1,000 things – lessons learnt so far

– Setting yourself targets is really helpful. Sometimes when I was overwhelmed by the task in hand, I would break it down into smaller chunks such as ‘today I am going to get rid of ten things’ or ‘I am going to the charity shop on saturday, so I need to find 50 things to take with me’.

– It’s changed my attitude to buying things. Although I didn’t set myself a ‘one in, one out rule’, it seemed pointless to buy new things when I was working hard to get rid of what I already had. I sold a few dresses on Ebay and whilst browsing the listings for what things were worth, was very tempted to buy new ones. However, the irony of this was not lost on me, so I refrained from buying anything else despite the balance in my Paypal account calling me!

– Letting things go made me happy. We are all familiar with the post retail buzz after we have made a successful purchase. This buzz is often short lived, but I was pleasantly surprised to realise that I got a similar high when I was purging stuff. The buzz was longer lived and every time I opened a newly cleared cupboard or room, it reaffirmed that getting rid of my things was making me happy. Often I was more happy getting rid of an item than I remembered being happy when I originally bought it.

– Looking after things takes up time and money. This may seem obvious but I never realised how much time and effort I spent looking after and maintaining the stuff I had. With less stuff lying around, it’s easier to tidy the house at the end of each day. As I sort out what I actually want and need in my house, it’s easier to have specific allocated places for things, than trying to find somewhere for a surplus item. On the flip side, it’s also easier to find stuff as and when I need it, reducing the likelihood of me buying a duplicate.

– Fancy storage solutions are not the answer. In reality, you don’t need another storage solution, you just need less stuff!

– Things don’t hold their value. I trained as an Accountant when I first left Uni and so concepts such as depreciation and amortisation (where assets lose and gain value) is very familiar to me. However, when I was selling my items I was constantly confronted how items weren’t worth as much as what I paid for them. In many instances, the items I was selling had barely been used, but even so were worth a fraction of the price.
People buy the weirdest things. On the flip side, I was surprised at what people would pay for things I would otherwise have thrown away without a second thought. I got into the habit of checking on Ebay before I decided to donate something to charity. Empty boxes for old mobile phones were worth a tenner – I was just going to throw them away!

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