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The big declutter

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By Fiona Reid
The big declutter

WITH more time at home, many of us are taking the opportunity to declutter and organise. But with charity shops and tips closed, what is the best approach to decluttering? And what should we be doing with the items that we discard? Mel Carruthers, professional organiser at More Organised in Dumfries, shared five quick wins for decluttering during the Covid-19 crisis, and her advice on what to do with it all.

  •  Books: Pass on any books that are out of date, that you didn’t love, or will never read. Box them up ready to take to a charity shop once they open again. Online book services such as We Buy Books, Money Magpie and Ziffit are still buying books too. Simply download their app, scan your books, print off the label and arrange for (usually free) collection. You’ll receive payment a few days later.
  • Videos & CDs: Do you really need all those DVDs and CDs when you can access them online these days? Again, services like Money Magpie and Ziffit allow you to scan your unwanted DVDs and CDs, print the label and despatch. Then sit back and wait for another payment to come in!
  • Clothes: When decluttering your wardrobe, make sure that you only keep clothing that fits, that suits you, and that you love. Who wants to open their wardrobe to clothing that doesn’t make them feel fabulous?! Sort into four piles: To keep, to donate and to recycle. Then bag up your donate and recycling items and keep them somewhere safe until the charity shops open up again. Under the bed, a corner of the spare room, or even in the boot of the car so that they’re out of the way for now, but ready to go.
  • Children’s artwork: You don’t need to keep every art and craft project, but if the thought of binning them tugs at your heartstrings, post a few to loved ones as a reminder that your family are thinking of them. Or make them into thank-yous for our frontline workers. Keep your favourites in a memory box or scrapbook . . . or even take photos of them and turn them into a photobook for each child.
  • Photos: Whether printed or digital, only keep photos that mean something to you. I give you permission to throw away the blurred, squinty group shots, and the views and sunsets whose locations you have long forgotten. Pop your favourite printed photos in an album or photo box. Gather up all your digital photos from your phone, your tablet, the random memory cards tucked away in a drawer then copy them all into one place on your computer. Delete the ones you don’t need (don’t forget all those screenshots and memes!) and organise into folders by year and month. And don’t forget to back them up! Then you can use them to make photobooks, or share with family and friends online.

Mel added: “Council tips and recycling centres remain closed, and incidences of illegal fly-tipping are increasing across the country. The advice remains that households should try not to produce waste that cannot be disposed of through your weekly waste collections. If you can’t store waste safely at home, or pay an official private service to manage that it for you, you should put off any decluttering project until waste disposal services resume.”

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