For those in the know, you may be aware that the annual Garage Sale Trail is coming up soon on Saturday Oct 22nd. Not only is it a great way to earn some extra cash or discover gems at bargain prices, it also brings communities together and helps to save the environment.
Some of my fondest memories from my youth are visiting garage sales with my folks after music lessons on Saturdays. My parents never let a garage sale pass them by and they had eyes like hawks for great bargains. I inherited their knack for discovering gems, hence why my wardrobe is now filled to the brim with incredible vintage finds.
A part of me desperately wants to attend every garage sale in my hood on the 22nd and another is screaming at me to host one instead, to declutter. So while I’m still in the process of deciding, I had the privilege to interview one of the ambassadors of Garage Sale Trail for her expert tips on decluttering.
Hailed as Dr Declutter, organising expert Carol Martyn’s mission is to help people declutter without letting go of their memories.
“Sentimental value is the reason why so many of us have such cluttered spaces. Garage Sale Trail is great because it gives everyone an opportunity to really sift through their belongings and differentiate between items with personal value and items that can be let go.”
I asked Carol for her top 10 tips to declutter:
- Just because something’s on sale doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bargain!
- Ask yourself: “Is it something I really need?“
- One of the best tips with every piece in the wardrobe is Dr DeClutter’s rule of 5 – what 5 items in the wardrobe can you team that shirt/skirt/pants, jacket etc with? This way you’ll not only stretch your wardrobe, but you’ll get to wear your clothes more.
- One piece of clothing per coat hanger – clothes hide and get lost when layered on top of each other. More often than not they are also forgotten. Layered skirt/jacket hangers also achieve similar unfortunate results.
- Use one type of coat hanger rather than mix and match. Thinner flocked hangers not only stop clothes slipping and ending up on floor but works a treat in smaller spaces compared to heaver wooden hangers that have a tendency to take up more space.
- First think about how many clothes you “need” in order to be happy. Then group same items together eg dresses, jackets and then sort into colours. Just like a bookshelf determines how many books can fit on the shelf, the same applies to clothes in our wardrobe.
- Turn every coat hanger around the opposite way then what you would normally have in your wardrobe. Every time you wear something, turn the coat hanger around the way that’s normal for you. At the end of 3 or 6 months, whatever you haven’t worn is moved on. Not only is this a liberating experience, but you’ll be surprised by how little we need!
- The rule of 33X3 also applies here. Choose 33 items from your wardrobe including shoes and accessories and wear only these items for 3 months.
- Give everything a permanent “home” in your wardrobe – that way you’ll be able to find it when needed, rather than rustling through your wardrobe looking for what you need.
- To stop the “clutter creep”, for everything you bring into your home, exchange like for like (eg new shoes in means new shoes out).
Vintage Jumper, Skirt & Bag // Sonia Rykiel Heels
Aren’t Carol’s tips fab?! There’s a lot I need to put into practice, starting with grouping same items together (tip #6) in my wardrobe. In the meanwhile, I’ll declutter simply by not purchasing any more clothes for a while! And if I do end up having a garage sale, I’ll let you know. Although I won’t be able to part with this galah jumper or these leather pieces. They simply have too much sentimental value…