How to declutter post-lockdown

If you’ve accidently built up a stash of unwanted lockdown purchases, here’s how to declutter in the most eco-friendly way.

Lady removing plant hanging baskets

It’s probably an unsurprising statistic to know that our online sales hit a record high in 2020.1 With social distancing, lockdowns and all our favourite shops and venues closed, we turned to digital shopping for everything from toilet roll and groceries to home-gym equipment and clothes. But if you’re looking at your lockdown purchases and feeling cluttered, it might be time for a clear out. Here’s how to streamline in the most eco-friendly way.

1 Source: Office for National Statistics

Will you use it again?

The best place to start is with the honest question: will I use this again? If you’ve got a cupboard full of nail varnish, jigsaw puzzles and balls of macrame wool that are gathering dust, then you know it’s time to rehome them. That kayak in the garage? Have you used it more than once? If not, consider selling it on.

Of course some things have a lasting value. The sale of books, exercise equipment and blankets all soared last year 2 – and they’re the kind of things you might like to keep.

2 Source: Shopify

Rehome, don’t throw away

One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure – so the old saying goes. De-cluttering doesn’t have to mean binning things. It’s much kinder to the planet to rehome your unwanted possessions. This is especially important when it comes to clothes. Fast-fashion sees millions of unwanted clothes sent to landfill. In fact, it’s been reported that in the UK we threw away up to 67 million items of clothing after lockdown ended. 3

Give your unwanted clothes to friends and family or a charity shop. Or you could make money selling them online. There are a number of online shops set up to help your pre-loved clothes find new homes.

3 Source:

Try recycling by courier

Did you know that you can give your unwanted items to a courier who will whisk them off to be recycled. The best news is they take a selection of things in one go. So, if you’ve got a pile of books, clothes – even technology – it’s even easier to recycle. Simply order a pre-paid box or envelope, fill it with your stuff and post it back.

Keep an eye on future spending

Now that you’ve decluttered your home you might be feeling a little more zen. Sometimes spending is connected to our emotions, so it’s worth checking in with yourself to understand why you bought the things you no longer need or want. You could make a note of what you were feeling when you bought certain things during lockdown. Or track any spending sprees. This will help you understand your own spending habits and stay in control when you’re shopping in the future.

For helpful tools, tips and advice on managing your money, visit our Money Management page.

At the end of the day, if it made you happy when you bought it then it was worth the money.

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