Don’t wait until Spring cleaning to declutter after Christmas
So much stuff comes into our houses in the last two months of the year – presents, new clothes for parties and all sorts of decorations & whatnot – and after such a busy period, it’s all to easy to tuck it all to the back of the cupboard to consider mañana. But now is the perfect time to declutter – to pass on, to let others reuse or recycle – stuff.
1. So you don’t forget about the things – or get blind to them
It’s so easy to forget about things once they’re tucked away in a cupboard – the scratty tinsel, the old electronic device that’s been replaced, the party dress you won’t probably wear again until next Christmas when it might be outdated or not fit… We’re terrible at putting things on a shelf “just in case” then not only forgetting them but getting blind to the fact they’re unwanted – if we didn’t want them, why have we kept them so long? – or even there (I get to the point where I just look through rather than at clutter around the place).
2. Charity shops are often low on stock
This was apparently a particularly serious problem last year with the bad weather – charity shops saw donations drop by nearly a third year-on-year – but every year, they see an understandable drop in donations in November & December compared to the rest of the year. Help them fill back up again!
3. To catch people while they’re still thinking about Christmas
This is particularly important for Christmas decorations or other themed items. I know a lot of people who buy their Christmas wrapping paper, cards and novelty gifts in the previous year’s January sales – saves a lot of money. Fresh off the back of Christmas, people remember how expensive it is and think ahead to minimise the issue the following year. By May or June though, last Christmas is a long distant memory and next Christmas is still an eon away – and people will be less interested. Now though, people will stash your spare goodies away along with their own Christmas stash.
4. To let other people get full use out of something
Electronics, DVDs and fashion etc are all relatively time-sensitive things and if they get left on a shelf, they’ll become increasingly obsolete the longer they wait up there. I kept hold of lots of pre-recorded VHSes “just in case” then found it nearly impossible to give them away. The batteries in electronics die – or often refuse to charge again if left “empty” for long enough. Much better for someone else to get some use out of them instead!
5. To stop someone else having to buy new-new
This is the ultimate reason we pass stuff on – so our items don’t end up in landfill and someone else doesn’t have to buy a brand new product that has been made with brand new resources.
How to pass stuff on
- Your local Freecycle/Freegle group
- Charity shops/op shops/thrift shops
- Swishing parties – for clothes & accessories mostly but if you’re running it, you can set the terms depending on your friends
- Sell it via eBay or a specialist site/event such as NCT’s Nearly New events
- Recycling banks for clothes & shoes at supermarkets
- Re-gift — but only if you’re sure the person will like it more than you or you’re just passing on the problem!
Have you got Christmas stuff or presents that you think should go? How will you be getting rid of them?