Take small but practical steps to remove clutter from your life and donate your cast-offs to places that repackages pre-loved items.
When you are busy with your daily work or school routine, it is easy for stuff to pile up — from the mail you put off going through to the craft supplies you’re too lazy to put away, and to the ill-fitting clothes you’ll sort out later!
Find time to declutter so that you can simplify your life and enjoy your space better. Work on creating storage spaces to organise the things that are useful and give away those that you no longer want or need. Here are some tips to get you started:
If you set unrealistic goals, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and give up. Start by giving one item away each day. It could be a toy your child has outgrown or a shirt that no longer fits you. You can increase this number once you get the hang of it.
If you have many variations of the same thing, give some away. For example, if you have many mugs and you really only use one or two, donate the rest. If you can’t bring yourself to throw them away, put them in a box dedicated to such items and label it with an inventory list. Tell yourself that you will donate the whole box if it remains unopened in three months or a year.Toss expired products
From food items to make-up products, if they have expired, it is safer to toss them. Refrain from stocking up on such items unless you are sure you will get round to using them before they expire. When items with expiry dates go on sale, it often means they are nearing their sell-by date.
Once you have removed items, do not be tempted to fill up the space with new things. Give your remaining stuff space to breathe so you can see what you have and reach for what you need easily.Create project lists
For items such as family photos, collectibles and other treasured items, set them aside but note down how you can organise them. Think of creative ways to make them a bigger part of your life rather than hide them at the back of the storeroom.
Don’t just toss the items that you no longer want or need. Instead of adding to the 200,000 tonnes of waste that head to the Semakau Landfill each year, give these items a new lease of life by donating them to worthy causes. Do make sure they are in working or usable condition first, unless the charity specifies otherwise.
Places to donate your pre-loved items*
*During this Circuit Breaker period, delivering your unwanted stuff is not considered an ‘essential’ activity, so please be responsible and do not head out for this purpose. For now, store your unwanted stuff in paper or plastic bags; when travel restrictions are lifted, you can easily grab them and go!
Pass it on
This online portal, started by Central Singapore CDC and managed by The Helping Hand, distributes useful pre-loved stuff to benefit the underprivileged. You can list the items you wish to donate, or fulfil requests posted on the wishlist page.
Items to donate: furniture, baby cot, home appliances, medical aids, mobility aids and learning aids
Check out: www.passiton.org.sg
Thrift Store @ Yishun (store will reopen on 13 April 2020)
With the aim to turn“Trash into Treasure”, donated items here are sold at the store to raise funds for underprivileged families and mission groups doing charity work in other parts of the world.
Items to donate: everything — whether used or new — including toys, books, kitchenware, electronics, clothes, shoes and accessories
Address: 1 Yishun Industrial Street 1, #05-15/16 A’Posh BizHub, Singapore 768160
Check out: siloamxperience.org/index.php/thrift-store
The social enterprise arm of Catholic charity Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP) has a store selling pre-loved goods. Proceeds go towards helping the underprivileged in Singapore.
Items to donate: pre-loved fashion items, kitchenware, household items, electronics and other knick-knacks
Address: 501 Geylang Road, Singapore 389459
Check out: ssvpshop.sg
Babes Pregnancy Crisis Support
This crisis service reaches out to pregnant teenage girls who are in need of guidance and support. Donations help fund medical expenses and baby necessities.
Items to donate: unexpired formulated milk powder, diapers, pre-loved babies’ clothes, prams and strollers
Address: 26 Jalan Klinik #01-42/52, Singapore 160026
Email: email@example.com (due to space constraints, email before heading down)
Check out: babes.org.sg
Swedish brand H&M has an ongoing recycling drive for collection of clothes and textiles from any brand in any condition. Clothes that can be reworn will be sold as secondhand clothes while those that cannot will be turned into other products (such as cleaning cloths) or shredded and used as insulation material.
Items to donate: clothes and textiles
Address: H&M outlets in Singapore (usually next to the cashier)
Check out: https://hmgroup.com/sustainability/circular-and-climate-positive/recycling.html
The Green Square
This recycling initiative collects pre-loved items for donation from your doorstep. You can schedule a collection time and simply leave the items outside your home; otherwise, bring the items to collection points.
Items to donate: clean clothes, wearable paired shoes, household linen, accessories such as belts and bags
Check out: greensquare.sg
MINDS runs four thrift stores located around Singapore and selling donated items to the public. The stores provide opportunities for MINDS trainees to interact with customers and learn the day-to-day operations of managing a store.
Items to donate: furniture, electronic gadgets, musical instruments, collectibles, hardware
Address: MINDS Shop@Woodlands, Margaret & Rosyth MINDS Shop Plus@NTUC Eldercare Silver Activity Centre
Check out: www.se.minds.org.sg/minds-shop
The Humanitarian Organisation of Migrant Economics (HOME) is an anti-trafficking body that aims to celebrate and protect migrant workers’ dignity and rights.
Items to donate: household items (detergent, cleaning chemicals and toiletries), desktop computers, laptops, household appliances, healthcare equipment
Address: 304 Orchard Road, #06-22 Lucky Plaza, Singapore 238863
Check out: home.org.sg
Foodbank allows companies and people to deposit or donate unwanted food for the needy via a network of partners.
Items to donate: unopened and unexpired canned food or dried goods
Address: Foodbank boxes are located in various locations, such as Forum the Shopping Mall, OneKM Mall, City Square Mall and VivoCity
Check out: foodbank.sg
SOSD is a volunteer-run organisation that rescues and rehomes stray dogs. Donation of pet-related items go a long way towards lessening their financial burden.
Items to donate: kibble, chewables, flea and tick protection, puppy milk, towels, dog crates, supplements
Address: 59 Sungei Tengah Road, Block T, #01-42, Singapore 699014
Check out: sosd.org.sg