How To Have A Clear-Out While Sticking To UK Lockdown Rules


With more time spent at home these past few months, you may be increasingly aware of all the things that need sorting/fixing/ditching in your space. But necessary social distancing restrictions have made having a major declutter a more complicated process. Between the thousands of charity shops forced to close and newly-reopened recycling centres commanding mile-long queues, you may be wondering how to have a clear-out during lockdown.

While donating unwanted clothing may have been your first port of call, charity shops and recycling centres across the country have asked people to hold onto items until the lockdown has lifted. They’ve also politely asked people to stop dumping bags of unwanted clothing on their doorsteps and outside recycling banks.

Fortunately, there are other ways to organise your home until normal life resumes. If your harbouring has reached ‘Monica’s secret cupboard’ levels, I’ve compiled eight ways to help organise your home during quarantine period. A 2009 University of California study found women who described their home as cluttered had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, meaning decluttering could help you feel more relaxed. And who doesn’t need that rn? So pop on some Mrs Hinch marigolds and prepare for your new Marie Kondo-style decluttered life to “spark joy.”

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1. Sort and Separate

You’ve pulled out all your clothes out of the wardrobe and now you’re standing in a sea of clothing. What next? As donation banks and charity shops aren’t accepting at the moment, the first step is to separate and sort your clothes into “wardrobe,” “drawers” and “storage” piles. If you want to get really funky with it, you can divide your ‘keep’ pile into seasons. Hang your summer wardrobe up and store away your winter threads for next season.

2. Sell & Donate

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While charity shops aren’t accepting clothing donations currently, you can still use your unwanted clothing to donate to charity. Make the load lighter by selling clothes on Depop, Ebay or even via Instagram Stories. Following successful sales, donate the money you make to your favourite charity, while clearing out your space in the process.

3. Create Masks Out Of Old Clothes

Up-cycling is really a great way of repurposing old clothing, and now more than ever the skill can be put to great use. If you have old clothes that can’t be sold or donated, why not turn them into face masks? Now that the public has been advised to wear them more regularly, the demand for face coverings is high. You can find various tips online on how to make them out of anything from t-shirts to socks. The UK government has issues a how-to guide for making cloth masks. If you prefer a visual aid, check out these tutorials from Youtube creators.

4. Organise A Socially-Distanced Clothes Swap

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I love this idea, especially when shopping and meeting up with friends is virtually non-existent these days. Instead of throwing away perfectly good clothing or unused beauty products (that are in-date), you could gift friends with a few bits you know they’d like and they can do the same in return. Drop outside the house, or post with a little message. Your loss will be their gain.

5. Choose Vacuum Bags Over Cardboard Boxes

You’ve decided to keep and store some of your unwanted items until lockdown is over, but you’re struggling for space. I hear you. For storing clothing, ditch cardboard boxes in favour of the good ol’ vacuum pack. Watching your clothes shrink before your eyes is so satisfying, and more importantly, you have loads more space than in boxes. Hide them under your bed until the time comes when you can donate them again.

Try these from John Lewis.

6. Roll Instead Of Fold

You may have seen the roll method on many cleaning guru’s Instagram pages but it’s worth a re-visit in lockdown. A great way to save space in your over-stuffed drawers is to roll items instead of fold. Of course, Marie Kondo’s ‘Kon Mari’ method is amazingly neat and incredibly satisfying to do. What’s more, you’ll be able to find your socks with much more ease.

7. Invest In Stylish Storage Solutions

Before you begin hiding things under the bed and sofa, instead maybe it’s time to invest in some super stylish storage that makes it appear that you’re a clutter-free minimalist even if you’re not. I’ve noticed that vintage-style trunks are the storage of choice for many online home accounts. If you purchase the suitcases in varying sizes, you can stack them in corners and add a little sophistication to your decor and your storage options.

I’m in love with this pair of storage trunks by Beautify

8. Dividers

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Put some Ikea-level organisation into your life with some dividers for your wardrobe, drawers and fridge. These can help separate your items by category and inspire a sense of order when life feels anything but. Divide and conquer — in a good way.



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