If you’ve been following my loft declutter as part of the Rubbish Diet Spring Clean Challenge, you will know that I have taken on a momentous task, attempting to clear out our loft over the last eight weeks.
It’s been hard work but we are getting there! And this time, we’ve made a huge chink in our loft space by donating many of our belongings to the local branch of the British Heart Foundation. As the numbers of bags and boxes began to multiply my motivation increased too and I also let my decluttering hands loose on the airing cupboard as well as my wardrobe, adding bed linen and clothes to the bags of books, soft toys, children’s fancy dress costumes and various household goodies that were all going to waste in the loft.
And with the help of a good friend, we set a date and delivered it in one fell swoop. And boy did it feel good.
Due to the size of my donation, I phoned ahead and we were directed to a very convenient drop-off point at the back of the Bury St Edmunds store. We were welcomed by Deputy Manager, Jan, and her colleague Jenny.
As well as selling quality items in-store, Jan also revealed how thanks to its centrally managed reuse and recycling contracts, the charity is able to raise money from less popular books, chipped crockery, torn fabric and old metals that are donated.
Jan then took me through the advantages of Gift Aid and the benefits of signing up.
Even if you only have a few items, when dropping them off it is worth signing up for Gift Aid, which generates an extra 25% from the value of items sold. It doesn’t take long to register and the British Heart Foundation is able to keep track, sending you updates of the extra money that you’ve helped to raise.
Supporting a specific charity for this declutter challenge was a major turning point in my motivation.
During previous and much more minor declutter sessions, I have simply dropped off our unwanted goods at the nearest charity shop on my way into town, grateful to get rid of it all to help a good cause. I guess I always thought of it as a convenient drop-off point rather than a donation.
This time was different. With a personal motivation to support a charity close to my own heart (you can find out more about why I chose the British Heart Foundation in my earlier post) and taking time to learn more about the value of the donations to their work, I found myself proactively seeking out things that could help raise money.
When you discover facts like the donation of one dress and a lamp funds a home visit from a BHF nurse, it makes it easier to part with belongings that are going unused and helps break the emotional ties to those items. Decluttering suddenly becomes easier, no matter what cause you choose to support. Many charities, including the BHF, also provide a collection service, which makes the process of transporting your donations straight-forward too.
We still have lots to do and our next task is to tackle our old photos and paperwork. However, as you’ll see from the slideshow above, we’re regaining a lot more floorspace in our loft than we’ve ever had in the last ten years.
That loft conversion that I’ve longed for may finally be in sight.
That’s if I don’t get distracted by decluttering our other dumping ground…i.e. the garage!