Decluttering – using it up, giving it away and selling

When I started this blog, it was after more than a year of reading daily.  This lovely Australian blogger, Colleen writes up to six times a week to inspire people to live with less, and follow her on her journey of decluttering one thing a day.  I’m not even sure how I found her site, but I enjoy the community feel.  I was sure that my blog would have a stack of decluttering posts, but it seems I did a lot of the leg work before moving into the loft, and I have been in the ‘maintenance’ phase ever since.

Every now and then, maybe once a month on average, I like to list items on freecycle, and move them out the door.  I thought I’d share some of my lists I have for decluttering

Use it up

Some things aren’t really give away worthy.  You’ll see what I mean:

Three too many (ok, two really…) And why does the Macleans one taste like bubblegum when it *says* mildmint?
  • 3 tubes of toothpaste in progress
  • mini hotel shampoos
  • cotton buds with plastic tubes
  • moisturiser – 3+ are too many
  • satay sauce in a jar – I prefer to make my own, and it’ll spoil soon enough
  • pesto in a jar – I might ask the BF to handle this, I really don’t like pesto
  • frozen spinach – from the Bf’s to the loft to cohab central, that’s silly!
Sauces to go

Give Away

  • Ikea chair cover – I bought one to see if it’d fit my non Ikea chairs
  • two hats – from my bald preparation days.  I need as many as I expected when I shaved my head
  • old stained smelly pillor – hopefully for an animal shelter?


  • microwave from the loft
  • Caring for Cut Flowers – a beautiful reference from my floristry course, but not in use now

Not my domain

  • extra vacuum – I want to keep my Dyson and move the BF’s on.  He disagrees.  I vacuum
  • extra washing machine – mine fit in the space, his has been faulty.  Hardly far to sell to someone, but no use in the garage!
  • extra hand beater – we only bought the BF one so he could have cheesecakes made for him at his house!  I do actually prefer his though, it allows either beater in either hole, way easier!

The hardest thing to ‘declutter’ are things that are unloved, but not really likely to be wanted by anyone else.  Like the pillows – that’s clutching at straws.  Or socks that have lost their elasticity.  I must look into textile recycling in Australia!

Oh, Sunday is my first run in a competition! I’m running the Bridge in a 9km race (my brother is showing me up and doing the half marathon).  I’ll report back how it goes – the last run was two weeks ago at 6kms and since then I’ve been sick, so it could get interesting!


  1. Date night tonight – we’re going out for dinner, which I just LOVE (for those who don’t know :p)
  2. Got my head around a complex work job – it’s hard to find the right time to switch off power with residence, bakery, resturants, doctors etc, but I’ve resolved it (Sunday afternoon)
  3. Lunch out with a colleague saving me from my ‘scratch’ lunch
  4. Cakes at work (to farewell the cake lover who goes on 4 weeks holiday)
  5. Budget *just* balanced between all my rego/service bills on the scooter (which never sold) and the usual
  6. I’ve completed and sent all 16 x 500+ word career episode reports to my external mentor, and checked in with my in house verifier!  I will be a certified engineer once I submit, verify and get assessed
  7. My brother saved me a trip to pick up my running bib etc, and collected mine with his!

Australian readers, do you know where I can do textile recycling?  What items are lingering in your home that need to move on?  What are you trying to ‘use up’?

23 Replies to “Decluttering – using it up, giving it away and selling”

  1. That's iconic, running the Bridge! Good luck and I hope you have one of those amazing Sydney days with the sun sparkling on the water!

    I don't know much about textile recycling, except that RSPCA and animal shelters often love old blankets & towels (and probably pillows!) (A tip from An Exacting Life!)

    I love having decluttering checklists and I love yours – with a no-waste emphasis.

    Congrats on all those reports ~ how exciting will it be once everything is ticked off! 🙂

    1. I know! I'm so excited they've closed it, so I took the opportunity to test my running skills! Today is lovely, so hopefully tomorrow will be too.

      I'll look into animal shelters, I think the nearest one is out past my parents, so it'll take some planning. I was/am hoping that freecycle would make it easier for me!

  2. I once got a whole bunch of half-used shampoo and conditioner on freecycle, so you never know what people will want! I use old cotton clothes as rags for dusting and cleaning the car.

    I'm currently trying to declutter my food – I have so many jars with only a small amount of something in them, and they're all on exposed shelves in my bedroom, so I'm trying to finish them up and make the shelves less cluttered.

    Good luck with the run 🙂

    1. Good point! I could offer some stuff, but it's not that I hate the half opened stuff, more I just want to lessen the stockpile.

      I should make rags, but I already wash and reuse all the ones I have! I'm not sure how many I need. Good luck with thinning out your food stocks!

  3. Good luck with your race!

    I'm curious to see what you can find for textile recycling. I may not be able to find anything comparable here, but you never know. Right now my textile issue is oil and paint stained clothing. I don't think I can give it to the thrift shops because its so heavily stained, but at the same time it's perfectly good clothing if you have a messy job.

    1. Hmm maybe pre schools or similar could use stained clothes as paint smocks? Or even a drop in centre or similar where they might do arts and crafts. I agree, it's hard with these 'almost dead' things from a perspective.

  4. Good luck with the run. And well done with your work reports.

    I love Colleen's blog too. And I read it for ages and was finally inspired to declutter and blog. She was unbelievably consistent in her daily declutter, and blogging about it, wasn't she?

    What sort of textiles are you aiming to recycle? I cut up old sheets to use as cleaning rags, in place of buying ones. They still end up in the bin finally but I figure have saved other rubbish by using less paper towel and bought cleaning cloths. I have donated old towels to a dog rescue place. A work colleague collects them for the one she volunteers in.

    1. She was incredibly consistent for years, but she's now run out it seems, and that's more than ok!

      Hmm, I could make more rags… I'm not sure what I have to recycle from the top of my mind, but shabby old clothes… I'll look into it more

  5. I give lonely or unwearable socks to daycare centres or kindergartens. They use them to make puppets.
    Salvo etc will usually accept unwearable clothing and make into and sell as rags.

  6. Good luck on your race! I hope it goes well. I can identify with having way too many toiletries. I have two or three face washes and lotions, two toothpastes, a variety of shampoos and conditioners, etc. I made a vow when I moved in here to just suck it up and use it all. I collected most of it from wanting to try different products out – my skin is kind of sensitive, and I wanted to find the best product. My motivation to save money instead of spend it is winning over, though, so use them up I will!

    Oddly, I also have a collection of candles. My mom LOVES candles, and when my parents moved, she offered me quite a few. I figured it would be a nice reminder of how she always lit them up at night, but found myself not using them. I have to consciously remember. Oops! I blame it on the fact we never got a coffee table, and that's where she usually had hers displayed. Plus with the cats, I don't feel safe leaving them anywhere within their reach.

  7. I have a thing about using up half used stuff – I'm glad I'm not the only one! 🙂

    Good luck in your race – how amazing to run on the Bridge…and yay to nearly being certified!

    1. I knew you were on board, you chic minimalist! I hope I have more energy tomorrow, I'm currently reading on the sofa! And yay for certification, seems goal setting + blogging is working out well!

  8. I covet those flip-tops on your toothpaste tubes. I buy a Woolworths Home Brand toothpaste that now has a cap that has to be unscrewed – takes much longer and easy to drop on the floor. I saved a flip-top from the time when they used to have those, but it broke in half a few weeks back so I have no option now but the screw on cap.

    1. C G – you can seriously have my caps once the tubes are empty if you want. I know it would seem weird in real life, but to me, that's perfectly normal! I don't think I could be bothered with screwing tops back on either, so I totally empathise!

  9. Good luck on your run. Combining households is hard work. I'd keep the dyson 🙂 On the fabrics. When I replace fabric from furniture I always run it through the washing machine to see how it turns out then if it looks good I can save it for another use or donate it for crafters. With a pillow I toss the whole thing in the machine, then save the filling for another pillow or similar use and deal with what to do about the fabric. If it's cotton you can make napkins out of them or if not in great shape use for rags.

    1. I would like to keep the dyson, and I do vacuum with it regularly!

      I should try washing the pillow – I've already destined it for 'outbound' to if it gets worse, I'm not worse off, but if it looks and smells better, well maybe I can keep it for guests?

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