Do the worst thing first or how I stopped procrastinating


We all have those items on our to do list that remain determinedly undone.  Day after day you think ‘ I really must do x or y’ and yet by bedtime you haven’t managed to do them.  Often this is because the tasks are seen as boring or as things that will take hours to do.  I have all kinds of favourite excuses such as :

  • I ran out of time
  • I really will do it tomorrow..
  • I’m too tired
  • I’ll have a cup of coffee and then I’ll do it
  • If only I had got up earlier

I was putting off a number of small tasks recently until I suddenly remembered some good exam advice I was given years ago which was to do the hardest question first and wondered if it would work for Procrasticlutter (great word, invented by A Slob comes Clean).   The chores I had been putting off included deadheading the pot plants, taking the holiday suitcases back up to the loft and phoning for a doctor’s appointment.

I decided I would do one task first thing every day with NO excuses!  And it worked.  What was a real eye-opener was that each chore only took 5 minutes or less.  So much for the ‘I ran out of time’ excuse.   Now all the perceived painful tasks are done, my decluttering halo is shiny and back in place.  An added bonus is that the rest of the day seems so much better when you have done the difficult thing and realise that you no longer have to do it!  Try it – your future self will thank you for it.


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6 ways to get rid of your clutter without throwing it away….

It’s Spring Clearing week so here are 6 ways of getting rid of the stuff you have cleared without adding them to landfill.

  1. Car boot sale – there is more about car boot sales in an earlier post but in summary, these are great places to make a bit of money out of your clutter. You can’t charge that much but if you take a load of stuff you should emerge with a profit. Don’t forget the bacon sarnies and flask of coffee!


  1. Charity shop – the obvious one but always useful and there is usually one convenient for dropping off bags of stuff. I always take in anything that didn’t sell at a car boot sale as well as clothing, books and bric a brac. If you pay UK tax, you can register for gift aid with most charity shops. It means they make a bit more on our donated goods and is an easy way of helping out your favourite good cause.


Beware of charity plastic bags that come through the letter box.  Most of them are private companies that only give a small proportion of the money they make to the charity. Some sources estimate that companies can make £300 a tonne of which the charity may receive between £50 and £90.  And sometimes the charity itself is either bogus or unaware that their name is being used.  Giving your clothing directly to a charity shop ensures that they get the profit from each item.  If you want to use a bag, you can check whether it is genuine.  Here is a useful article:


  1. Textile and other recycling banks – you can also donate clothing to textile banks. They pay the local council to have their bins in the area so you are both keeping clothing out of landfill and helping to keep your council tax down. Quite a few councils now have small electricals banks as well so you can get rid of broken items in a green way.   For larger items like furniture and white goods, your local council website should have information about which charities will take them.


  1. Freegle and Freecycle – after a dispute with the US parent, many Freecycle groups are now Freegle groups. Whichever one operates in your local area, they both enable you to Offer your unwanted items. You post details of the item on the Yahoo Group and then choose who to give it to from the replies received. I usually wait a day just to see if there are any genuine sounding hard luck stories or someone who sounds like they will use it.  They are coming to your home to pick up the item after all.  I have not had any no shows and the majority of takers have been really nice people.


  1. Sell your stuff online – I use Ebay (see this post) to sell unwanted items if I think they will get a good price. I have disposed of a never-used steam iron and an equally unused hand blender via auction as well as Kpop CDs and other items belonging to my children. They are always thrilled with the money and I get a clearer house so it’s a win win. Watch out for the Ebay and Paypal charges as these can turn a small profit into a loss by the time you have packed up the item and posted it.


I have never tried Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree so would be interested to hear from anyone who has.  Or if anyone knows of anywhere else to sell items online.


  1. Specialist items – books, CDs, DVDs and even Lego will be bought by companies like WeBuyBooks, Zapper and MusicMagpie. I have used Momox to sell computer games and WeBuyBooks several times for books. I can recommend WeBuyBooks as they pay promptly and don’t mysteriously claim that the more expensive items are damaged.    And you can even recycle your childhood stamp collection!  Check out the website Reduce, Reuse, Recycle [] for where to recycle all kinds of things.
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What’s stopping you decluttering?

You know you want your house to be a clutter-free zone where you can find everything without stuff falling on top of you, where you can walk from room-to-room freely, where an unexpected guest doesn’t cause total panic and where you don’t have to spend 3 days tidying and cleaning before the in-laws visit.  But somehow you just never seem to get round to doing anything about it. Why?

There are usually several reasons:

  • It is too large a task – it will take ages and I just don’t have that kind of time
  • I wouldn’t know where to start, there’s just too much
  • I will have to buy loads of storage and I don’t have any spare cash
  • I might need [insert the thing you have kept for ages] one day
  • Messiness is a sign of creativity

Too large a task

If you think about a whole task, then it can seem overwhelming. Help out your mind by only focusing on one part of the mountain – sort out the junk drawer, triage your t-shirts or shake out the shed.  Just do that one thing and worry about the other areas of your home later.

Where to start

As above – it doesn’t matter where you start as long as you start.


When you declutter, you often find that you can re-use what you already have.  Less stuff means less stuff to store.

Might need….one day  Your home is not a warehouse or a shop.  If you haven’t used something for a year or more, then the chances are that you are not going to use it in the future. Or. if you do, you find it is out of date, not useable (plastic, for example, gets brittle) and you go and buy a new one anyway.

Messiness is NOT a sign of creativity, although we all have our own definition of messy!  Even the most inspired artist can’t work if they can’t find their stuff.

So there you have it – no excuses left to not declutter!   We all need a bit of help now and then though so if you would like help with your stuff, contact me on so that we can chat through how I can help.  I help people declutter in person in the South East London/North Kent area and by Skype elsewhere

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