With the dawn of a new season brings the perfect opportunity to have a clear out and rid your cupboards of all those things you never use, no matter how much of a bargain you thought it was at the time. One of the worst things about living in a city, or being a millennial that can only just about afford an open plan apartment, is the severe lack of storage space; the fact that a storage cupboard becomes a real selling point of a property is testament to the fact that, as a whole generation, we’re just incredibly tight on space. I have to regularly clear out my cupboards, drawers and wardrobe as there’s simply no room for anything new – in fact it’s pretty much a ‘one in one out’ approach, as otherwise I have stacks of what can only be described as ‘stuff’ piled up in every corner of every room. So if the spring season has inspired you to start sorting, or you want to celebrate the sunshine by opening the windows and clearing out the clutter, then here are five ways you can rid yourself of the bits and bobs you don’t need while making a difference to someone else.
1. DONATE TO GIVE & MAKEUP
One of the things that makes me proud to be a blogger is the pure ‘can do’ attitude we all seem to possess, turning an idea into a life changing charity. Give & Makeup, if you haven’t already heard of it, supports women’s refuge charities across the UK who often flee domestic violence with little more than the clothes on their back. Imagine if you had to leave everything behind, but also imagine how much better a slick of lipgloss or a decent bottle of shampoo could make you feel if that was the only moment out of your day that you forgot the horrors you’ve experienced. You can send all kinds of cosmetics and toiletries, as well as clothing and toys, to the various refuge centres by checking out the info here. If you’re feeling extra generous, you can also donate funds or buy essential ‘parcels’ too.
2. SEEK OUT CHARITY CAMPAIGNS
You see them on the telly, you see them in your local stores… There’s always one campaign or another that is desperately getting you to send them your wares. Just like we used to send Blue Peter our tin foil and shoe laces, there’s always a destination you can donate everything from old (clean!) knickers to knackered mobile phones to – you just have to do a bit of research. Many underwear stores accept donations of old bras which can either be recycled or given to those that don’t have such luxuries, while phone shops and opticians often take in unwanted or out of date belongings that will actually do much more good than selling them on eBay for a few quid. I’ve recently sent my bras to Breast Cancer Awareness, my old specs to Africa and old bits of tech to be recycled and used to help the elderly. Google is your friend and there’s always someone happy to receive the bits you no longer want.
3. SEND TO OXFAM VIA COLLECT PLUS
It happens every season: you rifle through last years clothes, loathe them all and end up buying a complete new wardrobe. But what do you do with those perfectly good worn-only-twice dresses and flip flops that were just too big for your feet? Collect Plus are currently partnering up with Oxfam on a great campaign, where you can send a box of donations to their HQ absolutely free of charge – you just have to print off a label and drop it at one of the 5,800 locations across the UK. Not only does it encourage you to sort out what you could just do without, but it makes it easy peasy to donate those unwanted things to a charity that will help make a difference to the lives of other women around the globe. It’s a perfect way to spring clean, even if you can’t get to a charity shop.
4. GET INVOLVED WITH ‘DRESS FOR SUCCESS’
The mission of this inspirational charity is to provide economic independence for women across the globe, by providing them with professional support and career advice. Many disadvantaged women find it incredibly difficult to break free of their situation without help, but Dress For Success gives them everything they need (including smart work attire and cosmetics) to get them interview ready. If you’ve got anything that isn’t necessarily your current style but could give another woman the confidence she needs to stride into an interview with her head held high, then please donate. There are affiliates all over the world doing incredible things, so find your local support group here and help where you can.
5. BRING & BUY WITH YOUR MATES
They say one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure, and there’s no truer reflection of that than the beauty products lurking in your bathroom. Having a sort out of all the things you never used, aren’t the right shade for you or just didn’t work once you applied them, will make new for new things – but letting your mates rummage through them and pick up hidden gems will help put a smile on their face too. I’m lucky enough to receive a huge number of sample products for review purposes, but I can only get through a fraction of them on a monthly basis; every so often I sort through them and offer up a bag of goodies for £10.00, of which I donate 100% to charity. I’ve supported Movember, Breast Cancer and the Poppy Appeal in the last year alone, and they’re always over the moon to receive such a chunk of money. (I was able to raise £140.00 for the Poppy Appeal and get rid of all the junk in my office simultaneously in one night – so everyone’s a winner!)
What do you do with your unwanted beauty and fashion items? If you have any other great charities in mind that are great to support, please do leave them in the comments below.
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