no more clutter logo no more clutter newsletter for March 2005

New homes for your unwanted stuff

This month we're going to look at one of the most crucial stages in the decluttering process - deciding what to do with all the stuff you no longer want. I find that many people get confused about what is the best way to pass on unwanted things. Should they sell, give to charity, give to friends or family, recycle or simply chuck in the bin? Although there is no right or wrong answer to this - I personally find it much easier to let go of things when I know they will find another use or a good home, rather than just heading for landfill.

So here are some tips to help you decide:

  • Be honest with yourself - if you haven't time to organise a car boot sale for the next 6 months then give the bags to charity instead. Please don't just shove the bags into the garage or spare room. Otherwise you'll forget what's in them and in a year's time will have to go through it all again. I always find it sad when things like books have been stored in a garage so long they've gone mouldy.
  • When you are decluttering use different coloured bags or labelled boxes for sorting clutter into different categories.
  • Don't overburden your friends and family with your clutter. By all means offer it to them - but allow them to say No! I was working in a large house recently and my client insisted on giving armfuls of plant books to the gardener. The poor chap was too polite to refuse and had to take them all down the charity shop.
  • Make a list of any actions you plan to take - so note down that the picnic basket needs to be returned to your sister or that you need to contact an auctioneer about selling some family heirlooms.
  • I worry that the rash of recent TV programmes have made many people feel that everything in their home is worth money. Online auctions like have added to this mood. I'm not knocking selling things or indeed ebay - I occasionally sell thing there myself. But a £5.99 paperback has little resale value so it's a lot easier to give it to your local charity shop who will get 50p for it. It saves you time, it frees up space in your home at once and you don't have to store things while you're waiting to sell.
  • Get to know about your local council's recycling facilities. So many things from old spectacles, to mobiles,to cardboard, to furniture can be recycled. Check out
  • Accept that some things are simply junk . Even with my "Waste not" philosophy I can see there's not much hope for a broken plastic kettle! Put it in the bin straightaway.
  • Never forget that your prime goal is to clear the space in your home and to get organised. Every time you let go of a bag and it leaves your home, you're one step nearer to achieving that goal.

For lots more ideas on sorting out your clutter and finding it good homes see Sue's new book to be published on March 14th 2005. Click on the picture. cover

March tip

For lots of potential destinations for your unwanted stuff, click here

March competition

Win a 30 minute phone session with Sue. I'll answer your decluttering questions and help you solve your clutter dilemmas. To enter just send me your ideas and stories (here) on what you do with your clutter and what works and what doesn't work for you.

The Clutter Clinic

Keith asks

I live outside London and wonder if there is anyone who can help me sort out my clutter? Please help!

Sue answers:

I only work in the London area. Recently I got together with a few other people in the same line of work around the country. We've founded APDO - the Association of Professional Organisers and Declutterers UK. So do visit and have a look at Find an Organiser for someone working in your area.

For anyone interested in working as a declutterer there's useful ideas too.

Good luck Keith

If you have any questions send them to Sue at

Sue Kay works with a wide range of clients to organise home offices, small businesses, declutter before a house move, prepare your spare room for a new baby and organise your wardrobe ready for the new season. If you're selling your home, she can help you present it clutter-free for the market to achieve a quick and profitable sale. For practical sympathetic help call Sue on 07974 076 675 or 020 8444 5149 or check out the website at


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