Cleaning Services: Tidying Up And Getting Rid Of Stuff | Anyclean

updated: 16/11/2023


Well done!  You’ve done the hardest part of decluttering and have decided to get rid of a huge pile of odds and ends that are unwanted, unloved, unusable or should not be part of your life any more for whatever reason.  Perhaps you’ve just gone through a stressful transition time like a relationship breakup or losing your home, or you’ve just had a happy one like having to move towns because of that great new job.  Or perhaps you’ve just decided to bite the bullet and do it for no reason whatever.  Anyway, congratulations on having done the hard part and sorting out what no longer belongs in your home or in your life.

And now what are you going to do with it?  You have a huge pile of odds and ends that need to be disposed of in some way or other.  It is tempting to put the whole lot in a trailer or in a skip and take it to the local tip.  If the old stuff is baggage from a toxic relationship, this urge can be very tempting – certain things can smash (or be burned) in a very satisfying and liberating fashion.  But think before you throw.  Just because you’ve removed clutter and cleaned up your life does not mean you can clutter up the planet.  There are also people who would probably quite like to have the perfectly good stuff you’re throwing away.

If you want to do things the simple way, take the lot down to a charity that also deals with the rag trade/scrap metal.  They’ll sort out and resell the good stuff, and recycle what’s junk, and make money for a good cause into the process.  If you’re not sure what sorts of items a charity will take, phone up and ask first.  Some organisations prefer certain sorts of items.  For example, Dress for Success is always on the lookout for business clothes for disadvantaged women returning to (or entering) the workplace.  The Salvation Army takes clothes and old appliances and furniture of all sorts, as do many other religious-affiliated charities.  Several charities also take old computer gear – an online search finds these easily, and some take other appliances such as fridges or fluorescent bulbs for recycling.

Doing your own recycling is easy if you’re getting rid of old papers.  However, if you’re turfing out old bank statements or other items that may contain personal details, it can be wise to shred these first.  If you’ve got a lot of these, you can hire (or borrow) a proper shredder to do the job.  If it’s old bank statements you’re getting rid of, your bank may be able to shred them for you – they don’t want your detail being stolen and used for fraud any more than you do.  For a small amount of papers of this nature, it doesn’t take too long to slash them up by hand with a pair of scissors.  If the papers are leftovers from a toxic past, physically destroying them with your bare hands can be very therapeutic as a way of releasing anger, grief and guilt.  Even books can be treated in this way if the book you want to get rid of represents an old life you no longer want – it makes an excellent symbolic step of releasing and renouncing the past and purging it from your life.  After that, you can do as you please with the shredded bits – make them into papier-mâché or send them to the local paper recycling depot.

Alternatively, you can try and turn the items into ready money.  One of the easiest ways to do this is to sell it on Ebay or a similar site.  However, if you have a huge number of items, the process of photographing them all, describing them all and posting them all online can be quite time-consuming.  Alternatively, you can have a good old-fashioned garage sale.  It’s best to enlist friends to help you with this.

To hold a garage sale, you’ll need to spend a bit of time labelling everything with prices and making sure you’ve got enough tables (and racks) to set thing out on.  Don’t be overambitious regarding prices – remember the main thing is to get rid of stuff, not to make a killing.  If the weather is chancy, you may want to actually hold the sale in your garage rather than in your front yard.  Remember to put up plenty of advertising and to have plenty of loose change on hand.  Don’t let people into your house – keep them all outside.  If you’re really organized, sell cups of coffee/tea/lemonade in paper cups as well – or even home made muffins.  You may not sell everything.  In this case, take the leftovers to a charity.

About the author 

Nick Vassilev

Nick blogs about cleaning. He is a cleaning expert with more than 25 years of experience. He is also an NCCA-certified carpet cleaner. Founder and CEO of Anyclean.