Tuesday, 14 July 2015

How to declutter without throwing anything away

We've been getting rid of excess clutter in our home for around a year and a half now. The longer we continue with it, the easier it's getting! Rome wasn't built in a day, such truth in that saying. Decluttering properly takes time, dedication and continuous work...... and I'm so determined to keep it up.
I can't tell you how much stuff we have disposed of since we started. Countless items, cars crammed full of stuff and shamefully I can't even remember now what most of it was. Evidently, none of it mattered!

I realised the other day that despite getting rid of so much clutter, we haven't actually thrown a single thing in the bin. There are so many ways of clearing your home without physically throwing anything away! Today I wanted to share some of the main outlets we have been using to declutter.  
By selling and passing on our belongings to various places, we have prevented heaps of items going to landfill. We've recognised that these items still have value even when there's no advantage to us holding onto them any longer and doing this gives our old belongings a new lease of life!

This isn't a comprehensive list by any means but I just wanted to list some of my favourite methods so far. Here we go.... 

Selling online

This has been my main outlet for disposing of higher value items. I have listed clothes, shoes, branded bedding, vintage craft materials, etc on eBay and made a significant amount of money from doing this. According the eBay, the average home has £4000 in unwanted items.... a crazy amount of money to be sat in your home just adding to household clutter!

In addition to eBay there are many outlets for making money online by selling your unwanted goods including Gumtree and Facebook selling groups. If you're looking to sell online make sure you have a poke round to see where will get you the best price! The lovely Emma at "From Aldi to Harrods" recently posted an article on how to make cash from your clutter, it's packed full of great tips and well worth a read.

Selling elsewhere

Earlier in the year we had success selling at a local car boot sale. It was a really fun morning and we came back with a lot less stuff and over £100 in my purse. A great way of getting rid of bulkier items, it's amazing what people at boot sales want to buy!

If you're looking to unload baby items then I would totally recommend selling at an NCT nearly new sale. You can find an event near you by clicking here. Last year Polly from Tantrums and Tailoring wrote a great guide to selling at one of these events so have a read if you're thinking of selling. 

Charity shops

Obviously, local charity shops survive on donations of unwanted items. Make sure you only donate clean, good quality items though! Many charity shops will take donations of high value items too and will have specialist staff who will work to get the best resale value via auction or other means. 
Things you can donate to charity shops include clothing, shoes, toys, accessories, CD's, DVD's, books and homeware. Some charity shops also offer a service to collect larger items such as furniture and electrical items to sell on in their larger shops.

Freegle & Freecycle

One of my favourite ways to get rid of items we no longer need. One man's trash is another man's treasure and all that! By using these services we've passed on so many items that I wouldn't have had a clue what to do with otherwise. The previous owners of our house left so much stuff behind including a broken shed, bags of sand and cement, bricks, light fittings, etc..... all of these we listed on freecycle and were claimed within a few hours!

Giving to family and friends

An obvious one but one worth pointing out nonetheless! For many reasons, I do have reservations about doing this. I'll always ask first if anyone wants anything before I get rid elsewhere.
The Possible Pitfalls Of Giving Things Away To Friends and Family and How To Avoid Them is a really great article to read if you're thinking of passing on items to people you know! 

Homeless shelters

Food (non perishable items with clear expiration dates), personal care items (tootpaste, deoderant, etc), clothing, toys and bedding..... all items that homeless shelters will gladly take. Each shelter will have it's own policies on what types of donations they will accept so please do check before you turn up with a load of stuff!

Pet shelters

Items that you can donate to dog or cat shelters include bedding (no duvets or pillows though!), newspapers, towels, blankets, grooming supplies, cleaning products such as paper towels and hand sanitiser, toys and food! Again, check with your local shelter first!

Waiting rooms 

A great place to take old magazines or books.


  1. I loved this post, I've been doing a lot of decluttering myself recently! I had all the intentions of selling clothes on ebay but after weeks of the stuff sitting in my house I ended up giving my sister a lot and the rest (seven bin bags!) went to charity!
    Irma xo


  2. Great ideas. I will be trying these tips.

  3. Seasonal decluttering is my hot tip - put winter things in storage during the summer and vice versa. So you're not getting rid of anything but still making space.

  4. I hate clutter, especially as I live in a flat. Some great tips. I think I have done most of these. I give a lot to a local cancer charity especially.

  5. This is so useful, thank you! I've been culling and throwing a lot away but nice to know it doesn't always have to go to the bin or the charity shop...

  6. Thanks for sharing these tips! I've been feeling like I need to declutter at the moment x

    Telina | Love, Telina