5 Things To Get Rid Of This Spring Cleaning

5 Things To Get Rid Of This Spring Cleaning

It is time for spring cleaning for many of us and we can take this opportunity to revisit our purchase decisions over the years. Throwing out stuff every year is tiring and wasteful. Imagine the amount of money you would have saved if you didn’t buy that item in the first place. Without buying and hoarding so many unnecessary items, we can also save money by needing a smaller residential space.

The 3 Rs that we have known since young has evolved into multiple Rs.

  • Refuse
  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Repair
  • Repurpose
  • Recycle

We should follow them in this order so as to save money and reduce waste. If we ‘Refuse’ to buy unnecessary stuff, there will be nothing to throw away in the first place. Without hoarding, our apartment will also be easier to clean during the year as there will be less dust accumulated plus less mess.

There is also an additional R, ‘Resell’, where we can sell the things we do not need anymore for money. Ideally, we won’t reach this point as we will not need this step if we do not but things we do not need.

With just a few weeks before Lunar New Year, Let’s look at 5 categories of things we can get rid of this spring cleaning.

Clothing & Footwear

old clothes

Photo by Noémie Roussel on Unsplash 

It is custom to buy new clothes and shoes for the Lunar New Year but if we make some good choices, we can wear them throughout the whole year. Textiles only have a 4% recycling rate so we should be aware of the amount of waste it creates. 137,000 tonnes of textile and leather waste was created in 2020. Shoes that you don’t wear often will spoil easily so don’t waste money buying multiple pairs of shoes.

Tips

  1. Buy designs and styles you can wear throughout the year
  2. If you have a relatively new piece of clothing, consider skipping shopping
  3. Don’t buy cheap pieces of traditional costumes just to “get in the mood” and “for Social Media” cos we know they will end up in the wardrobe for the rest of the year and in the trash sooner or later
  4. Consider shopping for pre-loved items or renting a piece of fashion for the occasion

How To Get Rid Of? 

Electronics & Cables

electronic waste

Photo by Rafael Arkenau on Unsplash 

You might have a drawer full of used phones or random cables just in case we will need it someday. That “someday” usually doesn’t ever come. Not only does it take up space, but there is also a risk of old batteries exploding. It is time to get rid of that old computer and other electronics that are collecting dust in your storeroom. Please don’t throw electronics in the blue recycling bins as they do not belong there There are about 60,000 tonnes of electronic waste created in Singapore annually.

Tips

  • Don’t upgrade your phone every time your contract is up. Use them till they start to lag then sell your phone
  • Get rid of any cables together with the electronics it comes with
  • Consider second-hand electronics from reputable sellers

How To Get Rid Of? 

  • Attend a free workshop to repair your electronics
  • Trade-in old electronic devices like phones and laptops at PC Dreams
  • For electronics that are no longer working, drop them off at the various points below
  • Here are some other locations to get rid of e-waste
  • Sell them off at Carousell or at neighbourhood handphone shops

Food Items

food waste

Photo by Noémie Roussel on Unsplash 

What is Lunar New Year without the abundance of snacks and a whole table of food? Besides Lunar New Year, we also tend to buy a lot of food throughout the year. More food is bought than is consumed, allowing the food to spoil before we can consume them. If you are like me, I like to keep leftover sauce packets. When the leftover sauce collection starts getting out of control, it might be time to start getting rid of some of them. Also, clear your pantry for dried spices or sauces if they are there for ages. The problem with food is that it is hard to give away safely as food safety takes priority over lowering waste. 665,000 tonnes of food waste is created annually.

Tips

  • Use a grocery list
  • Buy new year snacks to share instead of every family buying their own
  • Use expiry dates as a guideline, use the smell and taste test instead
  • Know what is in your fridge and don’t buy before you use up your inventory
  • Prioritize consumption of food that is expiring soon

How To Get Rid Of?

  • Make use of ingredients in the fridge to cook up a dish
  • Keep leftovers for tomorrow
  • Give to friends and family or on Olio
  • Compost

Documents And Other Paper Mediums

paper waste

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash 

When we were young, we always look forward to letters but now, receiving a letter usually means you have a bill to pay or a wedding Ang Pow to give. How many of you still have your school notes and homework hiding in some corner of your house? It is time to get rid of these documents that you think that you might need someday. Most of the time, you will not ever touch them again. Consider giving out e-red packets this year to reduce waste and save time collecting new notes.

Paper and cardboard are on the top of the list with 1.1 million tonnes of waste created in 2020.

Tips

  • Opt for electronic options
  • Take photos of important documents and save them on cloud storage or email
  • Print double-sided

How To Get Rid Of?

  • Use as rough paper
  • Fold paper boxes for fish bones and other trash during eating
  • Sell your textbooks before they go obsolete
  • Recycle them in the blue bins
  • Donate your books
  • Sell to Karung Guni

Old Toys

old toys

Photo by Chris Hardy on Unsplash 

If you are still keeping your toys from your childhood, it might be time to check on them and get rid of some of them. When they are no longer working or damaged, there is no point keeping them. If your toys have batteries in them, they can leak and damage the toy if you leave the batteries in. Unless they are sentimental in nature or on display, it is better to give them a new life somewhere else or it’s time to say goodbye.

Tips

  • Remove batteries before putting them aside
  • Go for quality instead of quantity

How To Get Rid Of?

  • Sell on Carousell
  • Donate them

TL, DR

Spring cleaning is a chore. By reviewing our purchase decisions and consuming less, there will be fewer things to clean and get rid of during spring cleaning. With lesser stuff, there will be less dust accumulated and cleaning will also be much easier. We will also need less space and only need to purchase a smaller residential space. More importantly, we will also save money when we do not buy unnecessary stuff. We always feel that we will need that thing ‘just in case’ so we just keep them in some corner. Most of the time, it is not the case and we will just get rid of them during the annual Spring cleaning.

If you have any tips to share, please drop a comment below and let me know.

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