S.T.R.E.A.M.L.I.N.E. – T is for Throw, Treasure or Transfer
T – Throw, Treasure or Transfer
Thinking of what to keep rather than what to throw
You have now determined which area to tackle, cleared it all out and decision making is about to start.
When deciding, think what you will need the item for or what the reason is you want to keep it. If you can’t think of any good reason, let it go.
It might have served its purpose to you and it is time for someone else to enjoy it (donate). You held onto it because it was expensive, but actually it’s broken and you need to have it fixed. Are you really going to fix it? If yes, action immediately but if not, throw it out or recycle – the cost of the item becomes irrelevant, once the purpose is gone. Was it a gift? Don’t live with guilt, the item was gifted as a token of appreciation. Accept the gesture, but let go of the actual item if you are not going to use it or even like it – see my blog Gift – pleasure of curse.
You should work with 4 categories:
Keep – these are all your things and items you regularly use and need as well as sentimental items you are not yet ready to let go off. A memory box is a good way to store sentimentals, but you will find that every time you open this box, you are ready to let go of something because your circumstances have changed and more importantly you have changed. So don’t store it far away, have a look through it once every so often. In future you might wonder why you ever decided to hold on to it – but for now it’s important to only let go when you are ready and not before.
Throw – this is for everything that is broken, non-recyclable or useless to anyone else.
Recycle – separate items that you can’t throw in your household recycling bin into categories and box them accordingly. This will make your trip to the recycling centre quick and easy. If it’s too much, call in a reputable recycle clearance company
Donate – anything that is in good working order can be donated to charity. There are various charities that collect if drop off is difficult. Besides the high street charity shops, think of specific ones, e.g.
- Smartworks/Dress for Success a nonprofit organisation that provides professional attire for people on low-income to help support their job-search and interview process
- The Toy Project accepts your unwanted new and used toys and gives them to children who need them, including schools and playgroups
- The Pramdepot an arts-led recycling project that provides recycled baby clothes and equipment to vulnerable new mums;
- Local primary schools for stationery, art supplies and books
- OLIO – a sharing app for surplus food & other household items
- Animal shelters, homeless shelters etc, they all have specific needs that your unwanted items could fulfil.
Electricals are often difficult to donate as they need a PAT certificate. You can offer these on local Freecycle groups.
If you like to sell, but don’t want all unwanted items stacked up taking up space, consider eBay sellers , who would happily sell on your behalf.
When you decide to gift an item to family or acquaintance, think carefully – does the recipient really need/want it or is it a way for you to “hold on” to an item, even though it is in someone else’s space. Don’t pass the feeling of guilt on to your nearest and dearest.
Undecided – for items that you can’t yet place in any of the above categories, but make sure this category will be distributed between any of the above by the end of your session.