It’s Spring Clearing week so here are 6 ways of getting rid of the stuff you have cleared without adding them to landfill.
- Car boot sale – there is more about car boot sales in an earlier post but in summary, these are great places to make a bit of money out of your clutter. You can’t charge that much but if you take a load of stuff you should emerge with a profit. Don’t forget the bacon sarnies and flask of coffee!
- Charity shop – the obvious one but always useful and there is usually one convenient for dropping off bags of stuff. I always take in anything that didn’t sell at a car boot sale as well as clothing, books and bric a brac. If you pay UK tax, you can register for gift aid with most charity shops. It means they make a bit more on our donated goods and is an easy way of helping out your favourite good cause.
Beware of charity plastic bags that come through the letter box. Most of them are private companies that only give a small proportion of the money they make to the charity. Some sources estimate that companies can make £300 a tonne of which the charity may receive between £50 and £90. And sometimes the charity itself is either bogus or unaware that their name is being used. Giving your clothing directly to a charity shop ensures that they get the profit from each item. If you want to use a bag, you can check whether it is genuine. Here is a useful article: http://www.charitybags.org.uk/how_to_tell_if_a_clothing_collection_is_genuine.shtml
- Textile and other recycling banks – you can also donate clothing to textile banks. They pay the local council to have their bins in the area so you are both keeping clothing out of landfill and helping to keep your council tax down. Quite a few councils now have small electricals banks as well so you can get rid of broken items in a green way. For larger items like furniture and white goods, your local council website should have information about which charities will take them.
- Freegle and Freecycle – after a dispute with the US parent, many Freecycle groups are now Freegle groups. Whichever one operates in your local area, they both enable you to Offer your unwanted items. You post details of the item on the Yahoo Group and then choose who to give it to from the replies received. I usually wait a day just to see if there are any genuine sounding hard luck stories or someone who sounds like they will use it. They are coming to your home to pick up the item after all. I have not had any no shows and the majority of takers have been really nice people.
- Sell your stuff online – I use Ebay (see this post) to sell unwanted items if I think they will get a good price. I have disposed of a never-used steam iron and an equally unused hand blender via auction as well as Kpop CDs and other items belonging to my children. They are always thrilled with the money and I get a clearer house so it’s a win win. Watch out for the Ebay and Paypal charges as these can turn a small profit into a loss by the time you have packed up the item and posted it.
I have never tried Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree so would be interested to hear from anyone who has. Or if anyone knows of anywhere else to sell items online.
- Specialist items – books, CDs, DVDs and even Lego will be bought by companies like WeBuyBooks, Zapper and MusicMagpie. I have used Momox to sell computer games and WeBuyBooks several times for books. I can recommend WeBuyBooks as they pay promptly and don’t mysteriously claim that the more expensive items are damaged. And you can even recycle your childhood stamp collection! Check out the website Reduce, Reuse, Recycle [http://www.reducereuserecycle.co.uk/index.php] for where to recycle all kinds of things.