De-cluttering and downsizing to move home has to be one of the single-most stressful activities people experience in their lifetime. Not only is it a physical tax on the body, it can be an emotional exercise that can leave you drained.
There were points were I struggled to get rid of things. These were things that had stopped working years ago but I was still convincing myself that I could fix them or get them fixed. Objects can often trigger a memory and that is another reason why it is hard to let go of things – I soon found that out the hard way.
Apps and platforms
Below I share some of my most striking observations about downsizing, the weird and wonderful places I donated things to, and the people I met as a result.
I outline my experiences of using boot sale app Shpock, and other platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, Freecycle and Freegle in hacks I will be updating on here. You can download the first one below.
My biggest highlight during my donation spree came from my fridge freezer. After 12 years of dedicated service, it broke down and was too costly to pair ( apparently some element had gone which could be replaced but I was repeatedly told repairs would equate to the cost of a new fridge).
In order to ditch the white good, I would have to move the fridge from the kitchen (my housemate and I did not have the muscle to do that) before it could to be picked up by the council. In the borough I lived in, council workers are not covered to enter people’s properties and remove white goods. These have to be shifted by the tenant to the drive and from there, the council charge a fee to dispose of them.
After a hellish time fighting with my council to simply remove my old settee (that took almost a month while my settee stood in the wind and the rain), I was not going to go through that incompetence again. I, instead, put an add in Freecyle and also investigated the cost of a removal van. Whichever came first was the one I was going to opt for.
My prayers were answered when I got an email from the assistant stage manager of the Royal Court Theatre in London, saying they were looking for a fridge freezer. The theatre organisers were prepared to come and pick up the item free of charge as the fridge freezer was needed as a prop. I am a big recycling fan so the certainty that the fridge was not going to go to landfill and would actually have a function was fantastic news. Although I never got to see my fridge freezer tread the boards, it was awesome to receive an image of it on stage. The assistant stage manager told me, she (my fridge freezer) came on near the end of the performance.
TV and games
Another fun development for me was saving my analogue TV from landfill too. There was nothing wrong with it except the switch to digital meant it was not showing clear pictures. I didn’t want to part with it because it was my first TV at uni, there was nothing wrong with it and I am all for upcycling.
Luckily Freecycle came to the rescue again in the shape of a gaming nerd who was looking for a TV to hook up to some gaming stuff I didn’t understand. He was looking for some kind of screen to showcase what he was doing and it seemed my uni TV was just right!
Other things I have managed to give away include crockery and cutlery that a young couple, moving into their new home needed. A dad looking for a desk to encourage his son to prepare for his GCSEs and an upcycler interested in an old table with foldable sides that he was going to do up.
Shpock has been a great resource for attracting locals to take stuff off my hands and it is a good way to get a bargain. I have sold a broken strimmer, a hoover in good nick but with no hoover bags, a garden table and even beds! Find out my approach, in the link below:
Also check out the link below, because clutter is not always a bad thing.