For many of us, the beginning of the first lockdown over a year ago brought decluttering and home improvement to the forefront of our minds. With the prospect of looking at the same four walls for the foreseeable future, it was a chance to get stuck in to all of those home decorating and tidying projects that we had never managed to find the time for.
As the months passed and we found ourselves in and out of lockdowns or tiered restrictions, the home improvement enthusiasm may well have faded and much simpler distractions, like watching box sets and getting out of the house for daily exercise, were what many of us needed to meet the emotional demands of this difficult time.
Equipped with a roadmap out of this third lockdown and with plans to re-open shops, including charity shops, on 12 April, we are hoping to rekindle that home improvement spirit by asking you to declutter and donate to Hospiscare.
Jasmine Sleigh owns Change your Space, a professional decluttering and downsizing service who support Hospiscare by donating quality items to our charity from their service.
As a professional organiser, Jasmine has shared her expertise with us to create a guide on decluttering and donating to our local charity.
Jasmine’s approach to decluttering is less focused on practical tips and more a reflection on what we are keeping and why. Jasmine explains, “A large part of any project is ensuring that letting furniture and belongings go is a therapeutic process and is given the opportunity to be a rite of passage. The focus, therefore, is not on what is going out but what is being gained. ‘Let us find you in all of this,’ I say, ‘because all of this isn’t you as you are now.’”
We may have faced clutter at the beginning of that initial lockdown, and many of us set about trying to clear and make space to ensure our home could be just this, as well as our new office.
As we emerge from this third lockdown, the idea of decluttering may feel a little daunting. Jasmine shares her top three tips for finding your way through the clutter.
1: Find the easy wins first
“Go room by room making a broad list of what will stay, what will go and what needs thought or sifting through. Studies show that about 30% of us have enough unused and unwanted items in our homes to fill an entire room. Start with areas where there is little dispute as this prompts you to be in the frame of mind for decluttering and creates much-needed space for sorting.”
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: Allocate a day a week to the project
“If you have a checklist, whether physical or mental, of the cupboards you want to go through, then you can do an hour or two of focused sorting every week without becoming overwhelmed.
“Prepare yourself with the knowledge that it isn’t a one-off task and you may need to revisit some spaces. The decision making, the physicality of the task and the packing up of items to recycle or donate to Hospiscare takes times so pacing yourself is important, as well as documenting your progress so you can see what you have achieved.”
3: Keep your eye on the prize
Whatever your motivation for decluttering, whether it is moving house, creating room for a permanent home office or just simply to create some space in your mind, it is important to remember your reasons as you’re working. Jasmine explains, “Keep in mind the benefits and the way that your life will be easier, simpler and sustainable moving forward. This will keep you going. Staying focused on that future point also makes letting items go a little easier as we can see what is important to the next chapter of our lives.”
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.