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When discarding, don't obsess over sending items to their perfect home

McKinley Valentine — 1 min read
When discarding, don't obsess over sending items to their perfect home
Photo by Nick de Partee / Unsplash
"If every time you go to purge, you worry that an item is worth something or too good to give to charity, then you suffer from rag-picker syndrome. My great-grandfather was a rag picker by trade; he bought an old dress in one shtetl [village] to tear up and sell for rags in the next. To engage in rag picking is to pursue a noble but time-consuming profession. But the question you must ask yourself is, is it your profession?"

from Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD by Susan C Pinsky, although it's appropriate for anyone who wants organising to be easier and less time-consuming.

So - yeah: If you currently have a job - maybe too much job - then should you be taking on extra part-time work selling or distributing second-hand goods?

If not, then, when sorting through your stuff, don't get complicated. Keep, charity if someone would plausibly pay real money for it, trash otherwise. That's it. Don't bother selling stuff on ebay or giving it away to exactly the right friend or family member who could use it. If you were the kind of Type A power-shoulders person who could handle that kind of complexity and administrative/logistical burden, you probably wouldn't be overwhelmed with clutter in the first place.

If you're underemployed, and could use the money, or enjoy spending your time that way, then by all means. So long as you've asked yourself: "Do I want an additional part-time job right now? If yes, is this the right part-time job?"

Make it a conscious choice, weighed against what else you could be doing with that extra time / mental resources (including other forms of volunteering or helping out your friends, if that's a motive for you.)

This piece was originally published in The Whippet #62 – subscribe to get the next one in your inbox!

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