Disposing of Rubbish is a Complex Process, But it Should be Dealt With Sooner Rather Than Later
Most of us would agree that our houses and offices can get far too cluttered and full of junk. It seems like London is full of waste to the brim. And that’s not just buildings. What’s more, even if you’ve got rid of junk once, that doesn’t mean that you’ll never have to declutter your home or office again. I remember as a child that I could keep myself busy on a rainy day, clearing out old stuff at least once a year, if not more often (this was back in those days before we occupied ourselves with computer games – ah, nostalgia!).
However, decluttering and deciding what is and isn’t waste can be quite overwhelming, especially if you weren’t like child-me and have let the clutter build up. Sometimes, the only time when clutter and excess junk hit us in the face is when something drastic happens, like having to move house (or business premises in the case of commercial rubbish removal) or having to clear up after a relative has died. In extreme cases, people can just leave things that aren’t essential behind and call in professional house clearance and office clearance people to sort through and dispose of all the unwanted items in the right place. This can also be done in the case of estate clearance when there’s a whole house of odds and ends, useful and anything but useful, to sift through and deal with.
If you don’t want to involve the professional waste disposal people just yet (you’d rather call them in to take the odds and ends to the waste handling plant, the recycling depot and/or the second-hand dealers), you may still face some overwhelm related to clutter. The good news is that clutter contributes to a sense of being overwhelmed and frazzled, so by getting rid of clutter and building a habit of keeping your house free from useless junk, you’ll be doing your mental health some good.
To help you in your fight against rubbish and clutter, we’ve put together some of our best tips and ideas to help you sort through your stuff and decide what’s worth keeping and what isn’t. Once you’ve made the big decision, then we’ll be there when you call if you want someone to remove the waste from your home, office, yard, garden, garage, etc. – you’re welcome!
Don’t Declutter The Whole House At Once (Unless You Have To)
If you want to crack down on clutter and excess junk in your house just because then don’t fall into the trap of trying to get rid of it all at once. Slowly and surely wins the race, as the old saying goes. Even if you have to move house, don’t try to declutter as you go, as you are probably on a deadline. You will notice that if you live in the UK’s capital, your life is full of deadlines. The process of getting rid of waste in London is no exception. In the case of moving house, then if it’s not obviously rubbish (that dead bicycle in the back of the garage, for example, or the broken microwave) and it’s easy to pack, then just put it all in a box and deal with it when you get to your new house. Moving house is not the time to sort through your wardrobe. The only exception here is if you need to clear up after someone has died, and the landlord needs to have the property vacated as soon as possible. Contacting house clearance professionals might be the answer here, or else just take the lot to your own house and declutter it there. Just work on one drawer or one box at a time to avoid decision fatigue.
Be Strict About Books
Now, I’m a great reader, so I’m not about to go all Marie Kondo on you and say you should only have 30 books in your home. When I was growing up, that would have meant only five books per person (I had three siblings). However, there’s no need to turn every room in your house into a library. How do you strike the happy medium? Here’s what we suggest as to what books to keep and what to get rid of:
- Pass on anything that’s just kept for show or to impress people.
- Pass on any book that you’ve been intending to read for the past 10 years but have never got around to. You’re not going to get around to it. The exception is children’s classics that you hope to read to your children or grandchildren when they’re old enough.
- Old textbooks need to go. You aren’t going to use them again – seriously!
- Keep any book you love and want to read multiple times.
- Keep any book that you’ve written or that a relative has written. (Ms. Kondo’s advice would have prolific novelists like Agatha Christie not being able to keep copies of their own books.)
Opt For “Will Be” Rather Than “Might Be”
Too many people keep things that “might be useful one day”. We all know what happens in this case – the items just don’t get used. However, if you know the item actually will be useful, and you’ve already thought of a use for it – using the glass turntable plate from the broken microwave as a serving platter, for example – then you can keep it. If it merely looks useful, but you can’t think what you’d use it for, then it’s time to say goodbye to it. It goes in the waste bin.
Things Aren’t People
An awful lot of people hold onto things simply because a deceased family member once owned them. Sure, it’s great to hold onto a few items with happy memories attached. However, if the only reason why you’re holding onto something is because it once belonged to your grandma, you need to think seriously about getting rid of it. Keeping the mugs with cartoon dogs that once belonged to your grandma and actually using them is one thing; keeping her old crocheted toilet seat cover is another. By moving on the ashtray, the doilies, or the ugly kitchen chair that once belonged to a relative, you are not getting rid of or disrespecting the person. You do not have to keep everything that they once owned simply because they owned it. Sure, put Great-Uncle Roger’s war medals in a frame and display them, but there’s no need to keep his old tie collection as well (unless you wear ties and you like the look of them). Things aren’t people. Get rid of the junk in your life.
They Can Recycle More Than You Think
One reason why we catch quite a few people hanging on to useless old items that take up a lot of space, such as whiteware (fridges, dishwashers, ovens, etc.) and electronic items (that office fax machine you last used in 1998, the brick phones, the Commodore 64 computers…) is that it seems somehow wrong to throw them away when, technically speaking, they are still working. Taking up that much space in a landfill just doesn’t seem right. You want to recycle them, but they don’t take them in your regular kerbside collection.
The good news here is that these items won’t end up in the landfill – not even the old computer equipment that gets referred to as “boat anchors”. The components of old broken whiteware and electronics can all be stripped down and reused. In fact, the technical term for salvaging precious metals and the like from old electronics, especially mobile phones, is “secondary mining”. They can actually recover quite a lot of valuable resources for reuse from old electrical equipment; the wiring alone has quite a lot of copper.
It can be hard finding a suitable place or company that will take your faulty old electrical goods and dead computers – although I have to say that it has become easier over the past five years or so. The simplest solution of all is to call in a rubbish removal company offering fridge removal services and e-waste disposal services, and it will all get recycled the way that it should be.