Every year starts with a blaze of resolutions and ‘To Do’ lists, but there are wise people who will also advise you to draw up a ‘To Don’t’ list for 2018. By which they mean, writing down the things you will not do during the coming year in order to free up space for the more important matters in life.
One thing that can feature on both lists is de-cluttering. On the ‘To Do’ side this involves actively getting rid of unwanted or unnecessary items, and, on the ‘To Don’t’ side of the equation, it requires a decision to be much more disciplined about buying anything.
Many of us have that aggravated feeling of a room, a drawer, a cupboard, an attic, a shed or a garage full of stuff that either doesn’t quite fit, or doesn’t have a clear use, but that somehow seems too valuable to throw away.
So, what To Do and what To Don’t about this?
The first To Do is to give away as many of these items as you can afford to. Transporting bulky or heavy items like furniture can be a logistical and cost problem for some potentially grateful recipients but it’s possible to source cheap delivery services by searching the Removals and Storage section with a filter for your area.
If you’re clearing out books in particular, most urban areas have a charity bookstore somewhere which will gratefully take your old volumes off your hands.
If you need or want to raise some money from your old stuff, you can use a one-stop solution which will clear out everything for you at a relatively low price, or you can maximize your returns by listing each item separately on an online classifieds site like Gumtree. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much you can make and how much demand there is for almost every possible item you own.
Second-hand cellphones are a classic example – virtually every model has a vibrant market. Refrigerators are the third most searched for item on Gumtree, so you should be able shift your old one or that spare drinks fridge. Furniture, of all kinds and in all conditions, is a massive category in online classifieds, especially if you list in January when so many people are moving into new rental accommodation. Old sports equipment – bikes, canoes, gym equipment, cricket gear – will move quickly, as will things like sound systems, video games and vinyl LP’s.
Obviously you need to get the pricing correct. You can use the Gumtree Price Checker to establish a fair rate. If speed and lack of hassle are of the essence, then go low with the price and say ‘first to collect it gets it’. If you’re prepared to take a little longer, then go a little higher. Always post a nice clear picture of the item and comprehensively describe it.
Then, having finally given yourself some breathing room and freedom from clutter, it’s vital to remember the ‘To Don’t’ list. There’s no point in immediately replacing old unwanted stuff with a new load of future clutter. Stay disciplined and don’t buy any items in 2018 unless you really need them or they will bring you genuine pleasure.
Claire Cobbledick is Head of Core Business at Gumtree South Africa.
For further information please contact:
Gumtree South Africa
Head of PR
Tel: +27 (72) 410 9017
Ogilvy & Mather PR Cape Town
Tel: +27 (21) 467 1157