Christmas is now well and truly over and chances are your home is filled with lovely new gifts. If you have a family, your own gift will no doubt be accompanied by an abundance of children’s toys and games! So, what better action to take now than to clear out any older, unwanted items to make room for the new.
These days we are encouraged, more and more, to recycle as we move away from being a ‘throw away’ society. The best way to start is to arrange boxes or bags for the different items you will come across: Put away, Share/Resell, Repair, Recycle.
Resell or share older items
If you don’t need or want an item anymore, and it is still in good condition, somebody out there could find it very useful – a case of waste not, want not. Why not pass it on to a family member or a good friend who needs it? Many people sell on devices, children’s clothes, toys and even furniture via Facebay or Ebay. If an item is still in decent condition, there is no reason not to. You may prefer to donate to a charity of your choice, of which there are plenty on the high street.
An older tablet, laptop or mobile phone is also a good test run for a younger child, helping them become accustomed to treating technological devices with care. Alternatively, make some extra money for that special something you are saving for and sell the item locally on Facebay or Ebay.
Old computer games
Console and PC games can collect and build in teenagers’ rooms and possibly in the study area, where they have the potential to really stack up! Go through your children’s games with them and see if they would like to make pocket money by selling their old games and even consoles. They could sell on to their friends and if not, you can do it for them on Ebay, or just take them into your local Game or CEX store where they will sell them on in their second-hand section.
If you have any of last season’s clothing still sitting in the closet, this is a good time to sort through it and decide what to keep and what to clear for the year. You may even find it useful to insert drawer dividers to help organise. Children will likely have clothes they have grown out of, so it is a good opportunity to get rid of these too, similarly with shoes; children grow out of these quickly but often wear through them even faster!
Now that the Christmas gifting is over, you will have a good idea of which toys remain your children’s favourites and which have designated to the back of the pile. If your child is particularly reluctant to let their toys go and it is not your immediate desire to get rid of them, I find a preliminary separation tactic quite useful; let your child know their old toys are just being moved to another room, for temporary storage.
Repair, repair, repair
The making of new machines raises CO2 levels significantly, so the more we repair, the better. A quick visit to a local repair shop can fix most of those devices which are no longer under warranty. Interestingly, new Government legislation means that manufacturers are even being urged to make their products last longer and make them easier to repair by independent companies, meaning that our mobile phones, tablets and even utility devices should start to last longer – maybe even as long as they did back in ‘the good old days’!
If you horde all those lovely magazines you buy, it could well be they are just gathering dust! If there are specific articles you want to use or keep, use a box file to keep some select pages. Otherwise, recycling is of course the way forward.
Tame the plastic bags!
Ever since the plastic bag has been a charged for in the supermarket and plastic has become an environmental concern, we have all conscientiously been saving our bags up, to the point where there are likely to be overwhelming in our storage space. Ideally, a chest box would be the perfect storage space for plastic bags, which is roomy enough to contain them in abundance and should prevent them popping out like a jack in the box at the merest suggestion of movement! If you have too many, charity shops and libraries find bags useful, but they can also be recycled at a number of locations.
Some well-organised activity is all it will take to arrange your home for all that this coming year will bring. To finish, why not organise your future house projects with a handy list on one of your devices, which you can go back to and tick off as you achieve each one. Set yourself a challenge to see how many projects you can tackle this year!