It doesn’t matter what season it is, spring cleaning can bring out the best in your home and make you feel a lot better about yourself. The only problem is, once you’ve finished, you can be left with piles of stuff to get rid of. It’s up to you what you do with your rubbish, but here are ten tips for reducing waste. If you’re lucky, you could pocket some extra cash for rainy days or for dealing with rising gas or electricity prices.
1. First sort out anything metal, which you can either sell to a scrapyard, or arrange for a local scrap dealer to collect it from you free of charge.
2. Sort any remaining waste into boxes. Fill the first box with things to sell, the second with things to swap or give away, the third with things to recycle, and the fourth with things to throw out.
3. With any luck, your biggest box will be filled with items to be sold. Just because you’ve dieted out of your favourite clothes doesn’t mean they’re necessarily destined for the bin. Spend a few minutes setting up an account on an auction site like eBay and prepare to be pleasantly surprised at how much money your unwanted clothing can earn.
4. If you find yourself with unwanted or unused electrical items, DVDs, phones and suchlike, you might like to try a buy-back schemes. Simply go online, register your items and then post them off in return for a cheque or online payment.
5. Many large towns and cities have shops that buy and sell used goods and this can be a quick and convenient way to clear your clutter and fill your purse at the same time. Make sure everything is clean and in good working order first. If you have the original boxes and instructions, make sure you include those too as they will make a better impression.
6. Your second box will be full of items that still have some life in them, but that aren’t really in saleable condition, such as toys that aren’t played with any more. These are perfect for a swap-shop session with your friends and neighbours. This can be a particularly helpful way to dispose of outgrown school uniforms and equipment in an environmentally friendly way.
7. If you don’t have time for swapping, then there are many outlets for donations. Schools will often take uniform and equipment in good condition to sell on or loan to people on low incomes.
8. Alternatively, you can donate to a wide variety of charities without leaving your home. Many charities deliver collection bags. Simply fill the bag with your unwanted items and leave outside your door on the designated collection day.
9. Watch out for recycling points. Many local convenience stores and larger supermarkets have recycling points where you can donate clothing and shoes. They may not be in excellent condition, but charities can still sell them on for recycling and raise money.
10. When you reach the third box, this should be items that you can recycle. So watch out for things like cardboard, plastic milk containers, glass jars and bottles and recycle them in your appropriate bin. Most recycling bins are full of air, so squash plastic bottles and flatten boxes before recycling.
After following these ten tips, you should be left with hardly anything that can’t be sold, swapped, donated or recycled. So, you can put the little that’s left into the refuse bin with a clear conscience.