No-one likes a cluttered house (or at least no-one I know does) and with the arrival of the Christmas decorations in a couple of weeks followed by any Christmas presents you’ll be getting, now’s a great time to have bit of a de-clutter.
1. Children’s artwork – If you”re a hoarder of your children’s works of art then have a look here for my super easy (and free) solution to getting rid of the actual pieces of paper whilst actually keeping the art itself.
2. Old Magazines – Check your magazine rack and anywhere else that you might hoard old magazines and spend a pleasant hour flicking through them (only an hour though so you’re not reading them in depth ;-)). Any articles or recipes that you really want to keep you can rip out and stick in a notebook or even just pop them in an envelope. I have a noted book that I often stick things in that I want to come back to later and it saves me keeping stacks of the free supermarket magazines which by the way can be a brilliant source of inspiration. You can even do what I do and mark the pages that I want to go back to as I’m reading them,
3. Household paperwork – Next move on to your receipts and bills that are no doubt everywhere from your purse to the bottom of your handbag and from your noticeboard to wherever you file your paperwork. You can get rid of any receipts you don’t need anymore and any bills that have passed the time that you normally keep them for. I have a great system for filing my paperwork here if you need some ideas.
4. First Aid Box – We have a big tin that we keep all of our medicines in and it’s overflowing at the moment. I need to go through it and make sure that nothing is out of date in there and try and use up all the packets where we only have a couple of tablets left. It seems like with paracetamol and ibuprofen we have packets where there’s a couple left but we’ve opened a new box rather than use them. No idea why though!
5. Toys and books – With two children growing up very fast there always seems to be something that they no longer want or need. We generally have two big clear outs a year, one in Spring and one in November. Some things go to the charity shop, some might be sold on our local Facebook selling site and the anything not fit for either will go in the bin. Often the things we get rid of in Spring are taken to the Car Boot Sale first but it’s not worth it at this time of year.
6. Clothes – We sort out our clothes at the start of Spring and the start of Autumn usually and bag up any that won’t be worn again. Charity shops are always grateful for any donations so if you’re not planning on selling your clothes then make yourself feel warm and fuzzy by giving them away to help people in need!
7. Handbags and Shoes – I’m a handbag and shoe hoarder and even trying to be frugal, I still get tempted by pretty things every now and again (although it’s often at a car boot sale now thankfully). Handbags and shoes will often sell on eBay or on your local Facebook selling site for a few pounds which will come in handy for Christmas or if you want to share the love you can pop any you’re not likely to use again in a bag for the charity shop.
8. Old mobile phones and electronics – You can make some good money out of these if you sell them and I find that the easiest way to do this if they don’t sell after a day or two on the Facebook sites is to simply take them along to our local cash converters or somewhere like CEX. You may not get as much as selling privately but it’s better to have money in your pocket than have something gathering dust in a drawer.
9. Computer and console games – if you have games that won’t be played with again
then you can take them along to your local computer shop and can often trade them in against a new game that may be on someone’s Christmas list. You can get money for them too but the trade in value is lots better.
10. Blankets and throws – I have one of those lifty up beds that you can store things in and when I went to squeeze a Christmas present in to hide it, I found that I couldn’t get it in because of all the bedding and throws I have in there. Throws and blankets especially that I’ve kept from when the kids were little (Peppa Pig and Cars) and from old colour schemes that I’ve update over the years. They were all black bagged and taken to the local homeless charity centre to be shared among the homeless.
11. Kitchen gadgets – there’s no easy way to do this I’m afraid, not if you love a good gadget as much as I do. But there comes a time when I have to ask myself if I really need a gadget that shreds fruit and veg when I only use it to make coleslaw once a year. I also don’t think I need a million and twelve cookie cutters so I’ve given a lot to my godson who uses them for playdough.
12. Food – I’m not talking about food you store in your fridge and freezer here but longer life things like tins and packets,things that you have in your cupboards that you haven’t used up yet even though they’ve been sitting there for months. Things that you look at and have no idea why you bought them or what you’ll use them for. Why don’t you pop them all in a bag and drop them off at your local food bank? At this time of year especially, people can really use the help.
By doing some or all of the above, you can not only make some space in your house but you can also make some money and give back to your community and charity at the same time.
That’s got to make you feel all warm and fluffy!
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