Eco-friendly ways to get rid of stuff after decluttering

Clearing space at home is great but you can't put the stuff you want to get rid of in the what are the best ways to keep your unwanted possessions in the circular economy?

A decluttered space will make you feel better for sure

Decluttering is good for your mental health and it's a practical thing to do because it frees up space in your home. Always do your darndest to ensure nothing goes to landfill...think friends, Freecycle, charity shops and good ol' recycling

Too much stuff but can't let it go


Clutter can lead to chaos, which in turn creates stress. Many people say they're overwhelmed by the extent of clutter in their homes but are at a loss as to what to do with it. There are, though, many creative ways to make sure your pre-loved items go to a good home, so the first step is to take the positive decision to de-clutter and to do it in an ordered way - just saying you're going to throw everything out won't help because you'll have a moutain to move!  


De-cluttering is good for your physical as well as mental health. Clutter, for example,  can exacerbate allergies as dust, dander and pet hair have a tendency to collect and stay on unused items. You may well feel your indoor air is purer after a good clearout.

Please come and take it all

Having made the decision to declutter, some people feel they want to hire in a professional to come in and get the job done. Others like to do the decluttering themselves but whoever does it will have to deal with the issue of getting the unwanted stuff to a new home or to the local recycling centre. There are plenty of waste removal companies in the UK, but more unscrupulous ones will just take their loads to the nearest landfill dump. So always make sure to hire a waste removal company that cares about the community and the environment. You need a firm that will take the time and effort to make sure everything is disposed of properly, and crucially that anything that can be recycled goes to the appropriate facility. Polyester, for example, is a recyclable fibre but not every recycling centre has a hopper for it. Look for a removals firm that knows how to get polyester goods to an appropriate site that will re-use the material. It's important we recycle as much as possible as progress towards England’s target to recycle 50 per cent of its waste by 2020 has stagnated.  

De-clutter one type of product at a time

People who're reluctant to embark on a wholesale clearout of their home should think about doing the job is parts... so books and videos one weekend, paper and magazines the next. Bookshelves are a good place to start since lots of people pile up books, papers, bills etc on shelves and never look at them from one year to the next. So hold of some cardboard boxes and fill them with books and papers that won't be needed again.

Books can go to book repositories at local recycling centres or to charity shops, or donate them to school libraries. Or if you need to make a bit of money from your unwanted stuff, try selling on eBay or online classified sites. Bear in mind you will have endless visits to the post office to send things off to their new home. For more valuable items, such as jewellery, there's the option of taking them to a specialist dealer or even an auction house.   

For those looking for quick donations which help others too, take books and magazines to local hospitals, hospices, community centres and GP/dentist surgeries. In terms of piles of paper, it can be recycled or there are plants which burn unwanted papers to make fuel for the local area.  Next look online for those who will take paper waste and turn it into fuel in your area. And if you're mobility is limited or you don't have a car, most councils do a pretty good job at recycling a lot of household waste - paper, cardboard, glass, tins, garden waste etc, so just put your stuff out on recycling day.

Hand on clothes

Fast, cheap fashion has resulted in millions of us having far too many clothes in our wardrobes. We buy something, wear it once or twice, then it languishes in the cupboard gathering dust. Handing on clothes is one of the most eco-friendly ways to de-clutter the wardrobe and make space for some new favourites ( as in bought second-hand of course...). Give clothes to friends, to charity shops, sell them online to make a bit of cash, or find plants/organisations that recycle specific garments into fibres.. eg cotton T shirts or wool jumpers. Some charites deliver bags door to door for people to put their unwanted clothes in and they collect the following week. There is no need for clothes to go to landfill and everyone's being urged to do their bit on this. 

Furniture ang big ticket items

It can be hard to know how to get rid of a mattress, bed, sofa, or fridge freezer. Your council will come and collect bigger items but you will need to call them and organise the pick up. If you have a lot of items, call a house clearance firm and if the pieces you want out are good quality, a local auction house may well be interested. Homeless shelters sometimes need furniture, or charities that have shops, for example the British Heart Foundation or homeless charity Emmaus will come and collect from you. Put ads of Freecycle, as again people will come and collect from you. Electrical goods should be taken to your recycling centre where they'll be passed on to businesses that dismantle and reuse components. 

And to re-iterate, if you do you hire a waste removal company, get a firm commitment from it that will be dispose of goods in the most eco-friendly way, and crucially that it won't dump stuff in landfill.