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The Let It Go Challenge

What are the questions you should ask when decluttering an item from your home? We discuss the key questions you need to know to help making the decision-making process a breeze.

 

EPISODE SHOW NOTES

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Episode Transcript

BONNIE: Hello and welcome! I am Bonnie,

LILY: and I am Lily, and this is Little Home Organised the Podcast dedicated to helping you declutter, get organised and reclaim time for the things you love. 

MUSIC

BONNIE: Hello and welcome.  This week we are talking about the let it go challenge.  We will talk about the simple questions you an ask yourself to identify if you really need, use or love something and how these questions can help free up space in your home. 

LILY: Now this has definitely been inspired by the challenge we are currently running in our Facebook group, so if you haven’t already joined, head over to Little home organised community on Facebook next time you are on and join us, join us for this challenge that we are going to be talking about today. 

BONNIE: So I am really excited to talk about this because even though we are not too far into February we have been doing this challenge since the first of February in the group and I have been kind of amazed to see not only how many people are participating but also the kinds of things that people are letting go. 

LILY: Yes it is great, I think it has been a challenge that is really achievable and it is inspired by this dilemma that we commonly face when get really inspired to like go into a room, go into a cupboard and we know that it is cluttered and we know that we are going to end up saying goodbye to stuff but then we pick up that random towel or we pick up that coaster and we don’t know how to make decisions about it and so this challenge was all about say hey lets help everybody figure out how to go through the decision making process, put it out step by step but also when it come to letting go it can feel overwhelming, lets make it achievable and lets let go of something every day, just one thing, everyday, one month

BONNIE: And have you noticed that a lot of the items that people are actually letting go of are things that were given to them. 

LILY: I have seen a few of those things pop up and we have talked about that before in previous episodes, you know giving gifts that potentially someone may just end up having to ditch down the track but people describing that sense of attachment that they feel and that obligation because someone gave it to them but it is something that they don’t really need or it was kind of sentimental past down but it is not sentimental to that person

BONNIE: Yeah and that is a really interesting thing about things that you are given, because sometimes someone gives you something and it is actually more about them rather than the gift, so it might be something they have given you that they think you are going to love because it is your colour. Right like I get a lot of teal things because I love teal.

LILY: Teal is the best colour ever

BONNIE: Teal is the best colour ever right, so I sometimes get things given to me just purely because they are teal and while I love teal I don’t need to collect everything in the world that is teal

LILY: That is true

BONNIE: Like I am not going for a teal coloured life

LILY: Oh you have just prompted my memory, my sister in law was really into cows and she just loved cow print and cows and just thinks they are the sweetest creatures ever and for a really long time every time she got a gift it was always cow themed and some of those things were like really lovely and cute and niche and also still practical and other things were just kind of like dust collectors

BONNIE: Yes

LILY: And once she outgrew cows, she then

BONNIE: What is it with like farm animals?

LILY: I know

BONNIE: It is chickens, cows or pigs

LILY: But once she outgrew them people didn’t realise she had outgrown them and then she was receiving cow things for a long period of time still

BONNIE: And she was opening these things

LILY: I don’t know if she gets cow things anymore

BONNIE: I am so going to give her a cow thing next time.  Just to see what she does

LILY: Oh she would be very gracious about it, and then it would go straight out the door into my hands and straight to the donation pile.  No but it is interesting to see that the things that are been taken in and out of peoples homes in this challenge and so for those of you who aren’t aware, the challenge that we are running in the group, it is call the Let it go challenge and it is really simple as I alluded to earlier, all you need to do is say goodbye to one item everyday for the month and it is a really simple strategy to make the task of decluttering less overwhelming, so there are two parts to it, there is obviously the part where you are saying goodbye, but we don’t just pick a random item and you know chuck it, we have to make decisions about is this the right item to go and then of course we have to decide okay it is going, where is it going

BONNIE: So it is about responsible disposal

LILY: Absolutely we are all about the responsible decluttering, we don’t want to just be throwing things willy nilly contributing to land fill, we want to be really mindful when we are at the shops purchasing in the first place and we want to be really mindful when we are decluttering as well

BONNIE: And I suppose that is why it is so important before we accumulate anything, whether it is a free lipstick that has come with a magazine, oh you have a story with that I can tell, you are smiling, what is that about

LILY: Oh you have just reminded me when I was in New Zealand our friend came to visit and that part wasn’t relevant, anyway we were at like a shop and I have bought some hair products and you spent so much in the store and you got a free lipstick anyway I spent that amount twice over and he is like a sales person at heart and so the person serving me gave me the one lipstick and he said oh I mean technically she spent this much so shouldn’t you know she could probably have two of those, this person did not care for their job and was just kind of like looked at me like okay have the second lipstick, I didn’t even want the first one

BONNIE:  So, what did you do

LILY: So I ended up with 2 of course

BONNIE: So you didn’t refuse

LILY: No which I had like a dilemma and I think many people we encounter this and we have a little tug of war with ourselves, do I really need this, oh but it is free it would be wasteful, I mean like maybe I will find a use for it, maybe I will find someone to give it to, you know all those thoughts rapid fire through your head

BONNIE: Yep

LILY: Meanwhile the check out chick is looking at you like can you make a decision and you are thinking while

BONNIE: You are trying to think of someone who would look really good in bright red lipstick

LILY: Exactly and I can tell you what, I have decluttered those and I didn’t use either of them. 

BONNIE: Oh

LILY: So realistically the moral of that story was to be mindful and I shouldn’t of taken them in them into my home to begin with however that is not necessarily the way life works, sometimes we end up with these things like you say, someone gives you a gift for Christmas, you know your secret Santa present, or someone goes oh I love that cow teal plate

BONNIE: Cow teal plate, well that’s impressive

LILY: Teal plate with cows and they give it to you and you know you feel obligated to keep it and so there are all these reasons we end up with stuff. 

BONNIE: But you know what, what you have just talked about reminds me of the 5 R’s and we have done an episode on this last year about the 5 R’s you know the reduce, reuse, recycle has now got um the refuse and the reuse on top of it, refuse is the number one step. Say no to the things that you don’t need.  Say no to the single use plastic bag, say no to the free lipstick, say no to the free notepad

LILY: Ooshies, did it get it right?

BONNIE: You did get it right, oh on that note I was speaking with someone the other day about Kombucha, actually it was my nieces, we were taking them somewhere

LILY: Oh here we go

BONNIE: And um instead of, so you say Kombucha, I say Kombucha, they say Kombucha

LILY: I was like this is blowing my mind, are there any other ways you an possibly say this word

BONNIE:  DO you know any other way that you can say Kombucha, Kombucha, Kombucha if so send us an audio file with it because that will be hilarious  

LILY: So what is really cool about this challenge as we were saying is that it is super simple, because it is not like I have to declutter my home from head to toe I can just start with one item, so if you are in that position at home right now and you are thinking, ok I know that I have a popcorn maker that has been sitting in my cupboard and I want to get more cupboard space back, I am going to use this item as an example.  So we have a list of questions here that you can ask yourself to consider if this item needs to stay or if it is time for it to go

BONNIE: Now the first one in that list of questions is one that we, you have probably heard it many times, and we use it as kind of our first question when we are asking clients to declutter and that is why it is first in this list of letting go questions.  So, the question is Do I need, use or love it? Now let’s talk a little bit more about what need, use and love actually means.

LILY: And also I am going to confess that the popcorn maker I actually have one in my cupboard at the moment

BONNIE: I was going to say you have picked like the one item that you will never get rid off

LILY: Well that’s the funny thing is because I go through phases where I use it and then I go through phases where I just do the microwave popcorn laced with chemicals instead because it is quicker. 

BONNIE: So

LILY: Technically it is not quicker, oh anyway I digress. So when we are talking about what you actually need Bonnie, what do you think are some of the things that people think they need and maybe they don’t

BONNIE: Well sometimes I think we can need a second hammer because we are worried that the first is going to break and that we need to have a backup, so anything that is a backup sometimes we feel like we need it as a just in case item.  It is not necessarily true because for most of us A the first one is unlikely to break to and if in the event that it does or you have lost it, usually there is a neighbourhood that we can ask, you know family, friends a community, sometimes there are tool sheds or tool libraries nearby that you can borrow these items from and then at the very least, there is the option of buying a new one, so the whole need factor is really a relative term and I have had people say to me before oh I need that skirt, and it is true you need to be clothed because in our society if you are naked you will get finned

LILY: Some people frown upon it

BONNIE: I don’t know why

LILY: Can’t a girl go swimming in a body of water and not wear her togs, apparently not. 

BONNIE: Especially not at a local very touristy beach, just don’t do it.  So need is a very relative term, you do need to be clothed but do you actually that pink flamingo fluffy tulle skirt that you wore for your high school formal that doesn’t fit anymore

LILY: Well maybe you don’t need it, do you use, no you don’t fit it, you haven’t worn it for 20 odd years, but do you love it, yes

BONNIE: And that’s where those 3 key questions really come into it, because if you can identity that you really don’t need something and you don’t actually use it but you love it then there is that sentimental attachment and then you can say, yes I do love it, and I do want to keep it because of that, and when you get further down the track of like all your sentimental items being together and having some sort of boundary and saying right this is my memory box and everything I want to keep has to fit in this box, that is when you can be a bit more ruthless and compare one sentimental item to another to see which ones you truly do love. 

LILY: So the next thing you can do, like we were talking about with the example of the hammer there, you can ask yourself do I have more than one of this item and on a previous episode if you go back to Episode 7 listen to The 5 Types of Clutter, one of the things we talk about is abundance clutter and that is where we end up having multiple versions of something

BONNIE: Yeah, yeah and the hammer is a great example because people love the backup and we do it with water bottles, especially if we have got kids, and we are, maybe they are loosing stuff at school

LILY: Oh I can relate to that yeah

BONNIE: We do have the abundance clutter because it is like oh well they are likely to loose that and I bought these extra ones on special or one sale because it is likely that they will loose them and I will need another one. 

LILY: And so you have that what if in the back of your head, you have just prompted me like my son, I have a like Sippy cup water cup, straw cup, I have one at our mum and dad’s, I have one at my husband’s mum and dads and we have one at our house and then I have one that is in the ether, I do not know where it has gone

BONNIE: I’m like what’s the ether, is this cool –

LILY: It’s like in the ‘Upside Down’

BONNIE: Is it covered in all the gooey stuff

LILY: So gross isn’t it.  you just imagine it, it would stink.

BONNIE: I have to watch stranger things with the mute button on certain sections. 

LILY: Does it give you a fright

BONNIE: It gives me a massive fright

LILY: Horror movies are not for you

BONNIE: Not good with thrillers and horrors and there is just a bit too much scary music going on. 

LILY: Such a good show though if you haven’t watched it, check it out

BONNIE: So good, so good

LILY: But I have had to keep multiple bottles because for that same reason they can get dropped, I can end up somewhere and I am like oh I need to hydrate this child, um but it is really easy to fall into that mentality, I have found myself going oh I should probably get another one so I can always have one at home, and always have one in his bag, instead of remembering to just put it in his bag and then take it back out.  So it is really easy to justify bringing more into your house and then we do end up with abundance clutter and then of course if your house is in a situation where things aren’t really easy to find then you can bring in new things and then loose them pretty easily too. 

BONNIE: And you have just reminded me of something really important, when we do have the backups it is like we are future proofing ourselves because we are not clever enough to make up an alternative solution, so one day we are going to talk about the art of making do because it is such an amazing concept but we don’t give ourselves that opportunity to make do when we always have a backup so for example our kids have got one water bottle each and it sits in the fridge all the time,  it gets washed in the dishwasher as regularly as it needs to be but this is the water bottle they take to school, if we are going out on a family day trip, we use this one water bottle, if for some reason at night-time they need to take a water bottle to bed or near bed, they are non spill, they are easy for the kids to hold and they have this one water bottle right, now there are times where especially the 2 year old, he has lost the water bottle or my darling daughter with her ADHD, no idea where the water bottle is right but then we just make do if the water bottle has gone. So like at school, they can use a cup, she hasn’t had to do that yet thankfully, but even my 6 year old last year, there were a couple of time that he forgot his water bottle and the prep teacher said don’t worry about it, we have got cups, they just use a cup and they drink from that all day.  So even though as a parent our worse fear is feeling like we have failed and having it public knowledge, it is actually okay when it happens, there is an alternative that we can look for and it does help us kind of make our brains function a bit better, when we have to problem solve. 

LILY: Yes

BONNIE: Rather than just having a backup there. 

LILY: Yep it is in 99% of cases it is going to be okay so um stop it before it comes into the house but yeah do consider if you have more than one, do you actually need to have those extra bottles, do you actually need those extra items. Another think you can ask yourself is have I used this item in the last 6-12 months

BONNIE: Mmmm yep

LILY: Because this is why I love the hanger trick and we talked about this in I think it was our 2nd episode wardrobe woes, where you go into your wardrobe, you turn your hangers around the wrong way and then every time you wear a garment you turn it back around the right way and then at the end of a set period you look and actually see what you are actually wearing compared to what you think you are wearing.  So this question is a great one.  Have I actually used this in the last 6-12 months because sometimes we are like oh yeah I have and you really think about it, you actually haven’t. 

BONNIE: No and that is why the hanger trick is so good because it is that visual reminder of actually no you think you have used it but you haven’t, dust is another great indicator for if you have used something or not.  The amount of times I have gone to someone’s house and they have said oh yeah I use that all time and then I go oh really when do you think the last time was and they go oh look at that dust, oh it must have been longer than I thought and it just it is like a visual indicator of actually time has passed more quickly than you thought it has and you really didn’t use it. 

LILY: I would be mortified if you came into my house and stuck your finger in a pile of dust and showed me your finger

BONNIE: Well it is not like I am one of those white glove women who goes along with my finger along you know the mantle piece or anything, but if there is visible dust on something and someone is adamant about it, it is just a good way to go okay this shows me that you haven’t actually used it, it is not me saying well now you have to get rid of it, it is just me showing you

LILY: Or going ha I told you so

BONNIE: These are actually the facts; the dust is showing me you haven’t used it very often.

LILY: Yeah, it is a normal part of psychology thinking and remembering things differently to your reality anyway so, we all do it. 

BONNIE: so true

LILY: Alright so next question you want to ask yourself when you are looking at that popcorn maker, that hammer, whatever it is that you are holding is am I keeping it just in case and this I think aligns really well with aspirational clutter, 

BONNIE: Yes

LILY: Even back to that poodle skirt, lets say that you love to wear a poodle skirt regularly, but you don’t fit it anymore. 

BONNIE: Who doesn’t love a poodle shirt, I mean really

LILY: Oh they are fun to swish around um but it doesn’t fit you anymore and oh maybe I am just waiting for the right occasion to wear it, is it an aspiration that you are holding onto, is it that corporate outfit that you are waiting to wear when COVID finally lifts and you go back to the office, you know or and even though your work place is now told you that permanently everyone is working from home, are you still holding onto that aspiration of walking into the office with a fresh brewed coffee from the city, you know whatever it is, am I just holding onto this just in case I can achieve that thing I really in the back of my mind I am hoping I do achieve. 

BONNIE: Yeah it is like the musical instrument, the roller-skates, the treadmill, I mean the treadmill is classic A example of aspirational clutter, so

LILY: Yep my adult colouring books that I have

BONNIE: Yeah

LILY: When I get the time to sit down and do those, actually someone posted I think it was in, I don’t know if it was in our Facebook group or anyway I saw it online recently that there was a charity that specifically for their people in need that they were serving were looking for adult colouring books.  There is literally a charity for everything isn’t there.

BONNIE: Oh there really is and the other things with those just in case items is that like we were talking about with that last question of you know have we used it in the last kind of 6-12 months, the just in case items are almost like trying to future proof so that we don’t have any problems in the future, but once again we are denying our brain the opportunity to actually grow because when we problem solve our brains get better and we get smarter and we make more connections so it is actually better to not have those just in case items hanging around because often we don’t actually use them or we don’t have the need for them because that just in case never arrives but even when it does that whole process of making do often means that we can find an alternative that is just as good and our brains have grown in the process.  I have got a great story on that, as everybody knows, I am currently living at our parents house, moving out soon, and I have done a bit of decluttering with our parents over the last few years and we were cooking spaghetti, no it was gnocchi a few weeks ago and I said to mum where is your slotted spoon because you want to scoop the gnocchi out

LILY: Oh that green one?

BONNIE: No, no

LILY: That’s a pink one I am thinking of

BONNIE: Yes, no that is soup ladle.  Anyway so

LILY: No it was green and it use to have little spikes

BONNIE: I will tell you about that in a second. 

LILY: Oh okay

BONNIE: patience Dargo, patience, so I said where is your slotted spoon, and she said Oh I don’t know we must have decluttered it and I said that is really weird, like that is a really handy item why would that have gone? And anyway, she didn’t have one and I thought what I can use instead

LILY: Ohhh

BONNIE:  So I found the green thing which is actually a boiled egg scooper

LILY: Is that what it is. 

BONNIE: Who does that with boiled eggs

LILY: She has always used that for pasta

BONNIE: For pasta, yeah so I found that and I was I remember using that as a kid for pasta so and it is good for spaghetti because you can wind it around it, not as great for gnocchi cause it is like this tiny little section but anyway I used it and it was totally fine but there you go that just in case the art of making do we made do and it was fine.  No one died, we all got dinner and the gnocchi came out perfectly

LILY: And it all lines up with minimalism as well, it is like I think of the, if you are in a caravan you are not going to take every utensil for every type of meal you might eat even if you were going on a one night road trip

BONNIE: No Mellon ballers in the caravan

LILY: No Mellon ballers, so what you are going to do though with your limited space is you are going to make do and you are going to put items in there that are versatile and that can be used for a lot of purposes, so yes while I do get that uni-taskers can be useful and that there are you know utensils that you may want to have in your kitchen for that one occasion because it just makes the process really quick and easy it is just something to think about as to whether it is actually serving you or if you have other priorities and it is worth letting go of which leads me into my next question, which is when you are looking at decluttering, lets say it is the poodle skirt and you look at your wardrobe and your wardrobe is so jammed packed that you cant fit another piece of clothing in that when you go to take some clothing out, things fall off the hangers

BONNIE:  Oh don’t you hate that

LILY: You blame the hangers; you know you have to shove something back in and you have to pull apart clothes

BONNIE: Then your robe is bending so far down

LILY: Because there is so much weight on it

BONNIE: Under pressure

LILY: And it is not easy to see what is in there and your standing here looking at this poodle skirt going through your decluttering questions, one of the questions to ask yourself of course is Could this space in my wardrobe be better used?

BONNIE: Mmmm

LILY: Could this space where my popcorn maker is, could this space be better used for something else. 

BONNIE: Could this space where my treadmill is taking up a quarter of my lounge room actually be used for something better

LILY: Pot plants

BONNIE: Oh pot plants

LILY: Oh I cannot stop.  So I have just had a birthday and it was a great excuse for me to acquire more plants but it is a problem. 

BONNIE: Ah yes

LILY: And I am definitely on the hydro bandwagon with all the propagating of

BONNIE: Oh they are so cool how easy they grow

LILY: It is so easy; I know it just makes me feel like mother nature. 

BONNIE: I am mother earth ding ding

LILY: As I water them each morning and say thank you for growing

BONNIE:  Do you sing to them, that is the next question

LILY: No maybe that is what I am doing wrong, because I have killed, maimed a few, oh if anyone out there is an expert on melee bugs on Calatheas sabrinas please let me know because my two beautiful calatheas are looking very sad and I am so tempted to throw them off the deck but I love them too much and I am trying to save them so if you have got any top tips feel free to send those in.  Just use my platform for a bit of plant education.  

BONNIE: Yes yes

LILY: But you are welcome to message me about plants anytime.  DM me

BONNIE: Lets bond over the plants

LILY: Love an indoor plant. 

BONNIE: Oh yes we do.  Okay so the next question is, is this item part of an aspiration that I am holding onto, now we have kind of covered this a little bit already so lets move onto the last one, and we use this strategy a lot when decluttering and we have talked about it before in the Podcast, is it part of my past, my present or my future and sometimes we can look at things especially aspirational things and think well it is part of my future but it might be part of one future, whereas we might have a dozen, hundreds of futures laid out before us and we don’t actually know what is going to happen in the future.  So maybe you are someone who has just finished school for example and you don’t know if you want to go on and study, if you want to go and work fulltime, if you want to take some time of and travel, so you have got all these different futures laid out before you and one of the things that you don’t realise until you kind of look back a little bit on your life is that each decision you make takes you in a direction that then leads to another kind of crossroads that leads you to another journey, that leads to another crossroad and before you know it you look back, you have been married 12 years, you have 3 kids, you have had a couple of dogs, you have had a couple of houses and you can look back to how one decision 15 years ago lead you on this journey to where your life is now, so sometimes the items that we hold onto we think they are a part of our future but maybe they are just part of the future that we actually want but maybe will not end up being a reality for us. 

LILY: I am sitting here smiling because I am thinking about that you know that butterfly effect like one flap of the wings can change the world and my husband and I are actually high school sweethearts

BONNIE: Ohhh

LILY: And, thanks and we started dating in our last year of high school, grade 12, we only really got to like know each other in grade 11 because we purely ended up being in the same classes together but my husband and I only started talking to each other really when he had been disruptive in class and the teacher moved

BONNIE: That doesn’t sound like him at all

LILY: And the teacher moved him and so like I think about if he hadn’t been in that class of course but if he hadn’t been disruptive in that class and been moved from where he was sitting, he got moved to the centre of the class room because the teacher thought all the other students that he was interacting with were on the outskirts of the classroom and he thought if he moved him to the middle he couldn’t communicate with them, of course he just yelled out and then it made it a bigger game.  Anyway but he was sitting in front of me and my friend and I were absolute lunatics and we use to hysterically laugh even though it was maths about things unrelated to maths obviously and

BONNIE: Some people love maths

LILY: Some people do love maths and kudos to you, it is not my strength, yeah he turned around and started chatting with us and you know I wonder, what if he never got moved to the middle, what if he

BONNIE: Yeah, what if he wasn’t there that day, what if he wasn’t someone who likes to be disruptive because lets face it he does.

LILY: Shout out to you husband

BONNIE: I think it is time for a break and time to have a clutter confession. 

up a simple system that makes honouring and storing artwork smooth and easy. 

CLUTTER CONFESSIONS;

WACKY CONFESSIONS ANONYMOUS CALLER 1: Hey guys my clutter confession is that I have got a draw full of Brisbane Lions merchandise about 5 scarves, 3 jerseys, a couple of bennies, a couple of flags, I have also got some Pokémon cards which I collected back in primary school 15 odd years ago which I will probably never part with. 

BONNIE: Pokémon cards

LILY: that’s really 90’s isn’t it. 

BONNIE: Oh it is still a bit of thing now

LILY: I remember when Pokémon go came out I really got into that. 

BONNIE: OH did you, do you remember Tazos?

LILY: Oh yeah

BONNIE: I loved Tazos because they felt really nice, they were really tactile, little discs

LILY: So he sounds like he is a bit a sports fan but also

BONNIE: I want to see him wear all of that paraphernalia at once

LILY: Oh all right, that is your challenge anonymous caller, put every piece on and send us a snap and if you have a clutter confession we would love to hear it, send it on in to our Facebook page Little Home Organised

MUSIC

BONNIE: Ok so we have talked a bit about what the questions are to let go of items.  What about after we have made the decision to let go of something, where to from there because that is where people can come unstuck, they have got this stuff, they don’t want it to go into landfill, they know someone else could probably use it but what do they do with it?

LILY: Yeah, where do I even begin.  Now what.  So, I think the number 1 think that Bonnie and I are huge advocates for is donate, donate, donate, if you can donate that item.  So if you are in the local Brisbane area a resource for you if you are absolutely stuck is to go to little miss organised website and get a copy of their free Donations Cheat Sheet, it is basically a PDF which kind of lays out all the different places that you can take really specific household items

BONNIE: Yes so it is organised by categories, so like there is baby items, there is electrical items, there is furniture, there is you know school stationary all that kind of stuff and even if you are not local to South East Queensland it does give you some really good ideas for where you can take things like half used school books and e-waste and things that are maybe a little bit tricky and outside the box that you don’t quite know where they should go, so check that resource out as well www.littlemissorganised.com.au

LILY: The good thing about donating as well is there are so many different options, so there is obviously the stock standards especially here in Australia of your Lifeline, your Salvation Army or your Salvos and then you have got all your niche local op shops as well, like we have one local to us that is currently and very topically supports and Orphanage in Myanmar and with everything chaotic going on over there at the moment there are communities over there that really need the support and so their op shop all proceeds specifically go  to supporting that orphanage and the operation of that orphanage, so in fact I will throw that in the show notes in case you are interested in checking them out and seeing if you can support them but there is a place for everything and I think of organisations like Share the Dignity for example, so if you have unused menstrual products that could be really great for helping.

BONNIE: Feminine hygiene  

LILY: Feminine hygiene products, um or potentially you know Friends with Dignity is another great charity and they are an organisation who are supporting families fleeing domestic violence and families of course need all kinds of things so maybe you have got a single bed set of Thomas the tank engine sheets and you have kept them for a while because of the grandkids when they use to come over but now they have grown up and the sheets are in good condition, so those sheets could definitely go to an organisation like that for a child who has been removed from their home really quickly to get to safety, so some of these things that we may not necessarily think about there is organisations out there for everything.  But lets take those same set of sheets Bon, lets say that the sheets are in shocking condition and you are thinking I guess I just have to chuck them in the trash, you have got options still for donating,

BONNIE: Yes

LILY: For keeping things out of the rubbish

BONNIE: Yeah absolutely, if you have got old sheets, linen, pretty much anything that doesn’t have stuffing in it, so pillows and doonas and all those kind of stuffing related ones are probably not ideal for this but all your sheets and pillowcases and old towels are great for your local vet, or if you have got a pet shelter nearby because they use so many of those items and especially when a dog passes away or an animal passes away those items can be then given to the owners to help take that animal home like we have had to do that before, another option as well is to cut them up to rags and give them to your local mechanic, mechanics are always needing rags. 

LILY: So if you are feeling up to it, you can get really creative with finding the right charity for your item, alternatively if you want something quick and easy but you do want it to be donated, jump on Facebook market place, take a photo list it as free I can tell you if it is in reasonable condition people love it, they will be on it so quick and they will take it straight from your house and you don’t even have to leave. 

BONNIE: It is amazing, like we have been using say Gumtree is our Australia leading classified, so you might have craigslist or something else where you are but over the last 10 years we have put stuff for free on gumtree and like the average time it takes for someone to call and come and pick stuff up is about 15-20 minutes, so it can just be gone out of your life and that could be something big like a queen bed mattress frame, or a fridge that still works but you know you don’t need it anymore and it is has got a bit of rush and stuff in it,  stuff just goes so quickly.  So if you think a charity shop is not going to want to take it, or you don’t have the transport means to get it somewhere just list it for free online, it will be gone like that. 

LILY: So one of the questions you are going to ask yourself when you are looking at your popcorn maker, your poodle skirt or whatever it is, is this item worthwhile sending to a charity, if it is off it goes to the charity by whatever means.  Potentially it maybe valuable enough to sell and again you have got those options of your Trade Me, your craigslist, your eBay, your Facebook market place, throw it on there, take good photos, we have an episode called Turn Your Clutter into Cash, check it out we have some good tips there on online selling but if you have got the time and the effort and the energy up your sleeve then definitely try and recoup some of the money that you have spent on it but if it is not worth it then maybe don’t do it and also it is important to keep it time bound, so when you list something maybe give yourself a time limit of if in one week this hasn’t sold I am going to significantly reduce the price or I am just going to list it for free and donate it. 

BONNIE: Yeah that is a really important reminder is to give yourself that time boundary of if the item is not gone by this particular time I am going to just donate it or do something different with it because too often when we are selling something we add an emotional value to it as well and someone else doesn’t have that emotional value, so they look at an item you are selling for $50 and they think well actually I would only pay $30 or $35 for it and we have just added this emotional attachment kind of value to it.  Another question that is really good to ask yourself when you are wanting to let it go, is it broken, does it need to be disposed of in land fill, can it be recycled, is it something like e-waste which can actually go to a local charity or to a local organisation who can recycle it and the great thing about a lot of the office supply stores nowadays is that they have got all these amazing bins where you can recycle

LILY: Your printer cartridges

BONNIE: Mobile phones

LILY: I think you can even bring pens in. 

BONNIE: Yeah CDs, pens, you know there is makeup recycling programs

LILY: There is even some recycle centres are taking x-rays and things now, so just jump online and Google x-ray donation and you will be surprised at what comes up so there are options out there for keeping things out of the bin but otherwise see if it can be recycled first and if not throw it in the bin. 

BONNIE: And the last question you need to ask yourself when something is going to go is, is this actually something that it is not mine to get rid of but needs to go back to someone, you know did someone cook you a lovely lasagne and you still have their dish 6 months later, I actually did that with my first child a beautiful friend of mine

LILY: You left them somewhere for 6 months. 

BONNIE: I did, I felt really bad, not a beautiful friend made us a couple of meals and even though I took the meals out of her dishes really quickly and like put them into our dishes so that I could give them back to her, I think she said oh like I need them back soon, I still kept her dishes, it would have been close to a year. 

LILY: Oh no.

BONNIE: Yeah and like it wasn’t intentional and I just don’t think we saw each other because I had 2 kids under 2 and she had

LILY: what happened when you gave it back

BONNIE: she didn’t even remember she had given them to me.  That was the funny thing is I was oh I still have got these 2 dishes and she was like which ones? And I took a photo, and she was like oh I don’t really remember those, and I thought ah ok here is me stressing that I’ve got your favourite dishes and you don’t even remember them.  So yeah

LILY: It is important to not donate things that don’t belong to you and to try and give them back in a timely manner

BONNIE: Yes but I have to tell you if you haven’t spoken to someone in 4 or 5 years and you still have got a book that they lent you and you cant get in contact with them anymore I give you permission to pass that book on and let someone else enjoy it. 

LILY: You heard it here folks.  Today’s episode is all about the Let it go challenge everyone in our group at the moment who is embracing this challenge is posting a photo everyday of something they have chosen to get rid of and there sharing a little bit of the decision making process, some of the things we talked about.  Today like do I need it, use it or love it and then they are telling us maybe where they are donating it.  So I am donating this item to here, I am deciding to throw this out because it is no longer in good condition or I am returning all these items that are my grown child’s for them to take as opposed to just turfing them out. 

BONNIE: And you know what’s really good about the group is that when people are saying I have got this and I want to get rid of it, other people are offering suggestions of oh hey this is where you could actually donate that item and they would really love it.  So it is just this like brains trust and people are letting go left right and centre and they are feeling really good about it. 

LILY: So if you are in a position to start making some changes in your life, this is your tidy task for this week. 

BONNIE: So come and join the little home organised Facebook community group, get in on the let it go challenge, it is just one item per day.  It doesn’t matter if you miss a couple of days, we are not hard and fast on the rules, the most important thing is that you get a little bit of accountability so even if you can only find one thing to donate or to let go of straight away, join the group, get some inspiration and some motivation from what other people are doing.  Look for your first item, go through those questions, do I need, use and love it all the way to the bottom and then decide is it time for it to be let go.  Now on that note I think we should tell everybody about the bonus freebee we have for them this week.

LILY: Yes so we have created a decision making tree and you can use this tree to help you figure out if you were going to keep an item or let it go

BONNIE: So to grab that freebee head on over to our website https://littlehomeorganised.com.au/decisionmakingtree/

LILY: We want to thank you so much for choosing to have us in your ears this week, we look forward to joining you next week and in the meantime we will see you over in the Facebook group. 

BONNIE: And remember PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION. 

LILY: See you later

BONNIE: Bye

We would love to see the conversation continue, head over to the Little Home Organised Community group on Facebook, ask questions, find motivation and share your before and afters, and if you enjoyed the show please help us going by hitting subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where ever you listen.  It is free and ensures you do not miss and episode but if you really want to share the love leave us a rating and review.  Trust me it makes all the difference in the world.