decluttering

Decluttering is the point, not making money

My decluttering journey is a long one. It takes a long time to sort through things and as a rule, I don’t move on to the next stage of decluttering until I have dealt with everything from the previous category.

This meant I haven’t touched books until I donated the last of clothes I chose to part with. And I’m not moving on to the next stage now, until all of the books I decided not to keep find a new home.

As a result my living room table has been overtaken by books that need a new home. And my family has been asking me all sorts of questions about it.

Recently I talked my sister into taking a huge series of books about the past rulers of poland to her kids’ school library. My nephew has asked me “what’s in it for you?” and whether I’m getting paid for those. And it’s a bit worrying that I don’t think he understood when I tried explaining why I’m donating those books.

I don’t think he understood that the point isn’t to make money. The point is to make sure someone else will find use with those books.

When I was decluttering my clothes, I chose to donate them instead of selling them. I did that for a variety of reasons, but also because I didn’t want to shift my focus. I wanted to be able to look at my things and ask myself “Do I need this? Does it bring me joy? Is it useful to me?”

At no point in my decluttering journey do I want to look at an item and ask myself “can this be sold?” And that be the deciding factor in whether or not I keep something.

I’m not saying there’s something wrong with wanting to make some extra money on the stuff you no longer need. It can be a great source of some extra income which can make a difference for some people who struggle financially.

For me, it’s a matter of setting priorities when embarking on your decluttering journey. I’m in an incredibly privileged position where I have a well-paying job and I don’t need to think about selling the items I’m decluttering. I can prioritize time it takes to get rid of stuff vs. financial gain. I know not everybody can afford to donate their items instead.

All I’m saying is that one shouldn’t look at donating as something lesser to selling things. I know that this is a lesson we’re trying to teach my nephew.

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