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
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
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.
Have a great
sort out as the year closes!
no more clutter
14A New Quebec St.
London, W1H 7RS,