Recycling, de-cluttering, magazines and music

As a hoarder, de-cluttering is something I resisted and then discovered as much as I loved hoarding I loved de-cluttering: ‘Unless we used we didn’t need it’ and that was my mantra. Every drawer cupboard, space was turned out and ruthlessly de-cluttered. The hoarder in me can’t bear waste and avoid dumping in landfill at all costs; instead ebay-ed, charity shopped, recycled. I gave a friend, more sociable than me, 10 cups and saucers, her chances of using them seemed more probable. Despite imagining tea parties; I’d never used them.
If you want to donate bras you no longer wear you can here in doing so support breast cancer charities and women in Developing Countries. Couldn’t find a home for old tights though.

There are things I’ve struggled with; a collection of pre-Euro European coins, stored in a Paul Masson California Carafe bottle. There’s a similar one on US ebay for $8 at present, should you feel your life is missing an empty wine bottle from the 80’s. Any ideas what to do with the coins? I’ve considered making coin jewellery.

Magazines. I’ve always had magazine obsessions; starting with Jackie in my teens, I would be at the newsagent at 7.30 am on the day it published. I moved on to Company, then Marie-Claire and Living Etc. At one point my attic was a temple to this obsession piles of back copies in date order, stacked high, anything but part with them. I still love glossies; Red, Vogue and Easy Living. I been known to run into GP surgeries dump piles of magazines with the words “Would you like these for the waiting room!” and running before they could say “No”. I have learnt to let go and recycle. I have also collected (this is my nerd side) first issues and last issues. A lot of my first editions are now defunked; Mirabella, Eve, Happy, Honey anyone? I was pondering the fate of these, really I don’t need them but the fact is print media is struggling. Digital Media is the way forward and in a few years who knows. These are worth keeping a legacy of the past and something to browse in future.
The items that make me a bit sad are music related. I have a suitcase full of cassette tapes and a fair-sized vinyl collection, I no longer own anything to play these on, so unlike the magazines they can’t really be appreciated. Why keep them? but what to do with them? Am going to try to sell some of the vinyl, which is strange as I thought I’d never part with records. I suspect soon I will be wondering what to do with CD’s, mine collect dust. They’ve already been replaced by downloads, but it’s not the same, I don’t appreciate the artwork and there are no sleeve notes to read.
Books – absolutely not. They are not going anywhere (maybe just a few).

What does everyone else do, hoard or de-clutter?


  1. Jules Young (@muddleduck)

    I think you are either very very brave or insane….I’m not sure which! The idea of decluttering to the scale that you’ve written about brings me out in a cold sweat….I love all my stuff too much! Having said that, once in a while I do clear out the magazines and books that I’m never going to read again as they do take up valuable space on shelves (either that or I need to buy more bookcases!!)….as for vinyl, I’d never part with mine, no matter how crappy some of them may be 🙂 xx

  2. Maria

    Ahh you’re lucky you have an attic! I really struggle with de-clutter g and never part with as much as I hope- Always assuming I can use items later on and keep them ‘just in case’- my flat is filled with half-started projects and good intentions but is a bit of a mess really. Nostalgia I find is another thing and boxes full of memories are tough to chuck, I keep most birthday cards, notebooks, and I have hundreds of CDs (but no cd player) but have loved becoming more ruthless recently chucking out old school notes, uni hoodies and general crap. Good luck with yours!

    1. helloitsgemma

      thanks for lovely comment, I did have loads of birthday cards but not anymore. *whispers I do still hoard stuff that relates to my son, cards, drawings – that is my memory stuff* School stuff all went a few months ago – that felt good. X

  3. Midlife Singlemum

    The tights could be cut up and used for stuffing a cushion or toy – either by you or someone who sews/knits as a hobby. The cassettes are useless and may as well be chucked as they warp over time. Vynals, magazines, and old coins could be worth something one day? Good for you, I firmly believe that de-cluttering is healthy for the body and the mind. Maybe even for the soul.

  4. Alexander residence

    Please can you dump the mags at my dentist’s next time so I don’t have to read his uber niche health and fitness mags?
    I hoard declutter, hoard, declutter, it’s a vicious cycle isn’t it?

  5. tinuke

    OOh I am a natural hoarder AND declutterer. I hoard all of my own stuff and enjoy having monthly clear outs of everyone elses. When it doesn’t belong to me it seems like un needed clutter. I have upset the King and Princess a lot by throwing away toys / magazines etc.
    Currently have a load of my stuff in storage while we are in housing limbo. It is costing a fortune to store stuff which for the most part have little or no financial value, yet I could not part with!

    1. helloitsgemma

      Had loads of stuff in storage – cost me a fortune then their was a storage fire and lost the lost, my biggest regret photos and books but didn’t miss the rest – at all. taught me a lot. thanks for lovely comment. Love the idea madly de-cluttering other peoples stuff X

  6. KarenAnita

    Well done on de-cluttering!
    I’m such a hoarder myself. I’ve just moved house so I’m a bit embarassed to say that I brought a lot of junk with me! I’m about to have a good clear out of the boxes so thanks for some great ideas with what to do with stuff!
    (My books are also staying though. I dream of making a mini library in my home 🙂 ) x

  7. plummymummy

    Well done you. It took a long time to convince my OH to get rid of years of SFX mags. And now I just have to work on his comics.
    Since we got a kindle, the book collection hasn’t grown which I find really sad.
    Magazines – can you drop some off at the school/nursery as kids like to cut out pictures?
    Records – turn them into bowls a la Kirsty Allsop. Or use them as wall art???

  8. bluebirdsunshine

    Thanks for the bra appeal link. I just cleared out my underwear drawer and have a pile of nursing bras to donate. I didn’t want to bin them, seemed a waste, and the hoarder in me would just keep them in a vacpack bag under the bin for another 20 years. So, thanks, you’ve saved me from more hoarding!

  9. Emma

    You couldn’t pop over could you and declutter our house before the move could you? You sound very savage when it comes to decluttering, which is what you need to be. I take something out, look at it, get sentimental over it and it goes back in again, not the right tactic at all! Emma 🙂

  10. Windmilltales (@windmilltales)

    HI I am normally really bad and end up throwing stuff away. Really going to try and sell some stuff though this time when I declutter next weekend. Don’t know what to do with VHS videos though?

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