It's great doing a clean out around the home, isn't it? Moving on what you don't use or need can leave your entire home or even just a room/space in your home feeling fresh and revitalised without costing you a cent!
What do you do with the goods though?
I find sorting into 5 categories helps me do this successfully.
This is obviously for things that I currently use or intend on using in very very near future. It stays in an accessible place to come into play very soon. (If it's not going to be used very soon, consider putting it into category 2).
This is for items that are still completely working and or usable, but you're just needing and or using them anymore. Donating useful items to someone who needs them is a terrific way to ensure that item fulfils its purpose and isn't just being wasted by sitting on the back shelf of your garage.
Have an item that isn't useful for you or anyone else as it's initial purpose intended? Put your thinking cap on and see if it can be repurposed into something.
For example: an empty tin could be turned into a pencil jar or an old pair of work boots can be turned into a unique pot for small plants. Using your imagination and websites such as Pinterest (there are some very imaginative people out there), you can get creative and save a lot of items going unnecessarily to landfill as well as having a lot of handmade (by you) and unique items around your home.
No I don't just mean, popping it into the yellow bin instead of the red bin for the magical recycling fairies to MAYBE sort out for you at the other end of the rainbow. If you really need to 'get rid' of something, look into the proper way to recycle it. I've mentioned initiatives before that recycle clothing, socks and shoes such as Manrags and alike, but what about things like batteries, paints, mobile phones and accessories, electrical items, soft plastics, corks, the list is endless.
Did you know that you can send your old mascara brushes to a wildlife rescue that use them for grooming baby animals? Or how about the plastic bread tags people receive with their plastic prepackaged breads, they can be sent here to help make wheelchairs. Amazing!
Websites like planetark.org or your local council can help point you in the right direction for some things, but my suggestion is to always do a google search for an item you're thinking about throwing out to see if there is a way it can still find life somewhere else! There are so many great people out there helping to divert things from landfill and have a second chance at life, the least we can do is help them by sending our used 'stuff' to them.
This should be the absolute last resort. This should only be when you have exhausted all the above avenues and truly have nowhere to place an item, it can be rubbished, but remember once it's in landfill, it'll likely be there for hundreds of years.
Please check out ABC's show War on Waste to learn more.