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Stop Hoarding, Start Helping Brisbane Families

Stop Hoarding – Clear Out For Good!

If there’s no room for living in your living room –it’s time to stop hoarding! Decluttering not only makes your house feel bigger but passing on “stuff” you’ll never use can mean someone in need can use it.

You’re a hoarder. You’ve got ever cute sweater you ever owned. Ditto for table cloths. And shoes, nobody can throw away shoes. Or fab frocks even if they’re two sizes too small. Or those dozen gifts still in boxes and don’t forget those ironically hip glasses you wore in 1989.

Here are some Brisbane charities and not for profits who can turn your trash into treasure for people in need.

1. Wardrobe Hoarding

If you’ve got a wardrobe of clothes but nothing to wear perhaps you need to be realistic about those clothes that will fit “one day”. Remove any emotional attachment, re-gift, sell, bin or donate them to charity. Add a bead to every coat hanger and then take the bead off as you wear the outfit. In six months, anything with a bead goes to the Op shop! Check out our list of Brisbane Op Shops and Gold Coast Op Shops.

2. Hotel Collectibles

Think about all those hotel shampoos, conditioners and lotions you’ve accumulated over the years. Do you ever actually use them at home? Declutter by donating them. Charities and churches will take them off your hands for those in need.  The New Farm Neighbourhood Centre, Sandbag, Redlands Centre for Women and any charity helping the homeless will appreciate donations of bathroom products.  Share the Dignity also provides homeless women with sanitary items that they may not be able to afford.

3. Unwanted Gifts

Unwanted gifts like body wash packs, fancy soaps, photo frames, bath bombs (but no bath tub) or excess candles cluttering your cupboard can take up so much space. If you’re not going to use them, cull them. Stop hoarding them, there are countless Brisbane charities that need new, boxed items for their fundraising activities. Alternatively Assist a Sista provides furnishings and personal effects for women living in domestic violence shelters. In future, make a birthday gift list or drop plenty of hints about what you really want.

4. Hoarding in the Linen Cupboard

Remember when you were single and had a double bed? It’s long gone but you’ve still got eight sets of double sheets in horrible colours? If you’ve upgraded your winter blankets this year, your old doonas may be taking up a lot of room in your linen cupboard. Clear it all out. Many charities love old sheet sets and homeless shelters need clean blankets in good condition.

5. Missing Shoe Envy

If your shoes have worn heels, loose stitching, are rarely worn or still cause you grief and blisters, it’s time to say goodbye to them. There’s no point letting them gather dust when they’re best in the bin or on the feet of someone else who needs them. Donations can be made at most charity stores.

Looking for new shoes for the kids? Check out our article on the best school shoes

6. When Buzz Lightyear Has Lost His Spark

Have your kids outgrown their toys, are there any double ups or are some broken waiting to be fixed? Repair what you can, re-gift, sell or donate. It’s time to bring a smile to another child’s face. Similarly, old baby stuff, such as bottles, sterilisers, pumps, cots and bedding can go to a new mum in need. Before donating to a charity though, be sure that they’re safe and suitable for play. Places that accept toys in good condition include most charity shops and family charities. 

7. Clear Out the Pantry

Give your pantry a good clean out. Check the use by dates and any packets of rice or pasta for any signs of Weevils or Silverfish. Make good use of your empty plastic sealable containers in your other cupboards waiting to be used! If you find you’ve got a lot of canned goods, still in date that you simply won’t use consider popping them into the charity cage at your local shopping centre – or donating directly to The New Farm Neighbourhood Centre.

8. Too Many Surfaces

Wow, that coffee table looked amazing in your old living room – now it looks ridiculously small/large/wooden. As you’ve grown as a family, you might find you’ve moved on to a different home, with different furniture needs. Do you have a garage full of old wooden furniture or Ikea stuff that looked better at Ikea than in your kitchen? Assistasista furnishes whole homes for women living in shelters and are always in need of furniture in great condition.

9. Third Draw Down And Out

Do a quick survey amongst your friends and you’ll find that most people have that drawer in the kitchen that is a hoarders’ Pandora’s Box made up of old reading glasses, laptops, old mobile phones and other useful or valuable stuff that has been replaced over the years. Mobile phone and computer recycling is vital for the environment but also help people in need. 

10. The Treasure Shed!

Your shed might be holding some hidden treasures.  Lawn mowers in good working order, gardening tools, work tools and materials could go to a local school, “man shed” or to a community garden.  More schools are installing garden projects for students to learn the value of growing food – does your own school need resources?  If not, consider donating to your local community garden or “man shed”.  These are places where the community, often lead by retirees, grow food or build items for people in need.  Find out more on the Council website.

Clearing out the clutter is a feel good activity all round. There’s nothing like a clutter free home. It feels even better knowing that your clutter is giving someone out there comfort.

Do you have some more suggestions for ways to clear out the mess and make the world a better place? Please do comment below.  Families Magazine recommends Foodbank Brisbane as a place to gift good quality, in date food as we are always keen to help families in need in Brisbane.

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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