How to solve one of the biggest headaches of spring cleaning – getting rid of stuff you don’t want.
The New Year is long over, and your house is still a mess.
If you were too busy (or lazy) to spring clean the first time, here's a fun fact that could give you inspo to finally get the job done.
Spring – at least in countries with four seasons – began on March 21, so what better time to get down to spring-cleaning than literally doing it in spring?
Not quite feeling it yet? To give you that extra push, here are five ways to give the stuff you want to throw out a second chance at life. After all, that’s one of the biggest challenges of successful spring cleaning.
1. Sell on Carousell
The mindset you should adopt when selling on the Carousell app is that making some petty cash beats having the item sitting around collecting dust, or contributing to our rampant throwaway culture if you just dump it.
If you price your stuff low enough, and they’re in decent condition, the buyers will come knocking.
Take decent photos and throw in more detailed descriptions to help move your items faster.
Another trick is to post regularly, so your account is always relevant. That means if you have a bunch of things to sell, don’t list everything at once, but consider putting up a new listing every week or so.
2. Donate to The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army’s thrift store outlets around the island are a repository of pre-loved items, and they welcome donations from the public.
It’s particularly convenient to donate to The Salvation Army, because you can drop off your items at their numerous Donation In Kind booths.
If your item is bulky, you can also request for their collection service to pick up the item from your house. They do appeal for an optional donation of S$60 to cover the cost of transportation.
Don’t be a cheapskate, and do pay up – after all, The Salvation Army is a charity.
3. Donate to MINDS (and help the intellectually disabled learn skills)
MINDS, or Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore, runs four thrift shops around Singapore that double up as training grounds for the intellectually disabled to learn valuable skills.
With some help and guidance, the intellectually disabled clients of MINDS work at these stores, where they learn how to interact with customers as well as adapt to retail hours.
MINDS Shops accept donations of pre-loved items from the public, such as such as clothes, bags, books, small furniture, household items and toys.
They don’t provide a collection service like The Salvation Army and there are only four shops in Singapore.
But donating to them means you are making a direct contribution to helping the intellectually disabled integrate into society.
4. Pass It On and fulfil the wish list of a needy family
This non-profit project has a genius idea – match pre-loved items with needy families who require the item.
On the Pass It On website, you can either list your item, or browse through wish lists posted by more than 200 affiliated VWOs on behalf of their clients to see if any of the things you want to donate fits the bill.
On the wish lists are refrigerators, washing machines, ovens, wardrobes, television sets and even edible items like canned food and milk powder.
There is also a short description of the recipient and why they need the item.
Since this is a charity, it means the onus is on the donor to cover the transportation cost of the item.
But it’s all for a good cause, and there is a warm fuzzy feeling knowing you’ve helped in a small way to improve someone’s life.
5. Look out for door-to-door clothes collections
While there is always the karung guni man (or woman), they’re an increasingly rare sight around the neighbourhood these days.
Instead, some Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) and schools have taken to filling this gap by conducting door-to-door collection of old clothing and even newspapers from selected HDB estates.
They usually slide a flyer under your door about two weeks ahead of the collection schedule. All you have to do is leave your items outside your door in the morning, and someone will pick them up.
Beware of scam organisations that claim to be charities, as there have been such cases reported in the newspapers. These organisations sell your clothing to make a profit, which they pocket.
If you’re unsure, call the VWO to do a quick check to make sure you’re donating your items to a worthy cause.
By Alexa Fang
Alexa is a pop-culture vulture. She lives to read, write and travel, and decided long ago that life is stranger than fiction. When she's having croissant, she thinks in French. "31 Rue Cambon" is her favourite address, and she believes that money one enjoyed spending is never money wasted.