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Where to Donate the Tricky Stuff

 

It’s not rocket science. You’ve done a clear out and have a pile of things you don’t need. It isn’t worth your while selling them on eBay and no one you know wants them. So it’s a charity shop run. Or so you thought. But it turns out that while lots of charity shops will take clothes, shoes and an endless stream of retro floral crockery, may don’t take other stuff you’re looking to donate. Like accessories and electrical items. Curtains and blankets. Tools and furniture. But it feels so wrong to chuck this stuff into the tip. It seems such a waste.

And you know what? Often it IS such a waste. Turns out there are charities which will take your less-mainstream second-hand items. You just need to hunt around a bit. Which we have. So here are a few you can try next time you have a clear out. Or better still perhaps this will inspire you to declutter now! Read more

Regifting the spirit of Christmas – yes you can!

Everyone loves a Christmas advert, don’t they? All those roaring log fires. Snowy outdoor scenes. Happy, excited children who never moan, fight or stare at a screen for hours. And the gifts, don’t forget the gifts. People receive gifts and they are ALWAYS delighted with what they’re given. Not even a hint of “Another corkscrew? Seriously?”, or the knowing look that says, “I know this strawberry shortcake scented odour-neutralising candle has been sitting in the bottom of your gift drawer for 3 years”. Nope, the festive ads are all joy and teary-eyed delight. If only… Read more

What to do with Your Wedding Dress

You know that bit where the bride vows ‘to have and to hold from this day forward…’? They were talking about the other person. Not the wedding dress.

But it’s amazing how many of us can’t let go of the dress, even when we want to. They sit collecting dust in attics and taking up wardrobe space. Most of us can’t fit into them anymore. Not that you’d wear if if you could. But every time you vow to donate it you remember the fittings. The cost. The day. Getting rid of it can even feel like a bad omen – am I jinxing something?So we bundle it away again. When it comes to decluttering, the dress is one of the hardest things to let go. But what if you knew you could make some cash out of it to spend on something you actually used? Or that it was going to a good cause? It would make it far easier to get rid of wouldn’t it? If you knew you were giving it a new lease of life. Read more

8 Ways to Make Good Decisions about your Belongings

It’s been sitting in the hall cupboard for the past 10 years. Or the garden shed. Maybe it even made it into the attic. You haven’t used it for years. You’re not sure you ever will. You don’t even like it. But it was expensive. Or it belonged to your grandmother. Or it might just be useful. One day?

Sound familiar? Well you’re not alone. The UK uses five times more storage space per head than any other country in Europe according to research from comparethemarket.com. And more than half of us know we’re holding on to things for longer than we should. While the British post-war mentality of holding on to stuff ‘just in case’ is often blamed, as a Professional Organiser and Downsizing Specialist, I’ve found that sentimental attachment is usually the cause, with procrastination a close second.

So before you lug your stuff to storage and pay for it to stay there for years, here are some suggestions to help you make sensible decisions about your belongings. They’ll free up your home, your mind, your family and your wallet. Read more

The Removals Specialist on why my Downsizing Help was so important

Following on from my anatomy of a downsizing project, here is the removalist firm’s view on why my professional organising and decluttering skills are key to the success of any downsizing project:

Neil Atkinson, D.Durrant Removals: “When I got there Sarah had done the bulk of the work. I didn’t see what it was like before she started the project but from what my boss said about the house, Sarah must have done a huge amount. By moving day she’d done 99% of the decluttering and everything there was what we were taking which is rare.


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How a Professional Organiser organises a big downsizing project – My Story

THE PROJECT: To move an 80-year-old couple from the 5-bedroom family home where they’d lived for the past 40 years into a two-bedroom bungalow.

THE CHALLENGE: They had 10 rooms, 3 cellars, loft, garage, games room, workshop and stables full of nearly 40 years of stuff. Mrs H has Parkinson’s Disease and her husband Mr H was managing everything on his own. We had 2 months. Read more