Having lived in our house in Lower Sunbury for 12 years we have inevitably amassed a lot of clutter. A change is as good as a rest, so rather than moving house (as many people do after 10 years) we decided on a bit of a facelift.

That is when we started discovering just how much stuff we had that we really didn’t want or need any longer. Add to that things which became surplus to requirement during the facelift and I found myself looking at all this stuff wondering what to do with it.

During trips to the tip I suddenly began asking myself the question of what happens to things we offload. I was told to put surplus carpet into the landfill section. Wow! All that carpet just gets put in landfill. No wonder our planet can’t cope. It is cathartic to get rid of things we no longer need, but it left a bitter sweet taste in my mouth, knowing that I was contributing to the landfill problem. So instead of taking things to the tip next time I wondered if maybe my unwanted things may be of use to others.

I placed surplus carpet on Facebook marketplace the next time and lo and behold….I had a taker within 10 minutes. With that in mind old pieces of furniture, inherited or carried over from previous lives, joined the carpet. I made a few pounds, got rid of clutter and more importantly I did not add to the landfill problem.

We all need to think a bit more about “what happens to stuff”. Imagine how many washing machines, vacuum cleaners, old televisions etc need disposing of. Multiply your own “waste” by the population even of only your own town. It makes you think. So consider alternatives:

Facebook Marketplace: If you are on Facebook you will be able to list your items for sale or free. It is so easy and you don’t even need to spend time or effort on postage as buyers are local. It is free to use too.

Ebay: of course we all know this one. Get some money for your stuff but remember you generally need to arrange postage of items and are charged commission on sales

Freecycle: This is a group where you can offer unwanted goods for collection for free. Just register and post: www.freecycle.org.

Nextdoor: Another useful local social media tool where you can offer goods for free.

Local Charity Shops: An obvious one, but these shops raise a great deal of money for their respective good causes. I was surprised to discover that they will even take bags of clothes and shoes which are NOT good enough to sell. These are sold by weight and recycled.

Furniture Reclaim: Some charities will even arrange collection of unwanted furniture which is then either sold to raise funds or reused. Princess Alice Hospice can arrange that. QEF in Shepperton also sells furniture.

Eco Park Shop: Yes you can indeed drop off good quality items at the Eco Park in Charlton Lane and if they feel they are reusable they will put them for sale in their new Reuse Shop.

So there are plenty of places to offload your unwanted things and keep them from going into landfill. If we all just think a bit we can help each other as well as the environment.

Happy decluttering!