Months of lockdown have prompted many of us to take a long hard look at our surroundings... and tackle the clutter in our homes. So what do we do with all of our unwanted stuff? Reporter Angellica Bell has been on a mission to find out.
For lots of us a charity shop is the first port of call when we’re having a clearout. For every month charity shops have been shut during the lockdown, the charities they support have lost a whopping £28m, so they need to make up for lost time. Angellica meets the team at the British Heart Foundation charity shop in Kingston-upon-Thames who tell her they have had an amazing response since shops reopened- a record trading day. They want us all to carry on donating!
But other charities that struggle for space have had to limit what they take in. The Wood Street Mission in Manchester accepts donations for children living in poverty- mainly clothes, toys, bedding and toiletries. They usually take in drop offs from the public, but at the moment they don't have the storage space, so they are sending out a van to pick up pre-arranged donations. Unfortunately what they bring back is not always of an acceptable quality:
If the charity has to dispose of dirty or broken items it ends up having to pay, at a cost of £1.20 per bag.
Hear an RSPCA animal rescue centre tell you which of your unwanted items they can use:
When it comes to gadgets and appliances, we throw away one and a half million tonnes of electrical waste each year in the UK. Angellica has a toaster that's stopped working- she doesn't want to get rid of it if she can help it. So can she get it fixed? She gets together a list of 10 local appliance repair shops and starts ringing around. The first one tells her they don't fix domestic toasters any more because there is no point- all the parts are riveted together into one block. He says companies do this to keep the price down. It's a similar story at other places she tries... none of the shops will fix smaller domestic items like this. One campaigner tells Angellica he is far from surprised:
When you’ve had your clear out you might be ready to have your biggest ever spring clean of course! But the array of cleaning products available means they can become yet more plastic bottles to throw away… and with the chemicals some of them contain, there are questions over how environmentally friendly they might be. Bake Off winner Nancy Birtwhistle has recently turned away from shop bought cleaning products and started making her own, from ingredients such as white vinegar and essential oils. And she says she hasn’t looked back...
Nancy’s all purpose household cleaner recipe:150ml water60ml white vinegar40ml surgical spirit20 drops essential oil
Put the ingredients in a 300ml glass spray bottle, give it a good shake and it is ready to use. You could try it on mirrors, tiles, basins and work surfaces.
Please note: you should undertake a patch test to ensure suitability and follow any relevant manufacturers or suppliers guidelines. Handle materials with care. For use with adult supervision only. All necessary precautions should be taken.
ITV Tonight's 'Keep, Chuck or Clean: The Big Clearout' is on ITV at 7:30pm this Thursday, May 27th.