Gong Xi Fa Cai!

It’s that time of the year when the Chinese clean and clear their homes to sweep away the bad luck of the past year in order to usher in good luck. Though I am not Chinese, I do adhere to the fact that decluttering brings prosperity.

Clutter often leads you to buy multiples of the same items because you can’t remember you have them or because you can’t find them or access them when you need them. Corkscrews, staplers, gift wrapping paper are just a few of the most popular items I find at my clients’ in large numbers but it may be well be plasters or tomato sauce in your home. Whatever it is, this is money that could have been saved from being spent. And, add to that the money that has not been cashed in. When we clear paper with my clients, it is not unusual to find cheques that haven’t been banked in or vouchers that haven’t been redeemed on time, sometimes adding up to several hundred dollars over the years. A client of mine who hadn’t been opening her mail for years, had to pay a fine that had escalated over time to close to S$200 because she hadn’t topped up her card to pay the original S$1 ERP charge. I let you do the math.

But there is also money to be made after decluttering if you decide to sell your pre-loved stuff. Options are available. You can organise or participate in a garage sale. You can post your items on relevant facebook groups or free internet forums such as Craigslist or the New Mother Support Group Singapore, for example. Or you can try second-hand dealers. Some have a physical shop such as CashConverters, while others operate through the internet. Some are generalists but some are specialised in designer clothes and accessories for example, such as Chic Stash or Style Tribute. With all that’s said, giving away to family, friends or charities and knowing that our pre-loved stuff will have a second life can also be highly rewarding.

I know it is not easy to let go of your stuff, I regularly witness it with my clients and I sometimes experience it myself, trust me! I can hear you come up with reasons to hang onto your stuff: I might lose weight and it will fit again, it was expensive, it was a gift, my home is too small etc. But when your stuff takes control of your lives, when it weighs down on your shoulders and when it makes you feel paralysed to move on with your lives, isn’t it time really to let go of the past to embrace the present? I can feel the relief, the sense of freedom and of well-being that my clients experience after a de-cluttering exercise. After all, beyond the wealth, isn’t the impact on our well-being priceless?

I hope you will have found here the motivation to de-clutter, if you needed the boost. Chinese New Year is a wonderful time to get the ritual started, but trust me, there is really no right time to start. The most important is just to start! Start with whatever time you have, even ten minutes a day will make a difference. Break projects into manageable parts. If you want to declutter your home, start with one room. If it’s the kitchen, begin with the pantry, etc. And don’t move onto the next area until you are done with the first one. Involve a family member or a friend if the idea is too daunting for you. And obviously I am here to help too, so just feel free to contact me.

Get organised and make room for life!

Nathalie

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