Saturday, 16 February 2013

One thing leads to another..

I have created another benefit from decluttering. I was getting rid of some boxes in my sitting room - one of envelopes and the other of old versions of a cookery book I wrote years ago for medical charity Action for ME.  I wrote to the charity asking if they'd promote them (hadn't promoted it for years, as there is a newer version that needs to be sold) and lo and behold, I sold 8 in 24 hours just via Paypal and the charity website!  Now have 11 sales (much frantic packaging and spreadsheeting) and 6 more yeses, so have sold all but one, which I shall keep 'just in case' (of what I do not know - may declutter later!).  So the charity will make some money and I have some space.

As Action for ME has also given a link to a newer version of the cookbook, that is also selling.  So both charity and publisher are now happy, and as I take 25% of royalties from that (though sometimes I don't bother) I am making a tiny bit of money too.

It's amazing how different things are now than when I first brought the book out, in 2004.  Now, you can instantly publicise something to thousands of people who can also instantly buy it.  In 2004 people did not use websites, Paypal or Facebook like this and I was knee-deep in cheques for weeks.

Anyway, it just shows how a bit of decluttering leads to unexpected benefits, to oneself and to people you don't even know.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Decluttering, change and happiness

Cat sitting next to books
My cat doesn't mind clutter!
It's ages since I have blogged about decluttering, though I have carried on the process.  A lot of it is still lingering under my 'clutter area' chair, however I'm slowly getting rid of the books which are there to charity shops, and the clothes to Air Ambulance collectors who handily leave a bag with me to put outside the door.  I've just gone through 3 magazines and have left them to go to the doctor's, and have cleared up shelves in my recipe book cupboard, a shelf of spices, and a cutlery drawer.  My sister's coming over to help with taking things away.

I'm still reading '365 Less Things', which keeps me going, and I've discovered the Happiness Project blog through 365 - which has relevant hints and is interesting in itself.  One key to happiness, according to its author, is 'an atmosphere of growth'.  I think letting go of things helps us grow and helps us get used to change too, which can be a fearsome thing.  Refreshing our surroundings helps remind us we are changing too, and helps us keep going forward.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Letting go of childhood memories - stamps

I have just given away my old stamp collection and my sister's, to a young teenage girl who is just starting her collection, via 'Freegle' (in the UK part of Freecycle converted to Freegle). 

It was a very personal collection - wish I'd photographed the front cover of mine, which was a bit of cardboard that said 'Jane's stamp collection until further notice' on it in my best writing.  The stamps were held in paper strips glued to the pages, and date from the 50s and 60s.  The address my sister put in hers was where we were living 54 years ago!

We (my sister and I) still have my father's collection, which we want to sell, however I hope this has cleared the way to do that as well.

It was great to find someone who actually wanted these things!  Maybe I could have sold them, but I know they weren't collector's items, and it is lovely to pass them on to the next generation of avid collectors.

What I am grateful for:
Being able to pass on something I loved doing to someone else who now loves doing it. 

Thursday, 9 August 2012

The 'best china' cupboard

I have just given away a cut glass trifle bowl I have not used ever!  I have another larger one.  I started wondering if this were a more useful size - but given I don't use it, I realised there's not much point thinking it is useful!

This is part of the sideboard's hoard of rarely-used 'best' and 'family' items I am slowly working through.  Maybe I can sell the shot glasses on the web...  One advantage of giving it to my neighbour is that she says I can have it back if I change my mind, or borrow it if I need it, which helped me let go.

What I am grateful for today - great weather and friendly neighbours.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Declutter your head

I saw this photo on Facebook - I couldn't find the source but it seems apt to include here.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Increasing clutter-consciousness

I've not posted for awhile, and maybe that's partly because I feel like a cluttery sort of person and not the sort of person who should write about decluttering as I could be a fraud.  The more I get rid of things, the more I realise how much clutter I have!

I've just read people's entries to a little test on '365 Less Things', about what you would take to go and live on a remote island - very entertaining.  It reminded me of living in France for 18 months.  I was happy buying things like basic furniture and kitchen items in Paris, and I got used to living without much stuff.  Then a kind friend brought my records over from England, and I felt partly happy (I had no TV so music was a great relaxer) and partly polluted by my past! Then I came back to England and my flat and all my 'stuff'.

Decluttering is often something that feels better once you've done it than when you are contemplating it, as it involves letting go of things.  Once you have let go you realise that you are not your things, and you are stronger than you think, being able to live with less.

Meanwhile, I have chucked out some ornamental things (see photo): hard ones, as they were gifts.  Also I have passed on some crystals that were gathering dust on my dressing table - didn't register they were clutter for ages!  And my Bach flower remedies, as I do nothing with them and their use-by date had handily expired.  Glad to have got rid of all these.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

I'm still going, just not blogging about it..

I have been decluttering and sorting things without blogging - I spend too much time pottering on the computer as it is.  Always find time to read '365 less things' though.  Shows how creativity, however little, is less easy than passive reading!

I have gone through all my big bookcase and nearly finished packing books away so I can paint it.  In the process have discarded 5 books or so, out of which 2 are first edition hardbacks, so I can sell them to make a little money.  Good find!  I didn't intend to buy first editions however after some research I conclude they must be.

Yesterday I threw out a bottle of old face toner.  I still have half a bottle which is really old.  And I used up a 15-year-old pack of hair dye!  My neighbour was a hairdresser and checked it out for me first.  My hair is fine.

Today I threw out a bra and pair of knickers I no longer wear, inspired by Oxfam's campaign for women to recycle any unused bras.  Apparently we all have many of these stashed away, so have a look yourself.

Happy decluttering!   I'm off to sample my focaccia bread - have been enjoying baking a lot recently.