Declutter your home

Spring seems a long way off and the weather has been dreadful. Why not spend some time decluttering your home now before the nicer weather comes?

There may be some added benefits too – you will have more space, less to clean, less to organise and you can earn money by selling your unwanted possessions or at least feel good about giving them to someone who needs them more!

There may also be a positive impact on the cost of your home contents insurance once you have less thing to insure.

If the whole idea seems overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, here are some tips (adapted from Netmums):
Write down a list of clutter hot-spots you want to tackle and decide which is the worst – start with these.
Gather 3 boxes or bin bags – one for items you want to keep, one for items you want to get rid of and one for storage.

If you’re the sentimental type that dislikes throwing things out, a good compromise is to store things up in the loft, alternatively, find a cupboard/drawer/shelf for it that it can live happily on without invading any floor space.

If items are broken set yourself a deadline to get them fixed, if you don’t meet it, throw them away or pass them on to somebody else.

Create separate files for bills, bank statements and school information so you can locate documents quickly when you need them.

Recycle any clothes you’ve outgrown and organise draws and wardrobes so you can find items more easily.

There are various ways to recycle, including the following:-
Charity shops – local charity shops survive by selling on your unwanted items and are an essential way to raise funds for UK and worldwide charity projects. All you need to do is bag up your clothes, shoes, toys and accessories and take them on down to the charity shop during opening hours. Some shops also take books, CD’s and kitchen crockery so if you want to add these items in, it’s worth checking to see if they accept them.

Sell them online – providing the items you want to dispose of are in good condition, there’s no reason why you can’t sell them. Online auction sites are a good bet.

Freecycle, Gumtree and local Facebook groups are also a good bet for getting rid of your unwanted items.

Car boot/garage sale – sales are a great way to get the family involved; not only will it incentivise them to have a good clear out but it will help them earn a few pounds for their money box too. Check the local paper for up-coming boot sales or pick a sunny weekend to hold your own garage sale.

Get rid of any paperwork or bills that are more than 7 years old – except the obvious stuff such as birth, death and marriage certificates, pension plan documents, documents for live insurance policies, wills, house deeds and car registration documents. If you are worried about getting rid of anything permanently, another option is to take a digital photograph or scan the document and upload it to a safe place (backed up on a USB stick).

Shred any unwanted – don’t just throw it in the bin. The risk is that your details can be cloned and you could then be subject to identity fraud. A cross shredder is your best option here.

Once you’ve got rid of unwanted paperwork, opt for online statements wherever possible in the future as this saves both money and hassle.

The last step is to review the contents included in your house insurance policy (a good thing to do on a regular basis anyway). Give your local A-Plan branch a call if things have changed or if you want any further advice.