When it came to a spring clean this year, the coronavirus lockdown made things a little complicated. Have you been able to clear out any of your excess stuff?
If you’ve been through the various phases of lockdown (which I hope has included staying fit and well), you’ll have no doubt completed the baking phase, the veg box phase, the catch ups with friends via video and the quizzing.
But what about the spring cleaning phase?
With recycling points adhering to strict social distancing rules – and visits in demand – what workarounds have you found to get rid of your unwanted items?
As they say, one person’s trash is another’s treasure, and I’ve been looking for alternative ways to pass on unwanted items to give them a second lease of life.
Charity shops reopening
We received our first charity collection bag through the letterbox just a few weeks ago and I was quick to fill the bag with unwanted clothing that was ready for some new wear.
It’s always best to verify the company is collecting for a reputable charity, but once that’s confirmed, the bags can be a quick way to pass on goods without even leaving your home.
I’ve kept some other items to give to charity shops in the weeks and months to come, but I’m wary that a number of them may be in an unusual position of being overwhelmed with donations. So for the time being, I’m sitting tight.
For other items, particularly higher cost items of clothing that you’re not interested in reselling yourself, you might want to investigate Thrift – a social venture that sends some of the money from the resale of clothes to a selection of charities signed up to the scheme.
The messy drawer
One of my son’s favourite places to explore in our kitchen is ‘the messy drawer’. Let’s face it we all have one.
Ours is complete with a selection of cards, fixtures for things I’ve lost track of, goodies from party bags and other bric-a-brac.
But in this draw I’ve also uncovered a couple of old jewellery items and, through a search, I’ve discovered that the Alzheimer’s society is collecting unwanted jewellery to benefit the charity.
I thought this was a great way to put some old treasures to good use, but the service is in demand so it might take some time for you to receive your special envelope.
Unwanted food items
I’ve been fortunate to still receive the occasional online food delivery during lockdown but this has come with a small challenge: in the early weeks, the request to keep any substitutes that the supermarket may provide.
I’ve also been trying to support local wholesale businesses that have turned their attention to trying to deliver local produce to keep their businesses afloat and to support local communities.
This has meant I’ve been blessed with having more food than I need (or options my four year old doesn’t eat!).
I’ve found the food sharing app Olio a great way to stop good food going to waste – whether that’s passing on the cabbage from the veg box or clearing out the food cupboards of those tins and sauces you’ve always meant to use but never got round to.
I’ve also used the app to pass on children’s toys and recipe books and have enjoyed the sense of community and waste reduction the app encourages.
We still have a few electrical and wooden items that will eventually need to go to the recycling centre, but for the time being, I’m happy with the workarounds I’ve found.
If you’ve had a lockdown clear out, do you have any tips and tricks to share for getting rid of, donating or passing on unwanted items?