Top tips: Where to take hard to donate items.
Updated: Mar 9
For the past couple of weeks KonMari™ fever has gripped households across the UK, people have been inspired by Marie Kondos Netflix show to empty their belongings out on to their beds, kitchen worktops etc and ask themselves – “Does this Spark Joy”. If it does we've learnt that we should keep the item with confidence, if not then the item should be discarded with gratitude.
Social media has been flooded with photos of folded t-shirts and underwear, stacked upright in drawers. John Lewis has reported an uplift in sales of decluttering goods and charity shops across the country have been deluged by donations. Huffingtonpost.co.uk reports that some charity shops are even receiving clothing donations folded up in Marie Kondos’ now famous folding style!.
Many people will be visiting their local charity shops with their unwanted items this weekend - but there are some items (such as electricals) that charity shops won't accept. I always work with my clients to try and reduce the amount of discarded items that end up in landfill – my approach is reuse, regift or recycle. I also encourage clients to use EBay or Depop to sell things too – as long as the items are listed and don’t migrate back to cupboards.
But.. what happens to those discarded items that don’t make it to the charity shops or Ebay? Before putting them in the bin have a quick look at the following suggestions as, chances are, your unwanted "stuff" may "Spark Joy" for someone else.
Most high street opticians will happily take your old reading glasses from you – they are sent off to Vision Aid Overseas who distribute them around the world – giving people the gift of non blurry sight again.
...and no, Marie Kondo didn’t say only keep 30 books! If your books Spark Joy for you and are relevant to your lifestyle then keep as many as you like and enjoy them.
Not all charity shops take books but if you have some that are in good condition why not consider offering them to a local library, playgroup or school.
If you have a smart phone why not try out the app for Music Magpie, We Buy Books or Ziffit – use the bar code reader to get an immediate trade in value for your book. Whilst some books are only worth 5p others do get trade in values of £2-5 and it soon mounts up. Postage is free so all you need to do if pop them in a box and take them to your nearest MyHermes store (the courier can also collect from you).
One of my recent clients paid for her session with me through trading in some old books!
Bras – don’t burn them just yet:
If you come across any unopened packets of ladies or childrens pants (or want to buy some to donate) then Smalls for All will also take these.
It's also worth asking your local charity shop, some will accept bras if they are in good condition.
If you’ve decided that digital is the way to go for you and you're ready to sell your CD/DVD collections then Music Magpie, We Buy Books or Ziffit also offer trade ins for them. Volume is key here to get anything back but, if the charity shop doesn’t want them then you may be able to sell them on to a company that does.
Mobile Phones and Electrical Items
Have a quick look on Music Magpie and Ebay and check the prices you can get for second hand goods – you may be surprised.
Toiletries and Make Up
How many of us have a stash of miniature toiletries ‘acquired’ from hotel bathrooms that we had good intentions of using for our next weekend break but forgot to pack when we went on the break!
Before you bin your miniatures why not contact your local council to see if they have a collection place for local womens refuges or homeless centres – these places are always looking for donations to give to the people that come to them for help.
Give and Makeup is a charity that helps women in the London and Cardiff areas and will take donations by post. Some charities will also take toiletries and make up that have been opened and not used – but always check that they are in date.
British Heart Foundation will also send a van to pick up furniture or bags of donations if you are unable to get to their shops.
This isn’t a definitive list of the options that are available so I’ll continue to update the blog as I come across more – why not save it to favourites so you can check back once you’ve finished your decluttering!
Contact Sue for more information about decluttering and organising using the KonMari Method:
m: 07740 782575