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Spring cleaning: is it trash or treasure?

As we bid farewell to the winter months, many of us start turning our attention towards the big spring clean. More often than not, it involves a good old clear out of unwanted clothes, furniture and other items that simply take up too much space. But instead of dumping it all in a skip, why not look at alternative ways of clearing unwanted items? Some of your belongings could be of great use in someone else’s home; and you might even be able to recoup a bit of cash whilst you’re at it. Follow our guide and make the most of your spring clear-out.

 

Seek inspiration online

Pinterest is brimming with creative solutions to making the most out of unwanted items. Be warned; you can easily spend hours upon hours trawling through all the images of ingenious designs and wonderfully decorated homes. But there’s plenty of inspiration to be had, and you might just pick up an idea or two for renovating your home once the spring clear out is complete.

 

If you prefer to see things in person, plan a day out at Grand Designs Live at the ExCeL London and glean some inspiration from over 500 amazing exhibitors.

Image by Phil Hawksworth
Image by Phil Hawksworth

 

Upcycle

No we’re not suggesting undertaking a horrible exercise regime, although it would probably be good for working off the Easter eggs. Upcycling is the practice of turning unwanted items into something useful – another concept that is very popular on Pinterest. Check out some great ideas here, featuring everything from transforming wooden pallets into shoe racks to making a stylish desk lamp out of a tin of baked beans.

 

Freecycle

Freecycle UK has over 3 million members and is all about the act of giving and receiving – for free. Not only will you be helping out your fellow citizens, but it’ll also help keep usable items in circulation and ease the pressure on the environment. What’s not to like about that?

The site lets you advertise any items you want to give away and can be viewed by fellow members in your region. You make the final decision on who receives your item, arrange a pick-up or delivery and boom – it’s out of your hands.

Image by blu-news.org
Image by blu-news.org

 

Keep in mind that you may well stumble upon a hidden gem or two whilst trawling through the site. Spring cleaning doesn’t always have to be about chucking stuff out the house, so keep your eyes peeled for any items that may slot in to your new, spruced-up layout.

Sell it on Gumtree

Placing an ad on Gumtree is another great way of disposing of unwanted items without consigning them to the skip. Like Freecycle, you can give your items away for free if you’re feeling charitable, but Gumtree also lets you sell off your possessions at a price. Whether it’s an old TV, wardrobe or couch, you’ll be amazed at how valuable others find your old junk.

 

Remember that, whilst the basic concept is to simply place an ad and await a response, you can significantly boost your chances of a sale by making your ad as detailed and appealing as possible. Include a good description of the item and attach a few photographs for good measure. Although you can insist on the buyer collecting the product from you, it may help to be more flexible in order to garner more interest from prospective buyers. A strong ad will save you time in the long run and help you ship out those unwanted items with minimum hassle.

 

Good old fashioned car boot sale

Let’s face it, buying and selling goods online is often the easiest and fastest option for those seeking a quick exchange. However, sometimes you can’t beat a bit of good old fashioned banter with your buyers. Pick up a hire van, load up the back and head for your nearest car boot sale location. Not only does this allow potential buyers to see the goods in person, but it’ll also enable you to practice your haggling skills and negotiate a price. If it’s your first time trading at a boot sale then cast your eyes over these helpful tips of the trade.

Image by net_efekt
Image by net_efekt

 

Recycle

No matter how determined you are to upcycle, give away or sell your items, it goes without saying that certain things have simply come to the end of their lifeline. From old washing machines to lawnmowers dating back to the swinging sixties – whatever it is, chances are it can be recycled. Simply take your unwanted items to your nearest recycling centre where they can be safely disposed of and congratulate yourself for doing your bit for the planet.

 

Most local councils also offer a pick-up service for bulky household items, however, the waiting times can often be lengthy.

 

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