Guest Post: Make Do and Mend

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Jen Hello there!

The lovely people at Any Good to You have very kindly let me do a guest post on their blog today!

So who am I?

I am Jen, and I am currently nearly halfway through My Make Do and Mend Year- a year of buying nothing new!

I live in the sunny (?!) South-West of England with my lovely hubby, our 2 gorgeous boys, and 2 slightly irritating cats.

Egg box xmas tree

We embarked upon our mission at the beginning of September last year, and I have to confess that it was largely (all) my idea. Hubby has come round though, and the Smalls are Small enough not to really take too much notice!

The last 6 months have seen us making, making do, mending, thrifting, re-purposing, re-loving… you get the idea.

Monster sick1

And we have had to look at alternative sources for things that we need.

Which brings me on to sharing sites, like Any Good To You.

They are a brilliant resource for us, as it has meant that we have been able to ‘re-home’ things that would otherwise have been thrown away, and we have also been able to clear some of our clutter with a clear conscience as well!

You obviously don’t have to be on a mission like ours to make use of sharing sites. In the current economic climate, they are experiencing a real upsurge in popularity as people seek to save money wherever they can.

car boot coat1

BUT it is not all about money saving. I think sharing sites are principally about re-use. The world does not have an infinite supply of resources to satisfy our seemingly insatiable demands for yet more ‘stuff’. If some of the ‘stuff’ we have accumulated has outlived it’s use to us, then surely it is only right and proper to pass it on to someone else who will give it a good home, and get additional use from it.

The benefits are multiple: the giver gets rid of some stuff with a clear conscience and very little effort; the stuff is saved from landfill (which we are rapidly running out of); the receiver gets what they need, for free, and without having to buy new, therefore saving resources!

Now, that is what I call WIN WIN!!

You can read all about My Make Do and Mend Year in far too much detail on the blog here: www.mymakedoandmendyear.wordpress.com

And you can follow me on Twitter: @makeandmendyear

Thanks for reading!!

Time for a New Year Declutter

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I thought it would be nice to start 2012 a little differently, so I asked Rachel Papworth from Green and Tidy if she would be willing to write our first post for the new year, which she has so kindly done.  So, enough from me, over to Rachel.

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Rachel Papworth

Rachel Papworth

I’m Rachel Papworth.  Through Green and Tidy, I help people who have way too much stuff, to declutter and create home they love, homes that support them to live the lives they want.

A large part of my motivation for decluttering and organising is how essential it is to minimising your environmental impact.

When you regularly declutter and organise, you keep stuff in circulation, rather than hoarding and storing it. So other people use it rather than buying new.

You consume less because you don’t buy stuff to replace what you can’t find, stuff you’ve forgotten you’ve got or stuff that’s got damaged or broken because it wasn’t stored carefully. You’re not constantly knocking things off piles of clutter.

You need less space because you’ve got less stuff.

So I’m a massive fan of sites like AnyGoodToYou, which help people to find new users for the stuff they no longer want or need.

If you’re a regular user of the site, you probably list your unwanted furniture, clothing, books, games and CDs on AnyGoodToYou without a second thought.

But are you still sending stuff to landfill that could find a new lease of life through the site?

Here are some things you might not have thought to offer:

  • Corks from wine bottles – people make them into cork boards.
  • Food – whether it’s a glut from your allotment, the chocolates you want out of your house now that Christmas is over, those herbal teas you never liked, or bags of pulses you know you’ll never get round to using. Don’t worry about best before dates (though it’s best to compost anything that’s gone past a ‘use by’ date).
  • Broken jewellery – popular among craft types, who remake it.
  • Jam jars – taken by people who make their own jams and chutneys.
  • Opened cosmetics and toiletries – lots of people are happy to take them even though they’ve been opened.
  • Empty shuttlecock tubes – useful for posting documents.
  • Out of date newspapers/magazines – I pick up a neighbour’s newspaper when she’s finished with it. I don’t mind reading it a day or so late.
  • Empty yoghurt pots – gardeners use them for sprouting seeds and protecting seedlings.
  • Used padded envelopes – they can be used over and over again. Why buy new?
  • Packing peanuts/wotsits etc – popular with ebay sellers.

Do you pass on/have you passed on any unusual items through AnyGoodToYou?

I am sure that you will all join me in thanking Rachel for taking the time over Christmas to write this post, some good advice, why not let us know in the comments what you think, add your own ideas of things that people could be listing or answer Rachel’s question about unusual items you have listed.

You can also receive a free decluttering masterclass plus regular hints, tips and inspirational stories, by  joining the Green and Tidy community here.

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