For collectors decluttering your home requires a close look at the collections throughout your home. Today I’m sharing Part 2 of 7 Steps for Keeping a Clutter Free Home while Saving your most Cherished Collections. If you missed Part 1, I’ve linked it here.
Now that you have completed your Collections Inventory (Step 1) and written down your goals as they relate to your collections (Step 2), you are ready to move to Part 2 of Creating a Clutter Free Home (Steps 3-7).
At some point in time, you most likely loved each of the items in your collections but over time you may have forgotten about some, allowed the dust to collect on others or outgrown the style of items previously collected.
We all change and grow.
And we don’t have to hold on to our past selves through the items we purchased (or items that were handed down or gifted to us).
It’s time to let go of collections no longer cherished.
Saying Goodbye to my Jadeite Collection
I’d like to open with an example of letting go of one of my collections.
Last year I decided to quit collecting Fire King Jadeite and other Jadeite pieces. I had recently remodeled my kitchen and didn’t love how the Jadeite paired with my new green tile.
But I knew that the pieces were valuable, so I kept the collection in storage.
About a year after the remodel, I realized that my jadeite collection was just adding clutter to my home. I still loved the pieces but had no intention of displaying or using the collection. So, I decided to let go of the items.
I first tested the waters by letting go of four complete Fire King place settings, 16 pieces total. I traded the set for a vintage chandelier that one of my junking friends had recently found. She was excited to get the jadeite and I was ecstatic to get the chandelier.
The good news is now I have less clutter in my home, a vintage chandelier that I plan to use in a home project this year, and a bit more cash in my junking fund…after deciding to sell the rest of my collection. Win-Win-Win.
You Can Declutter Your Home and Keep Your Most Cherished Collections
It’s your turn to declutter your home, starting with collections you no longer cherish. Start with Step 3 and you’ll be on your way to a clutter-free collected home.
Step 3. Decide what to do with each of your collections.
Now that you have an inventory of your collections and have set goals related to a clutter free home, it’s time to make a decision related to keeping or letting go of each of your collections. Specifically, should you 1. Keep, 2. Sell, or 3. Donate the collection.
In Step 3, you will use your inventory list (created in Part 1) to examine your hidden collections, then your seasonal collections, followed by your secondary collections and finally your primary collections.
Step 3 can take weeks to accomplish depending upon the extent of your collections. So, give yourself time to do a thorough job.
Decluttering Your Home: Hidden Collections
First, examine the list of hidden collections on your inventory. In my mind, these collections are low-hanging fruit. Meaning, if you are serious about creating a clutter free home, then they should be the first and easiest to go.
In other words, if the items have been hidden away for years, then it’s time to say goodbye to most, if not all, of these items.
Next, pull each collection out of storage. You can decide to keep, sell or donate the entire collection OR begin dividing each collection into categories: keep, sell, or donate.
As soon as you have a nice sized donate pile, move the items to your car and give them away to one of your local agencies that accepts donations.
Note: You can jump ahead to Step 4-Donate your Collections Now, Don’t Wait for a few tips on making donations and then return to your hidden collections inventory to finish up this stage of Step 3.
Finish sorting all of your hidden collections one by one and donating along the way. It is so freeing to let go of items and should encourage you to let go of even more. We will circle back to your keep and sell piles.
It’s time to take a close look at your seasonal collections.
Declutter Your Home: Seasonal Collections
Review what you categorized as seasonal collections on your inventory list and your notes related to the last time you displayed or used each of the collections.
If it is truly a seasonal item, then the collection should have seen the light of day within the last year. If not, it is time to seriously consider removing the collection from your home by selling or donating the items.
Take a good look at your seasonal items, if you haven’t used the collection in the last year then add the items to your sell or donate piles. If you plan to keep a specific collection, go ahead and put it back into seasonal storage.
Repeat the donation process and then we’ll move on to our secondary collections.
Declutter Your Home: Secondary Collections
Take a deep breath, review your written down goals you created in Step 2 and examine your inventory of secondary collections. These items are just behind a cabinet door or inside an easily accessible drawer.
But for some reason, they’re not on display.
Do you have too much? Do you really use the collection? Does it fit the criteria you created for keeping collections in your home?
Take a good hard look and then begin creating your piles: keep, sell and donate. Load up your donations, take a drive and come back home to wrap up the sorting process.
You’re ready to take a look at your primary collections.
Declutter Your Home: Primary Collections
If a collection is on display, you should find joy in seeing the items on a daily basis. If not, consider editing the collection by only keeping your favorite pieces OR deleting entire collections.
It might be nice to have a little blank space in your home OR if that shelf or wall or spot really needs something, then it becomes an opportunity to display a piece from one of your other collections that you decided to keep but was previously in storage.
Or you might decide that you have always wanted to collect something else but didn’t think you had room. Now you do! (I never said I was going to encourage you to stop collecting).
Ok…let’s wrap up this process. Sort away!
Step 4. Donate your collections now, don’t wait.
Depending upon the extent of your collections, Step 3 may take you a bit of time to complete. So, I encourage you along the way to bounce back and forth between Steps 3 and 4 by taking your donation piles to local agencies throughout the sorting process.
There are lots of options when it comes to donating items. Some agencies will even come pick up the items. So, find an agency you feel good about supporting. And the donation process will feel great!
I also find it easier to get past the original cost of an item or the perceived value when I know that the proceeds are benefitting others.
Step 5. Sell your valuable collections to other collectors.
Now that you’ve sorted all of your collections and donated carloads of items, it’s time to sell some of your collections.
If you have a collection that is valuable and you’re not comfortable donating it, then consider selling your collection. Keep in mind that items fall in and out of favor, so collections are not always worth what you initially paid.
To gage the value of an item, I rely on Ebay. If you do a quick search for the item and use the filter to see “sold items” you’ll be able to determine what your collection is currently worth.
You can then price your items accordingly and sell them on Ebay or Facebook Marketplace. You can also set up a booth at an antique show or flea market if you have extensive collections in your “sell” pile.
Step 6. Keep your cherished collections in a place of prominence.
Congratulations on sorting through all of your collections, donating piles of items and selling others.
Now that the clutter is gone, all that remains is collections that you love. It’s time to do a bit of shuffling as you create your collected home.
You can move the hidden and secondary collections that you decided to keep to a place of prominence. A place in your home where you can see your collection or use your collection more readily.
You can also make plans to use and display your seasonal collections now that you have an inventory of what you have stored away for seasonal use.
Step 7. Update your Collection Inventory
It’s time to update your collection inventory. Cross out the items that you no longer own and update your notes on items that you have decided to keep.
Take one final look at your inventory, is there anything else that you would like to donate or sell? If so, jump back to the donate and sell steps. If not, you’re done!
Cheers to Retired Life, and as always, Happy Gardening!
X Penny Pennington Weeks