Too much stuff

Confession: I’m a hoarder. It’s not that the house is piled up with rubbish, it’s more of a feeling that this Allen key might come in useful for something. Sometime. So I’ll just put in the box with all my other Allen keys.

Anyhow, during the lockdown, my wife and I decided to have a clear-out. (She’s a minor hoarder compared with me.) Going through boxes of old stuff can be quite poignant but you have to be ruthless and think: I am never, ever, going to need to look at this or use this again. That’s the first difficult bit.

The next difficult bit is what to do with it. Some of it needs to go to the tip, some of it could possibly be sold on EBay, but the rest? Give it away.

The Community Furniture Project

This is a local charity which helps local people in need by giving them furniture and household goods and electrical items – the things that you donate. They are also offered for sale in their shop off Hambridge Road, Newbury, with the money raised supporting their charitable activities. They want furniture, electrical and household items including chairs, sofas, tables, beds, fridges, washing machines, bric-a-brac, bicycles and more. They can collect larger items.
www.cfpnewbury.org

Charity shops

These are starting to reopen now. The Oxfam shop in Newbury is open and says, “Items that sell particularly well are current fashion trends, quality paperback fiction and all accessories. And Oxfam is unique in that any textiles that are not sold via our shops are sent to our Wastesaver recycling plant to ensure we make as much money as possible from your generosity.” Do check before you go, and if they’re not open don’t leave bags outside; that’s fly tipping!
www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/shop-finder

The CFP and charity shops are picky about what they will accept. Furniture with fabric coverings can be tricky (fire proofing) and clothes need to be clean and in good condition, so do phone and check first.

Freegle

A really easy way of offering people in your locality things you want to get rid of. Your local community is based on your postcode but you can choose a different community. You give a description of the item and preferably a photo. If an item doesn’t get any takers, it’s automatically reposted after a few days, up to 10 times. You’ll be surprised at what people will take. Because someone living quite close to you is on the lookout for a box of Allen keys. Maybe.
www.ilovefreegle.org

NextDoor

This is “the best way to stay informed about what’s going on in your neighbourhood”. It’s a message board where people can ask for recommendations for a plumber, gardener, electrician, whatever. Like Freegle, it’s based on your local community. But it also has a section where you can sell and give away things.
nextdoor.co.uk

Both Freegle and NextDoor have ‘ghosts’ – people who reply to your offerings enthusiastically then disappear forever. Annoying but harmless.

So if you’re decluttering, don’t take things to the tip, give them away.

And the Allen keys? Maybe I should just hang on to them…

Paul Shave

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