Has decluttering become a national sport? Apparently, after months of lockdown decluttering, us brits are expected to throw out 67 million items of clothing* along with plenty others like old furniture and tech. With hour-long queues at some recycling centres, the national clear-out has gone beyond the wardrobe and into long-ignored drawers, cupboards and attics.  

And often when we clear out, it can seem those shelves fill themselves right up again. So before you start queuing to recycle, or even replace, your things, check out these tips for tapping into the sharing economy, the renting economy and the second-hand market.

Got things cluttering up your house that you don't use? Give them a second life and keep them out of landfill! Need something for a one-off? You probably don't need to buy it! Save or even make yourself some cash (and some local friends!) with these tips.

1) Borrow from friends and neighbours 

Lend me some sugar, I am your neighbour! Across friends and neighbours, you might have everything you need between you, meaning you don't have to buy things that you only need on a one-off or use rarely in the first place! Tap into friend groups or a community network WhatsApp group and ask around – maybe someone will have the item you are looking for or would like what you want to give away!

2) Share locally 

Find people nearby giving away or lending out stuff for free on apps like NextDoor and Streetbank. The Freecycle network has been running since 2003, and the website has 9 million members who collectively save 1000 tonnes a day from landfill by giving their stuff away for free instead of binning it. 

3) Short term renting 

Can’t find what you want for free? Renting an item for a short period is a cheaper choice and saves you storage space. Lucky residents of Crystal Palace can get free delivery when renting from the Library of Thingswhich has a new branch launching in Dalston soon! 

Want a bit more choice locally? Try out the Fat Llama app and see what people in your area are happy lease out. Maybe there are a few items around your home that others would like to borrow too.  

4) Buy and sell online 

Theres a whole marketplace of places to buy and sell goods onlineOf course, there’s the old classics eBay (make sure you select ‘used’ for condition) and gumtreeand relative newcomers Facebook Marketplace and Preloved.  

5) Boot(sale)s on the ground 

Been indoors too long and miss the human touch? It might be possible in the future to set up in swaps or sales in your local community centre or church hall. Similarly, car boot sales are on hold at the moment, but they’re tough as old boot-sales and will likely be back soonSo check in here to find your local sale and guidance for when they will be up and running.  

Hungry for more? 

For more specific things around the house you might want to get hold of or get rid of, here are some more tips and tricks. 

6) What to do with old clothes

Textiles take a lot of resources and labour to make, so it's great if you can give your clothes as long a life as possible. Here are some sustainable ways to increase their wear. 


7) What to do with old tech

Found a tangle of old tech? Here's how to sort it out and pass it on, from recycling, to donating, to selling. 


8) How to share and buy secondhand books 

Want to spend more time reading, but not spend tonnes on new books? Here's how. 


9) How to declutter your life

It can seem like no matter how much you get rid of, your space is still cluttered. Try these steps to help figure out what you really want or need to keep, and how to stop the stuff from piling up again and again. 


10) Digital decluttering tips

Now that you've conquered the physical world, check out our 5 steps for decluttering your digital spaces too.