no more clutter logo no more clutter newsletter for November/December 2008

Hoarding in hard times

Recently we've been living through shocking economic times with banks collapsing, growing unemployment and general uneasiness about what the future holds. For anyone with hoarding tendencies all the messages to make do and mend send a strong signal to keep right on hoarding. In fact it's in our DNA as hunter gatherers to hoard in lean times, so staying clutter-free is a huge challenge to all of us right now.

But living in a muddled environment will do nothing to help you feel on top of life. So ditch the "all or nothing" thinking and follow my 5 tips to help you survive the downturn.

Make a Xmas gift basket

If you're feeling the credit crunch then why not change the way you give gifts this year. Collect together recent DVDs, novels, CDs, computer games, unopened cosmetics, and so on that you'll never use again. Find a pretty gift basket and pile them up in it. Then when visitors come, ask them to pick something they'd like as a gift. This way you can regift without pretending it's brand new. And you get green points into the bargain for not using any wrapping paper!

Turn your unwanted stuff into cash

Selling unworn shoes, outgrown kid's bikes, baby gear or the gadgets you've got languishing in your home will help fund this year's festivities. Have a look at the selling and reselling sites on my links page here.

Some trash is simply trash

The saying that one man's trash is another man's treasure probably wasn't written about broken plastic files, defunct hairdryers and battered, holey suitcases. If it can't be used by you, mended, recycled, given to charity or sold - then it's simply junk. But before you bin it, google your local council's recycling facilities - many take broken electrical appliances, computers and the like. And don't forget that old mobile phones can raise money for charity shops like Cancer Research.

Stay alert when shopping

Stores are responding to bad times by bombarding us with daily offers and it can feel like the January sales every day. But unless you need something, it's money out of your purse and into theirs. Plus, unless you operated the one-in one out policy it's going to add to your home's contents. Walk away and wait until something needs replacing before even considering a purchase.

Use up your stocks

If like many of the people I work with you have a bulging present box and enough Christmas cards and wrapping paper for the next decade, then use them up this year. Apply the same principles to your kitchen and bathroom cupboards - use up all those 3 for 2 offers - you don't need huge stocks of washing up liquid or shampoo. Stop buying today and you'll save money and space.

We all need treats when times are hard, so look around for gifts and impulse purchases you've put away for a rainy day. Break open the unopened aftershave or bath oil and luxuriate!

Finally make the most of shops' return policies (see the November/December tip: Make the Most of Shops' Return Policies) to break the habit of banishing "shopping mistakes" to the back of the wardrobe for eternity.


This newsletter is dedicated to my beloved cairn terrier Barney who died on October 22nd, a few days before his 16th birthday. His feisty terrier spirit carried him through going completely blind when he was 5 and through the trials of his last years. He was a true inspiration to me and always reminded me what really matters in life is love, not stuff. His name tag is dangling on my key ring - so I can feel his presence every day. I know many of you will have lost someone this year so my thoughts are with you as the festive season approaches.

barney on the bench at barkway

Have a great sort out as the year closes!

Best wishes.


Contact details

Sue Kay
no more clutter
14A New Quebec St.
London, W1H 7RS,
t: 020-7616-9465
m: 07974-076-675



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