I love having a good de-clutter and organise. I may even take it up professionally if this whole university thing doesn’t pan out.
I always feel that when I comes to tidying and decluttering you need to have a good plan and be ready to be ruthless but realistic about things. This is not a task for the faint-hearted or those who are short on time. The worst thing to do is to start emptying an entire room only to find you have to stop half way through and the room ends up looking like your room exploded. Before you start, check you have the following three things; time to do this; plenty of binbags or cardboard boxes, and a banging playlist. Lets go!
We’ll start with what I say is the easiest, your clothing collection. It is always daunting at first but the best way to get started is to just dive right in. Starting with your wardrobe, take each item out, I often try it on so I can see it properly then evaluate it. “Do I like this?” “Does it fit?” “Is it damaged?” “Have I worn this in the past 6 months?” “Is this a sentimental/special occasion item?” If the answer to those three questions is a no, your next question should be, “Could I sell this?”. If the answer again is no, place the item on to your charity pile and move on to the next piece. As you are going through your things, have a good look at your hangers too. If you come across any worn out or broken hangers, ditch them. They are of no use to you and are more likely to damage your clothes. Once you’ve gone through your wardrobe, put everything that you are going to keep back on their hangers and hang them up.
Next, move on to any drawers you have. I have three drawers, Underwear; tops, T-shirts, and long sleeve types; and skirts, bottoms, leggings. I normally ignore my top drawer and move straight for my tops and t-shirts. Once again, Take each item out, maybe try it on, then evaluate it. I have some t-shirts that I have had for years which I wear all the time and that still look relatively new. I also have t-shirts that I bought in the summer which now look stretched and faded. It all depends on the quality of the item. Just because something is old doesn’t automatically mean it needs to go. Repeat the method again for the rest of your drawers. It is okay to have a maybe pile when sorting through your clothes. Give yourself a deadline to use a certain item by, for example Easter. If you honestly haven’t worn it by then, get rid of it during your spring clean. Once you have all your unwanted clothes together, sort through them and make sure that they are clean. If there are any items you think would be worth selling, put them to one side and take the rest to your local charity shop.
Moving on to the underwear drawer. I dont know about you but I have a whole load of underwear, ranging from brand new to worn out. I’ve always been a bit confused about what to do with faded, out stretched and worn out knickers. If I don’t want to wear them, I doubt anyone would want to buy them in a charity shop either. I did a bit of research online and most charity shops will take CLEAN underwear, in any condition. If the items are in good condition they can be sold in store, if not charities then pass on unusable items to be turned in to rags or back in to fibers that can be used to make brand new clothing. That’s pretty cool, right?
The same rule applies to bedding and other textile materials. Some local councils will collect clean textiles through your doorstep recycling collection, other won’t so be sure to check what the rules are for your area.
If you want to have a go at selling your clothes, the easiest place to start is ebay. It is free to post an item for sale but they do take a percentage of the final sale price. You can also try selling clothing items on Gumtree which is completely free to sell, with no fees at all, or if your items are more designer, magpie and asos marketplace are good places to explore. I’ve had quite a bit of success selling clothing on ebay and reccently started using an app called Vinted. It’s really easy to do and as long as you respond quickly and are organised about posting the items on time, you should have no issues. If you have a lot of clothes, and a good group of friends, why not organise a swap party where you can all bring your unwanted clothes and exchange for something from their unwanted pile. Whatever is left can then be donated to charity, give you all awesome revamped wardrobes as well as a major dose of good karma.
I hate having to get rid of shoes but it is necessary. If they are damaged, worn out or just straight up broken, get rid. If you haven’t worn them in a year and they are in good condition, donate them. If they were particularly expensive try selling them again using sites like ebay, shpock or gumtree. Be honest in your product description and be realistic about your asking price. Take into account how old they are, what make they are and how much they’ve been worn. I have a pair of shoes that I wore for my sister’s wedding that I’ve tried to sell twice. I’m still holding on to them as they are lovely shoes and I could wear them again, for the right occasion, but I will try again in Spring to see if someone would be interested. Keep in mind the season you are in and the season of the shoe. Not many people will be looking for fur boots in the middle of July.
I adore reading so over the years I have collected quite a few books as well as text books for school and university. I’ve never been too sure on what to do with them once I’ve finished with them. When it comes to getting rid of old school/textbooks I’ve found that advertising just before the new term is the best. I think I’ve only paid full price for one university book in my life, and that was such a rookie error. I also bought my lecturers book about the subject only to find that we used the book once or for the most part they gave us photocopied handouts from said book. When clearing out your bookshelves, flip through the book to check for any notes, letters or old reciepts that may need shredding or filing away. I’ve bought a ton of bookmarks over the years but I never seem to be able to find one when I actually need it. Depending on what kind of books you have, there maybe a market for resale. Barter Books in Alnwick will buy books to be resold in store. They normally want to see the book for themselves before giving you a quote but if you have a full collection, or particular specialised interest books, they could be worth a few pennies.
School fayres are another good place where you can donate books and hopefully help to raise some money. Some community centres, hospital wards, nurseries, and schools will accept book donations, but you would need to call up and ask them.
Ah, the good old ‘knick-knack’. Ranging from a cute little snowglobe to a hanging mobile, I believe we are all guilty of harbouring this kind of junk. I was particularly bad for buying Knick-knacks when I was in my early teens. Pretty plates, glass orniments, random decorative wall pieces, all of it really was junk but at the time I had plans to repaint, restitch, upcycle it all, but I never did. I’ve managed to get rid of most of my old bits and bobs though there are still a few things hidden away in boxes I think.
When it comes to anything china-like such as plates, bowls, figurines, be sure to look for any markings or names. You may be sitting on a rare 18th century figurine, that you paid £2.50 for. More often than not, most of this stuff will be worthless but as the saying goes “one mans trash is another mans treasure”. Have a browze online to see if people are selling similar items and if they are actually being bought. It then may be worth selling yourself. If you are quite crafty you could have a go at upcycling your knick-knacks to either use yourself, sell or perhaps give away as a gift. ONLY hold on to items if you honestly WILL do something positive with them in the next 3 months otherwise pop them in your charity pile.
It’s difficult to think of what could be described as ‘other’. For anything that is unique or a specialist interest item, have a look online to see if it is something that is worth selling. Larger items such as funiture or electrical goods which are in working order can often be sold easily on Gumtree or you could offer it for free on Freecycle. I often post on Gumtree first, and if there is no interest once the post has expired I place the item on Freecycle to see if anyone is interested.
I hope you find this post helpful and that you manage to make a little bit of money and generate some good karma for yourself.
Peace and love,