Friday, 15 January 2016

How to find a new home for your stuff

You have clothes, books, kitchen wares etc. that you don't need anymore but you may not know where to donate them. Or maybe you are willing to part with some of your belongings but you also want to make sure that they will help towards a good cause. 
This list is by no means exhaustive. I haven't listed the very well-known charity shops - specifically because they are very well-known. If you want to suggest some other websites or organisations based in London, feel free to mention them in the comments. 

Olio - food (Greater London)
A relatively new app that enables you to reduce your food waste. 
If you need to empty your cupboard before moving out or you are about to go on a holiday but have plenty of good food in store that will go to waste, Olio enables you to find people interested in taking your food surplus off your hands. 
I haven't tried Olio yet but I am all for reducing food waste!

Emmaus - furniture, clothes, electrical items (England, Scotland, Wales)
A charity helping homeless people to get back on their feet and tackling social exclusion in general.
Emmaus is a very well-know charity in France. It has been operating in the UK since the 1990s. In 2014-2015 Emmaus saved more than 4000 tonnes of goods from going to landfill. Many of Emmaus communities have workshops where companions, staff and volunteers work together to restore furniture. 
Emmaus has 4 shops in London. They can collect donations!

Enviromate - construction materials (UK wide) 
You can either trade or donate building materials. You don't need to be a tradesman to join. I've discovered this website this week and I've immediately set up an account as I am about to start some renovation work. My aim is to use Enviromate to reduce the amount of materials going to landfill. 
I'll let you know how it goes.  

The Bike Project - bikes (London)
This award winning charity gives bikes to refugees, teach them how to cycle in London and also how to repair bikes. 
To give them your old bike, you have to register it on their website and drop it at one of their 6 collection points (NW11, N12, E8, E1W, SE5, SW19). 

TRAID - clothes (UK)
It's a charity working to stop clothes from being thrown away. 
You can donate in one of their stores or drop your clothes in a bag in one of their banks. You can also arrange a collection at your home if you have prepared a big pile of clothes for them to collect. Click here to book a collection. 
Until February 1st TRAID collects clothes for refugees. You can drop off donations in bags clearly marked 'For refugees' in one of TRAID's 11 charity shops, in their Wembley warehouse. Click here to find out more about this special operation. 

You can also post free adverts on FreegleStreetbank and Streetlife. You can also check what your local homeless shelter needs. When my husband was travelling a lot of work, he was collecting wash bags from airlines. A couple of years ago I gave a big bag full of them to Ashford Place in Cricklewood. 

P.S: if one of you needs a cat net give me a shout! I received this unwanted gift last year when I ordered some food for my cat. I think cat nets are safety nets to stop your cat jumping of the window. Freebies are a scourge. They should be banned, in my opinion.