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I knew that this would mean that there would be many clothes, furnishings and other items that I would want to remove from my home. I wasn’t happy with the idea that these would end up in a landfill.
An exit strategy is how you intend to remove unwanted items from your home/life. Many people who talk about the Konmari method stress the importance of knowing what you are going do with those items that no longer “spark joy”.
Making these decisions before you start will make it easier to move them on and therefore, avoid any of them creeping back into your life.
If you don’t want them, doesn’t mean that someone else won’t. Those people might even be willing to pay for them too.
I have listed and sold all manner of items on Facebook marketplace, eBay and Gumtree. People will buy anything for the right price.
Choosing where to list your decluttered goods is half the trick. I find that Facebook marketplace is great for toys and children’s clothes. You can list household items like furniture but I’ve actually had more success on Gumtree with these items.
If it’s adult clothing, shoes or electronics then eBay is perfect. Just make sure you do your research on pricing and postage before you list. Plus, it is always good to wait for a “maximum £1 selling fees” weekend.
If you have items that are brand new or nearly new, then why not consider regifting them? You might not love it but that doesn’t mean that someone else wouldn’t value the gift?
One of the perfect examples of this is kids’ toys, particularly after birthday parties. When you invite 30 children to a party, there is no way your kid is going to love all those gifts. I save the unloved ones and pass them on at the next party.
Same applies to gifts that I have received from my students in the past. Sometimes there are foods I can’t eat or it’s an item that is just not to my taste, so I pass them on to someone else.
If you can’t sell or regift an item, then the next best strategy is to donate them. Clothes and homewares can normally go to a charity shop, just ring ahead and ask them first.
Unopened toiletries and food can typically be donated your nearest Foodbank. Some charity shops like The British Heart Foundation will accept large items of furniture. Give them a call and see if they will come and yours.
Old bedding and towels are often accepted by animal rescue centres or vets. And if you have any other items not listed here then you can try local Facebook groups. Offer things up for free and see if anyone wants them.
For those goods that cannot be used by anyone else then you must try to recycle them. Local recycling centres in the UK are good are accepting most types of material for recycling.
If you have larger items like mattresses and furniture, some centres will even offer a collection service for a small fee.
If you have old electronics, then you drop these off at places like Currys for recycling. Again, it might be worth ringing ahead to check particularly if it is something big.
Remember that some items will contain more than one type of material, so it might be possible to break items down so that part of them can be recycled even if it can’t as a whole.
This one is hard and should only be used as a last resort in my opinion. If you are trying to declutter your home, the last thing you want to be doing is turning your old stuff into new stuff that you don’t want either.
However, there are some exceptions to this. For me, I am happy to turn well-worn textiles into rags that I can use for cleaning and decorating purposes.
I have also turned old clothes, that didn’t fit, into bags that I used for shopping. It was a great way to keep old festival t-shirts that I liked but could no longer wear.
Books can be used for decorative purposes. But think carefully about whether you like them enough to keep them on a shelf forever.
Furniture too can be upcycled into truly beautiful pieces, but if you don’t believe that you will ever do it then use a different exit strategy. Be focused on your goal.
With your eco-friendly exit strategies sorted, you can now go full steam ahead with the decluttering. The best bit is that once you’ve emptied your home of all the items you don’t want, you’ll be less inclined to buy more. It is magical!
Disclaimer: Remember the information you read here does not represent advice. Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you. Read the full disclaimer here.
Looking After Your Pennies is an eco-friendly personal finance blog written and managed by Charlotte Jessop.
I write on a variety of topics including frugal lifestyle, eco-friendly living, money making ideas and generally how to make your money go further.
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