Right now, the likelihood of your home being full of things you’ll never use is high. Especially if, post Christmas, you’ve found yourself the owner of a dozen toiletry sets, boxes upon boxes of Belgian shell chocolates, a weird framed picture and multiple pairs of socks. (Not projecting, promise.)
Don’t just wallow in a pity pile of clutter. It’s time to take inspiration from Marie Kondo’s new Netflix smash ‘Tidying Up’ and have a good old-fashioned clear out of the things that no longer bring you joy.
Rather than throwing perfectly good things in the bin, however, here are some ways to make sure your no-longer-needed-items bring happiness to someone else. Happy 2019 to you and your nice neat abode.
The Gift Of... Clothes
Perhaps one of the most rewarding ways of clearing out your closet is by giving to charity. iCollectClothes is a one-stop shop that will send someone to come and pick up your clothes to donate to a charity of your choice.
TRAID also collects from people’s homes and distributes to 1,500 of its clothes banks and charity shops, diverting around 3,000 tonnes of clothes from landfill and incineration every year. The service is available in London, Brighton, Slough, Windsor, Surrey and parts of Hertfordshire including St Albans and Harpenden.
For people who have a load of clothes with tags on that they don’t want, Alicas is a social venture which aims to collect 10,000 items of new and unused clothing, which will then be gifted in 300 parcels of 30 items to women in crisis across the UK and Europe. You can donate by sending items to: Alicas, F10 Internal, Edinburgh Palette, 525 Ferry Road, Edinburgh, EH5 2FF.
Got a group of friends who are roughly the same size? Pick a day when you’re all free and host a clothes swap, where you bring items you no longer wear and swap them for something your mates no longer want. It can be a cheap and easy way to update your wardrobe – and it’ll bring them a bit of joy, too.
Toiletries And Makeup
For the people lucky enough to have toiletry sets and unused makeup palettes coming out of their ears, you can donate them to a wonderful cause: Beauty Banks is a non-profit which works like a foodbank but distributing toiletries and beauty items instead.
Volunteers collect, re-package and distribute parcels to charity partners – often registered foodbanks and shelters – which can pass them on to people in the community who might not be able to afford such luxuries, for example women, men and teens who have left violent relationships or other difficult situations.
Beauty Banks accepts toiletries of all kinds – although they must be full size, new, unused and in date. You can send items to Beauty Banks, c/o The Communications Store, 2 Kensington Square, London W8 5EP.
For parents who are looking to have a clear out of the toy cupboard (good luck!), there are a number of places where you can send old toys so other children can play with them. The Toy Project is one of them, recycling unwanted new and used toys to give to children in need. Toys can be donated to 99 Junction Road, Archway N19 5QX. The shop is open Tuesday to Saturday between 11am and 6pm.
There are also a number of toy libraries up and down the UK which loan out toys to children – just like normal libraries lend books – and tend to welcome donations. Take for example Lewisham Toy Library, which asks people to drop them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if they’d like to donate. (A quick Google search will tell you if there’s a toy library near you.)
There are a number of charities which accept furniture donations such as: Emmaus, British Heart Foundation, Forces Support and Sue Ryder. Or, if you don’t have a charity in mind, you can search for local collection services via the Furniture Donation Network (simply take a pic of the item you want to get rid of and someone will call you to arrange to take it away).