Like many people we used the Covid years to make some serious adjustments in the ways, we impact the planet. We went plant-based, moved out of London, signed up for a rescued veg box and seriously upped our recycling game. We've even stopped using certain products that we couldn't get packaged in an eco-friendly way. But I wanted to start applying some of these newfound skills and passion to my work.
I have long found that decluttering and getting organised has a long-term positive effect on our environmental impact. We shop less, we buy smarter, we create less waste, etc. But in the short term, it can feel a little heartbreaking to be throwing so much out. So I made a few tweaks that would be helpful for both the client and the planet.
Items To Sell
Selling items not only helps them find a new home but also brings in some additional funds. It can often be a useful tool for helping you let go of something you don’t need as you will get something in return other than extra space. I found that clients often don’t get around to listing items and they either end up back in circulation or sit in bags cluttering up somewhere in your home.
Selling items takes time, effort and a little know-how about the best platforms for specific items. You will need to take photos and research the product’s value secondhand. This isn’t as simple as looking at the new price or current listings. You need to find what it’s actually selling for secondhand. Some items need some TLC before selling too.
I started offering “Store & Sell” to my in-person clients in early 2022. It does depend on the items and what space I currently have available, but I charge from 25%, plus the cost of postage and packaging. Any money made is usually deducted from your next invoice so your clutter could actually pay for your declutter coach!
We arrange any reserve prices in advance and I also factor in seasonality. Some items sell all year round, others will have to wait.
If a client needs a price of furniture or other storage solution I aim to source this secondhand and in many cases for free. Sometimes it may not be the forever item but free or cheap secondhand items are a great way of getting a space functional and checking if a new system will work for you before making a bigger purchase.
I’ve even been known to up-cycle an item or two to suit my client’s exact needs.
The charge for this service ranges from free upwards and we would discuss this on a case-by-case basis. I’m often looking for up-cycle projects and if the collection is on a route I’m already doing then I don’t tend to charge. But for items that require considerable research or require long travel or van hire then we would agree on a price ahead of time.
Items To Donate
I’m a big one for donating to charity but many shops are inundated with items that just won’t sell. I tend to split items for donation across a few shops based on the shop’s focus. If it fits in my car I usually include this for free. Some charity shops will collect, but otherwise, we might need to factor in hiring a van.
Donating doesn’t also mean charity shops so I often list items for free to help them find a new home or purpose. I use Marketplace, Olio and a couple of eco FB groups.
Open or Partly Used
Any food that is in date but not suitable for a food bank gets listed on Olio which was set up to reduce food waste. The app has expanded to cover many free items and it’s considered very acceptable to list opens end partly used items such as food, makeup or cleaning products. This is usually offered free of charge and when I say usually I’m just covering my back because I’ve never charged to do this to date.
Some eco FB groups also allow these types of listing, I don’t like anything to go to waste if possible. I also have a home compost and the worms love whatever can’t find a human mouth.
Not all curtsied recycling options are created equally. There are also a number of additional options available at supermarkets, recycling centres or postal. I try to stay up to date on our options for our household waste and have filled our wheelie bin just once in the last year because of how we shop and recycle. Some really random things can be recycled when you dig about online.
Again I don’t tend to charge for this with the exception of needing to hire a van.
In the end, rubbish will happen and we can’t beat ourselves up about it. All we can do is try to learn to make better choices next time. Don’t let creating rubbish put you off the process, all we can do is our best. Disposing of things can bring with it a lot of guilt, for many reasons, just don’t let the guilt stop you from moving forwards in your life.
While I'm sure there is more I can do I find that small positive changes are a lot more sustainable when we are trying to do better for our planet, so I will keep learning and passing on what I can to my clients. I'm proud and excited that the changes I have made so far are saving time, money and planet earth.
To find out more about working with me pop me an email or click here to check out the services I offer.