-meaning friends who were relieved to find someone
upon whom to dump with whom to share their own excess of kid stuff), I had a system.
A system that left my home in a constant state of crazy, but it was a system.
While dirty dishes sat in the sink and piles of laundry were never completely finished, I would sort outgrown clothing according to how we had obtained each item.
If items were gifts (from baby showers or grandmas) or if we purchased them (from garage sales or on a rare occasion THE STORE), I felt it was fine to sell them. I’d then separate the pieces worthy of the hassle of eBay from the ones I’d put in my own garage sale. In these piles I’d also place things given to us by someone with the niceness and forethought to clarify that we were free to sell or donate or burn or do-whatever-we-wanted-to-do with the items they’d passed on.
Hand-me-downs were set aside to give to friends or to donate.
It was excessively complicated. It was strangely fun.
But it was also stressful.
I no longer make these piles.
For one thing, I try not to put out the Nony Will Take Anything vibe like I used to, so I don’t have as many someone-gave-me-this-so-what-should-I-do-with-it items.
Mostly, my lessened stress is a direct result of just donating. Not worrying about milking every last bit of value out of every last bit of stuff that passes through our home.
We’re better off for that. By far.
For the most part, we don’t bother selling on eBay or even having garage sales.
But then there are special things. HUGE and special things that were passed on by people who had these things passed off on them.
So I bothered.
On our “snow” day recently, I didn’t just drag this lovely (and humongous) American Girl Treehouse out to the garage to wait for the Donate Man. I took thirty-or-so-seconds to post on Facebook, to my personal friends only, that it was free for the taking.
And it was taken. (Not that it has actually left my house yet.)
In a few years, I’ll giggle a little when she posts it on Facebook, desperate to get that huge thing out of her house.
Not that she has to post it on Facebook. She can do whatever she wants with it!!