It’s 2018 and we’re all deciding whether or not we want to hop on board the #newyearnewme movement and looking for ways to beat the January blues (if you haven’t checked out my positive mindset suggestions already then please do), and it’s also a time to have a reshuffle of the things you own in the house, especially after Christmas. We may have received gifts that have replaced old items or things that were given generously but we may never use. It’s time to box those things up and send them on their way: to either regift them, to recycle or dispose of them, or to donate them to appropriate charities.
I call it decluttering, but if you are beautifully clutter-free then you can just look at it as reorganising. A pre-spring spring clean, if you will. A lot of us have time off over the holidays and at the start of January (how late are the schools going back this year?!), so it’s the ideal time to look through what we have that we don’t need.
Don’t just go through your house binning everything! Please, please don’t do that. There are things you may not use that others can, or things that make lovely gifts that you may never have used, so I’ve split my suggestions into three categories: gift, toss, and donate. Here are 45 things you can get rid of today, and how and where to send them.
These are things you’ve either bought but never used or been given and, erm, never used. Labels or no labels, if something is in good condition and unopened it can make a lovely present for someone else in your life. See that bottle of gin you’ll never get round to drinking, or the socks you got for Christmas that won’t fit you. Books are good too, especially if they’re like new. You can also turn to the internet and sell BNIB (brand new in box) items to make some post-holiday cash. Depop is huge at the moment, eBay is always a good shout, and Gumtree or local Facebook groups can be great places to share things.
- New books
- Unused candles
- Bath/body products you haven’t opened
- Never-worn clothing
- DVDs and CDs that haven’t been used
- Unopened wine or spirits
- Excess chocolate and sweets
- Kitchen items you’ve either duplicated or will never use
- Gift cards for places you’ll never shop
- Decorative items and knick-knacks that aren’t your style
The golden rule: regifting doesn’t have to mean ungrateful. I know if I gave someone a present and they weren’t keen on it, I’d rather it got passed on to someone who would like it rather than it sitting on a shelf and gathering dust.
Here be things that you don’t need to keep and can go straight in the (recycling if possible) bin.
- Empty makeup containers and old/expired make-up & cosmetic products
- Food storage containers with no lids
- Boxes for devices you no longer have/need
- Expired medication
- Burned-down candles (although the holders can look really pretty cleaned out and used elsewhere)
- Underwear that is faded or unravelling
- Damaged or severely worn clothing
- Frozen food that has been in the freezer for longer than you can remember
- Damaged or broken DVDs, CDs, etc – especially if you no longer own a DVD player or CD player
- Books that are too damaged to give to charity
- Dead plants, or fake ones so decrepit they look practically fossilized
- Sheets that are past their best – you know what I mean. Get rid
- Old batteries, light bulbs and finished rolls of tape
- Power cords and leads that don’t fit anything
- Old craft and decorating tools
- Chipped or damages glasses/plates
- Old magazines, catalogues and newspapers
- Broken or damaged jewellery
The golden rule: always, always recycle whatever you can. There are too much plastic and general waste clogging up our planet and even though not everything we recycle actually reaches the destinations we think it does, it’s as good a place as any to start.
These are the things that aren’t new enough to regift, but are still in good enough condition that they can be used and given to those who would benefit. There will be various local and national charities that you can donate to, just have a search online to see which is more appropriate for the items you want to donate. Homeless shelters, womens’ shelters, pet charities and shops like Oxfam and British Heart Foundation are always grateful for anything you can donate to them.
- Clothing you haven’t worn in over six months
- Extra or spare water bottles
- Kitchen appliances that you don’t use
- Food still in date that you will likely never use, particularly canned or packaged goods
- Sheets and blankets in good condition
- Extra canvas bags (who doesn’t have more than one of these?)
- Dog beds, coats, and collars – give these to local animal charities
- Duplicate tools
- Jewellery, shoes and accessories that you no longer use
- Books, DVDs and CDs that aren’t new but are still in a nice enough condition to use
- Home decor items you no longer want
- Camping equipment/sleeping bags – these can be donated to homeless shelters
- Pieces of furniture and cushions – check your local charities as a lot will pick things up from your home
- Wall art that you’re tired of and want to replace
- Boots and shoes that you no longer wear
- Old plates/glasses/cutlery you no longer use or have a surplus of
- Notebooks you’ve never used
- Old children’s toys and games
The golden rule: donating items is fantastic, but the other two things you can donate are your time, and your money whenever you can. Our charities are under strain and being able to give where you can is essential to keeping these services up and running.