For those of us who are approaching a year or more of working from home due to the pandemic, the divide between home and work may have started to slip. Many of us will no longer feel that we are working from home and instead feel that we are living at work! With this in mind, Jasmine Sleigh, owner of Change your Space, a professional decluttering and downsizing service, shares her top three tips for falling in love with our homes again.
1: Consider your home like preparing your garden
Jasmine compares decluttering to pruning your garden, saying “The focus is not on what is going out, but what is being preserved and looked after. Only by cutting back can you see what you have, and what you have then thrives.
“If you are ready to prune, weed and mow the lawn, then think of inside in the same way. It is time to clear and reset before any new social opportunities or projects commence, much like you would prepare the ground ready for seeds and planting.
“Have a good thorough declutter of items that can go to recycling and bag and box quality items ready to donate to Hospiscare. We have about 2 million individual redundant items residing in our homes with an estimated re-use value of £32 billion for the recycling economy and charitable organisations. It is a win-win; you are preparing for your 2021 adventures and the recovery of the country.”
If you aren’t sure whether your items should be destined for our charity shops or for the recycling centre, you can check our guidance here for items that we love to receive and items that we cannot sell, therefore incurring a cost to our charity to responsibly dispose of.
2: Reflect on how you have changed this year
“As we emerge from a period of contemplation, or even out of a time of forced solitude, we can ask, what do I really enjoy doing and does my home serve me in those interests? What do I really use? We all buy items for a lifestyle we imagined but in reality, these items don’t tie in with how we really spend our days. In the kitchen, it may be that the expensive juicer you bought has seldom been used, but forgive yourself and send it out to Hospsicare to make room for the things you do enjoy day to day.”
3: Honour your story
“In a more hopeful chapter, it becomes possible to reflect on the items in our home that create nostalgic memories and discern which are positive for us.
“This is an ideal time to create keepsake boxes for special items that remind you of a particular time in your life or of loved ones. Once you have a dedicated box for keepsakes, it makes it easier to prioritise what goes in the box and how other sentimental items, such as gifts, can potentially be given a new home and donated to Hospiscare.
“I have seen a huge weight come off the shoulders of my clients when they realise that they have some special memories to keep and that other gifted items can be given a new life elsewhere by donating them.
“The sense of space, of looking after your own asset and of making the environment work for you is a real boost. This is also true for the sense of achievement you feel in tackling something, winning and rewarding ourselves. It paves the way for other challenges in the future.”
We are always grateful for high quality donations to sell in our shops and on our online platforms. Disposing of unsellable items, such as broken or soiled donations, incurs a cost to our charity. To read our guidance on donations that we love to receive, click here. For up-to-date information on how to donate your pre-loved items to your nearest Hospiscare shop, click here.