That kind of advice doesn’t get you anywhere when it comes to ”stuff”, does it? Christmas is over, and there’s just all this…stuff.
I’m as guilty as the next person of buying this “stuff”. Clothes, shoes, toys, that extra chair sitting in the bedroom doing nothing more than acting as a hanger for more clothes. Two kids in two years and a house move is a recipe for disaster. “What’s that being delivered, darling?” “Nothing, angel!”
Identifying (I have) a problem
Don’t worry, this isn’t a thinly veiled cry for help for my online shopping habits – we’ll get to that another day. Rather, I’ve identified the need to declutter my home and do my mind a small favour. I have a potentially misguided interest in fashion and interior design, so I’m constantly creating boards, looking on Instagram for inspiration and yeah, you can get a little carried away. I’m all for spending your hard-earned cash in whichever way makes you happy, but we’re now so hard-wired for instant gratification and everything is a click away, that it’s too easy to suddenly realise that you’ve filled your home with too much of this “stuff”. Anyway, here we are, I’ve got the motivation for my user journey. But what do you do when you need to, practically, take stock and clear some space?
For me, the user journey went a little something like this…
User journey step 1: sort out the stash
Probably the most sweat-inducing task of all is sifting through said stuff and compartmentalising. Typically, you start off the user journey all enthusiastic, and 20 minutes in, you find yourself staring at something thinking ‘I’ll just hang on to this in case I could wear it for Halloween’. Ridiculous, but we’ve all been there, don’t lie.
I ended up with three black bin bags of kids clothes, two bags of my own clothes and shoes, along with a dressing table and three large prints I’d been hanging on to that just didn’t have a place in our new home. There’s a mix of emotions in there. From terror of undertaking the job (not to overdramatise, you understand), relief that you’ve completed the organising, uncertainty about getting rid of some items, through to confusion about what to do with it all.
Now on to the next step of the user journey – where should all of the “stuff” go? For bigger items, my thoughts usually go straight to Gumtree because you post locally and people can come to view and pick up. With eBay, you have the potential to run into a number of logistical nightmares with delivery. With two young kids, I don’t have the time. So for the dressing table and prints, Gumtree it was. For the clothes and shoes, I did a little digging and felt eBay was still my best bet. I browsed a number of online marketplaces like Depop, which is kind of like an Instagram page for selling your ”stuff”, but familiarity won.
Step 3 of my user journey began with some research to get a ballpark figure for retro style dressing tables. Armed with this (optimistic) knowledge, I used the Gumtree app to post details of the table in a couple of minutes. Easy!
Now here come the lows. I had an initial flurry of interest, then came the continual questions – does it come with the mirror? What are the dimensions? My fault and lesson learned – never post a photo of something you’re selling that includes any ”additional” items. Psychologically, people will think they’re not getting as good a ”deal” if the additional item is not included. Not including the dimensions, well that was just asking for trouble. I arranged a few visits for people to come and view the items, then came the cancellations. The benefits of selling quickly became secondary to the reward of freeing up space in our home. I then contacted the lovely folks at the British Heart Foundation who have a great service where you upload details of the item on their website, they call you back and come to pick it up within 48 hours.
The clothes are another story. There were piles of clothes that had hardly been worn or that still had tags on them. By the time I’d tried to deal with the larger items, I’d hit a block. I come back to the idea of instant gratification as customers, but this is a process that takes time. After the pile of clothes sat there for two weeks, I loaded them into the car and drove to the Salvation Army charity shop. A quick display of my Gift Aid card in the shop and off I went.
At this point in the user journey, I’d usually be posting any items that were purchased via eBay. However, at this stage in my life (where in my free time it’s a luxury to get five minutes to myself without someone crying or telling me they’re hungry) I didn’t quite reach the initial end goal. The Salvation Army, do however, send you a letter once your items are sold; to let you know how much was raised for the charity. It also goes without saying that the work they do is fantastic.
So this was my recent decluttering journey.
In previous years, I would have loved the idea of selling some items online and making back some cash. Whilst I still like the idea (who doesn’t!), at the moment free time is a distant memory, so the journey this time was a little less lucrative, but rewarding in other ways.
Emotions summary: I’ll tell you if I ever get to this stage again!
When it comes to selling online, making the process as pain free as possible for users is important to stop people shying away from taking action. It’s all about the effort-reward balance. There’s also the argument for not buying unnecessary items in the first place, but again, we’ll get to that another day!
If you’re interested in understanding and visualising the user journey for your product or service, get in touch.
We can help you design a user experience strategy to focus your teams on what the user wants and needs. Then we’ll help you deliver this strategy at...
We can help you design a user experience strategy to focus your teams on what the user wants and needs. Then we’ll help you deliver this strategy at any level, from a single project right through to...