Recycling ideas for 2013

Unless you’re already living the perfectly minimalist lifestyle, chances are there are one or two (dozen) things in your home that you really could do with getting rid of. Decluttering makes perfect sense, as less stuff means easier cleaning and a happier state of mind. However, it can be hard to throw out things that we know still hold value and that someone else might find useful, not to mention the concerns about clogging up landfill with perfectly useable stuff.

If you’re on a mission to rid your home from clutter, or to free up some space in your garage, box room or attic in 2013, here are a few creative ideas for putting your unwanted goods to new uses, and for recycling those old and unloved possessions.

Raise some cash

It is true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Just because your belongings are no longer of use to you, doesn’t mean that they won’t be the exact thing that someone else was looking for. Selling your goods online can be a little time consuming, but a bit of time invested can reap great benefits if you manage to sell them for a good price.

An alternative is to look for websites that offer to buy your items from you. CDs, electrical goods and mobile phones in particular can generate a good income, and with lots of sites offering clothing recycling for cash, those old jeans and shirts that no longer fit could end up being more valuable than you thought.

Donate for reuse

Charity shops are one way to recycle, or you could use local forums and classified providers to find a new and loving home for your unwanted goods. Don’t be tempted to ask for money for things you were going to throw away, instead just be happy that someone else can see the value in your items! Some of the popular places to advertise include:

Freecycle
Freegle
Facebook
Ecomodo
Gumtree
Vivastreet
Preloved

Upcycle

Upcycling is a fast growing trend in the UK, and vintage and shabby chic styles very much in fashion at home, the old furniture you thought had had its day may just be making a comeback. Old sideboards, tables, chairs and drawers can be given a new lease of life with a good sanding down and a lick of paint or varnish. For that perfect shabby chic finish, go for lots and lots of coats of paint from trendy designers such as Farrow and Ball or Annie Sloane.

As well as furniture, lots of other household items can be upcycled with great success. Re-covering office chairs, cushions and bolsters can bring them bang up to date, or you could try reusing ite