You can call it decluttering your home, organizing your space, tidying up your life…Fact is: Getting rid of stuff you no longer need is necessary every once in a while and it can feel quite transformational. And donating things you no longer need to people who will use them is an additional win-win!
We tend to mostly do it before a move to a new home or when spring cleaning enthusiasm kicks in. But there is no reason to not do it more often and train yourself to be mindful of the things you amass. Keeping a tidy and organized living space is great for your mental well-being. Reducing visual stimuli helps your mind to calm down and focus. And getting this task done will give you a great sense of achievement and inspire you to make further changes in your life.
Sticking with it and sorting through all your things can be difficult. You might feel overwhelmed, you can have difficulties letting go of things “that you’ll maybe use in the future”, or you get distracted when you find objects that take you down memory lane.
Remember that you’re not the first person to face this situation and there are already a few methods out there that can guide your decluttering process.
The Minimalist Game
For this method there even is a hashtag on Twitter, #minsgame! The idea is to progressively get rid of more things every day. Day 1, one thing. Day 2, two things. And so on. It will get harder as the weeks go on but making a game of it and not having to do everything at once can help take the pressure off it and you will stick to it.
The 4 boxes
This one is easy. Simply sort through your belongings and categorize them in 4 different boxes: Keep, Throw away, Give away, Undecided. This is especially useful when you know you have a few things that can be donated. The only difficulty is the “Undecided” box, where the next method can come in handy…
“Does this spark joy?” Marie Kondo took over the world with her method and this catchphrase. The core idea is to only keep things that “spark joy” and get rid of the rest. You go through categories like books, clothes, souvenirs, appliances, hold every object in your hand, and only keep it if you have a positive reaction to it. Time-consuming but super effective.
What to donate and where
The general rule for donating is: Only donate what you would feel comfortable receiving. Don’t be surprised if nobody wants a dirty stuffed animal with one leg missing. Here are some more useful tips about things you can donate.
Donating clothes is one of the most common as there are containers to drop bags off in most cities. However, you can also donate directly to charities or shelters. It’s always best to ask beforehand and see what they have too much or too little of. Socks, for example, are something that is not donated very often and therefore always welcome.
Toys and kid’s clothes
There are many places that will have a use for them: hospitals, shelters, daycare centers, even fire departments often have toys to calm down scared children. However, make sure that the toys are in good condition so that any child would feel special receiving them. If they are broken, recycle them, or even better – repurpose them!
Did you know that approximately 70% of the world population needs some sort of vision correction? If you are among this group and have old eyeglasses lying around, donate them! There are organizations that ship them all over the world to people in need. Onesight is an NGO that provides donated eyeglasses to people in 46 countries.
Do you have laptops, radios, phones, blenders, etc. in your house that still work but have some defects or just aren’t as good as your new model? Labdoo is an organization that is happy to receive your unused computer, load some educational software on it and provide it to schools in need. Other NGOs like Oxfam will take phones and other electronics that still work.
We hope these tips will help you get started and know where to donate things that deserve a second life. And remember, whenever you get rid of something you don’t use anymore, technically, that means there is space for something new! For example, a nice gift you redeemed in our Nicequest shop! ;) And if you’re in the mood to do some more good, check out the Nicequest donation campaigns!
When was the last time you did it and do you have some more tips? Tell us in the comments!