The social benefits of decluttering
Guest article from Gone for Good
As supporters of Clear your Clutter Day, Gone for Good is already converted to the benefits of decluttering. Not only does it create a more harmonious home, it also ensures good use is made of unwanted items.
As a social enterprise, Gone for Good was set up with two main objectives: –
- To make it easy for people to donate unwanted items to charity
- To generally encourage people to ensure useable goods don’t end up in landfill
So, there can be clear social benefits from decluttering – helping good causes raise money by selling your unwanted goods, and helping the environment by making sure your unwanted goods are re-used or recycled.
We’ve worked out that we can help add £1 billion to charity shops’ incomes in the UK by diverting just 5% of useable clothing and household items from landfill to charities. Not only does it help charities raise money, it also helps people with limited income who need charity shops to get clothing, furniture and other items.
Gone for Good and Decluttering
Over the years, you will have accumulated many items throughout the house that you and your family don’t necessarily use or need anymore. There are a number of approaches that can be taken to decluttering. Whether you are doing a major house-wide clear-out, or just having a limited declutter of clothes or a particular room, there are some basic principles that hold true:
Try not to take on the whole house at once. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of items you need to sort through. Stay focused and be clear what the criteria are for keeping or not keeping items. A useful way to stay vigilant and sort through your items is to donate anything you haven’t used or thought about in 6 months or more.
Separate out into “Keep”, “Donate” and “Throw Away” categories
As you go through your items, separate them into ‘keep’, ‘donate’ and ‘throw away’ piles. Of course, donating is the best course of action but some items can get so worn down or damaged that they wouldn’t benefit anyone.
Dispose of “Throw Away” stuff responsibly
For the stuff that has little value and you want to throw away, make sure you handle it responsibly. We’d recommend taking it to the local recycling centre or getting your local council to come and take it away. They charge – but the fees are modest. See Recycle Now for more information.
Donate the useable stuff to charity using the Gone for Good app
More valuable stuff that you’d like to donate to charity can be done easily, by making use of the free Gone for Good smartphone app. It’s available on iPhone and Android devices. The app is free and the charities don’t charge.
Want to Donate More to Charity?
Jasmine Birtles interviews Mark Charnock, Managing Director at Gone for Good on behalf of last year’s Clear Your Clutter Day.
Mark tells Jasmine just how easy it is to make your donations to charity. If you haven’t got the Gone for Good app yet then you’re certainly missing out. Don’t throw your old stuff away because this app makes it so simple! A big thumbs up from the Clear Your Clutter team.
How Does the Gone for Good App Work?
The Gone for Good app allows you to choose a charity and arrange for your donated items to be collected direct from your house.
Using the app is simple. Just take a photo of the items you want to donate using your smart phone, enter the address where the items are located and app will give you a list of the charities that will collect them from your door. Tap on the one you’d like to donate it to. The chosen charity will then get in touch to arrange a pick-up.
If your stuff is in bags, there is also space in the app to describe or list what you’re donating.
We would encourage people to be realistic about what charities will collect. It does cost them money to send vehicles out to collect stuff. So, it wouldn’t make sense for them to pick up the odd low value items. But if you’ve got plenty stuff to donate after you’ve cleared your clutter, they’ll be pleased to come to your newly decluttered home and take it away. And imagine how good you’ll feel knowing you’ve helped a good cause!
Find out how to get involved in National Clear Your Clutter Day 2018