But decluttering is about much more than just tidying up the house according to Brooke McAlary from The Slow Home podcast. Over a process of two years, Brooke and her family managed to declutter more than 25,000 items from their home and discovered the joys of minimalism and simple living.
“I never realised how heavy my stuff was until I started letting it go,” says Brooke. What had felt ‘normal’ started to feel excessive as I began to declutter and give away or sell the things I didn’t need (or use or want!).”
“What I discovered, and the reason I’m so passionate about the benefits of simplifying, was clarity. Over time I could see more clearly the things that were important in my life, and gradually I realised that they weren’t really things at all,” says Brooke.
Top tips for decluttering
Brooke suggests that it’s best to break the process of decluttering down into manageable steps.
“Take it slow. You probably didn’t accumulate all your stuff over a month, so it will take you some time to work through it and feel OK about letting go,” says Brooke.
“Small steps taken consistently are more effective than one big spring clean every year. Commit to decluttering 10 things every day, or one small spot in your home and see the impact that makes over a month. You’ll be surprised!”
“Try not to confuse the memory for the thing. When it comes to sentimental items we often equate the item (souvenir, book, baby clothes, art work) with the time it reminds us of. If you can separate the two it will be much easier to judge an item on whether you actually like or use it, rather than muddy the waters by looking at an item and seeing a person or a memory,” says Brooke.
Let’s make second hand normal!
“Chances are, everything you need already exists in the world, so why not get out in the community, meet people and see what you can unearth? I love this movement so much. Let’s make second hand normal!”
Register your garage sale
Second Hand Saturday is on again this year on Saturday 23 September across Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed council areas. There’s also a leftovers garage sale day on Saturday 30 September so you have double the chance to sell your stuff.
It’s free to register to hold a garage sale. You’ll get free promotion in local newspapers, online and in the Second Hand Saturday app. You’ll also be able to pick up your free garage sale sign from your local Council office. If you are selling something extra special or interesting let us know on the Second Hand Saturday Facebook page so we can spread the word.