Are the questions keeping you stuck?

Don't let the question of what to do with your extra stuff keep you stuck

Are you stuck because you don’t know what to do with your unwanted “stuff?”

I can relate.

My husband and I just went through our garage to clear out the remaining lumber from a remodeling project that we had finished last fall.  The clutter had been waiting in a pile on the side of the garage, making it hard to get in and out of the car, tripping us up, and reminding us of the work that we needed to finish.  Ugh!

It was a tidy mess that got in the way of our everyday living, but we were stuck. 

First we let the weather be the excuse-“Who wants to clean out the garage in the winter?”   Then it was time– “Spring is just so busy!”  But it just had to be done– it had to get off of our to-do list!  So we found a free afternoon & together we dug in. 

We started to sort the good stuff from the junk, making piles, talking it through.  We thought about other ways we could use some of the material and knew there were lots of pieces that just weren’t salvageable. 

As we talked and worked we both realized that what had kept us from digging in and doing this project earlier was the uncertainty of what to do with it all.  We didn’t want to throw perfectly good material in the garbage & we didn’t really know what to do with the scraps that weren’t perfect.  We knew it would take a little time & energy to make decisions about where and how to get rid of the things that we didn’t want any more. 

And as I thought about my reluctance to begin & figure those questions out, I felt compassion for those of you who are waiting on a project because you are stuck in uncertainty.  It is a hard place to be in.  Letting those questions stop you creates more uncertainty.  You start debating and justifying instead of letting go and moving on. 

It feels easier to stay stuck & let another week or month go by, but what I have found is when you get up the gumption to begin to sort & let go, the answers around what to do next actually get easier.

Fortunately, there are so many solutions out there.  There are so many ways to donate, sell, or reuse your things that the fear of figuring that  piece out can be less scary and the need/desire to move forward can take center stage. 

There have been a number of times when I thought about getting rid of something only to stumble upon a posted sign asking for that type of donation or run into someone who needs that exact thing that I wanted to get rid of-  the lego drive at the local school, the soccer equipment donation at the church, the school project that needed paint & some large pieces of lumber.  Start and the answers will come.

My husband & I did make it through that pile in the garage.  We donated some, kept some for future projects & took some of the leftover, unusable scraps to the recycling center.  Our solutions came as we worked.  And the relief we felt after having tackled that project made those extra steps worth it!

Your Turn…

Ask yourself if the question of what to do with your unwanted stuff is keeping you from making headway on your decluttering project?  Take a few minutes to drop in, look up, or make a call to your local donation center & see what they take & don’t take.  I have found that having a clear list of things that aren’t acceptable makes it a lot easier to sort & set aside the things that are. 

Posting your extras on Facebook or, in some towns, leaving them on your curb with a FREE sign are quick ways to get things out of your space & keep the “flow” of things moving in our communities.      

Next Steps…

If you know yourself & the details of figuring out what to do with your extra stuff is not something you want to deal with, think about asking a friend or relative to handle that piece of your decluttering project.  Set yourself up for success by making the process as easy as possible!

Or be in touch and I can pass on tips & resources.  When I work with clients, I shoulder the burden of the questions around what, where, & how to let go of the things that they have outgrown or don’t have a home for anymore.  I carry the weight of those questions & do the research if it’s needed so the client can focus on moving forward.

I feel a strong responsibility to ensure that the majority of the stuff that comes out of the space will get to have another life & I encourage that mindset as we sort & move things out.  There are always things that end up in the garbage bin, but my goal is to keep that pile small.  Part of my job involves showing you how & where to donate, reuse, or sometimes sell that extra “stuff” so there is even more positivity surrounding the clearing out & you will be encouraged to continue this kind of generosity in the future.