Maybe you’ve decided it’s time for a much-needed spring clean, or you’re getting ready to move house and have suddenly realised how much stuff you’ve accumulated. Whatever the case, you might have reached a stage where you’re ready to clear out unwanted, old and forgotten household items.
With our society reliant on capitalism and, often, over-consumption, each year a massive amount of items end up in landfill that could otherwise be utilised and saved from being wasted. It can be tempting to throw unwanted items ‘away’ and not give it another thought – but remember that there is no such thing as ‘away’, and everything has to go somewhere.
Rather than chucking everything in the bin and having it all end up in landfill, here are a few mindful tips to help you rehome, repurpose or dispose of unwanted items from your home, as well as a few tips for disposing of items that really are rubbish.
Donate to Charity
Clothes that have been outgrown, old crockery that doesn’t get used or extra spare linen can all go on to find new homes through your local charity or op shop. Bundle up all the good-quality secondhand items you want to get rid of, and drop them at your local charity collection point. For larger items such as furniture, some charities offer pick up from your house, so get in touch with them if you want to utilise this option.
Local Buy and Sell Pages
Sometimes you have unwanted items that just seem too valuable to donate to charity. In these instances, put up an ad on your local buy and sell page or Facebook Marketplace. This way you can clear out space in your home, and get a little bit of cash in the process.
If you’re not into using social media, or want to sell a large volume of stuff, consider holding a garage sale. Post signs around your neighbourhood in the lead up, so that your neighbours know you’re holding a sale and will come have a look.
Verge Side Collection
These collections are scheduled by your local council, and are a convenient way of getting rid of old, unwanted items. There are a few guidelines around what will be accepted (check with your local council if you’re unsure), but in general you can put out unwanted household items including small electrical goods, crushed down cardboard boxes, and other items that wouldn’t usually go in your general waste bin.
Some councils also offer annual green waste collections, so look up what time of year they happen near you, and plan to do the bulk of your gardening around then. This is a good way of getting rid of tree clippings, lawn trimmings and other green waste.
Hire a Skip Bin
This is a great option if a lot of what you are clearing out involves rubbish or items that are broken, damaged or cannot be rehomed. Domestic skip bins are a super convenient way of disposing of waste, as unlike verge side collections which only happen once or twice a year, you can book in a skip bin for when you need it. When you’re spring cleaning, getting ready to move or doing renovations, hire a skip bin so that you can put all your waste in it – and it’s then conveniently taken away by the hire company to be appropriately disposed of.
There are not many limitations for what you can or can’t dispose of in skip bins, just make sure you speak to the hire company about what sort of waste you will be using it for when you book it. Skip bin hire in Perth is a cost-effective waste management solution for getting rid of unwanted household rubbish.
Swap with Friends
Be careful with this one, as it can lead to you swapping your ‘stuff’ for more ‘stuff’. See if your friends have any use for the items you no longer want, and they may have something they’re willing to swap. This is a great way of avoiding adding to the problem of fast fashion – swap the clothes you don’t wear anymore with your friend, so that you both get a new wardrobe without needing to spend any money or add to the huge volume of wasted textiles.
Before throwing away an item, consider if it can be repurposed and given a new life. Maybe you’ve got a collection of empty egg cartons – these would be perfect as paint-holders for the kids, or as a staple at the craft table. Maybe that stubborn stain just won’t leave that shirt – instead of throwing it out, tie dye it to breathe new life into it. Or, if all else fails, use it as scrap fabric for cleaning the car. Anything that you own can be repurposed for several different functions – you’re only limited by your imagination.
Remember, every item you want to throw out has the potential to be given a new life, to help someone in need, or to be recycled or disposed of properly. Next time you’re giving your home a much-needed declutter, consider the points on this list to see if you can save some of your unwanted items from ending up in landfill.