Many of you will experience housing changes this year. Whether you are moving from halls of residences to student houses, graduating or simply wanting a change, you will find that you have accumulated a lot of belongings. From knackered fancy dress costumes that you’ve only worn once, to old text books and random cutlery, you may find that you want a clear out to make your move that bit easier.

That’s why we are running our #ShiftYourStuff campaign again this year. All you have to do is pack up your unwanted belongings and we will pick them up at your house (if you live in the collection area) and give them to charity.  Find out how you can get involved at www.unionsouthampton.org/ShiftYourStuff.

Sometimes the hardest part can be deciding what to get rid of. Ask yourself the following questions to help you think about the value of your items – be it sentimental, financial or useful.

Do I use it?

  • If you haven’t used it in the last year, the likelihood is you won’t again.

Do I love it?

  • Does the sentimental value outweigh your desire to let it go? Does it invoke happy memories?

Is it broken?

  • It’s gathering dust in a drawer and you’ve been telling yourself you’ll fix it. Is it worth the effort? Will you ever get round to the job?

Will I need it soon?

  • Can you think of a particular use for it in the near future? If not, do you really need to keep hold of it?

Does it help me?

  • Does it make my life easier? Is there something I could not feasibly do without it? Is there something else that serves the same purpose?

Has my style changed?

  • Our tastes change and something we once loved can gradually lose its appeal over time.

Would someone else enjoy it more?

  • Just because you’re discarding items doesn’t mean they can’t go to a good home. Passing things on to friends or family, or simply donating them to charity, is a great way to benefit others while lightening your own load. Also check out sites such as Freecycle or Freegle where you can give away stuff for free and keep it out of landfills!

Can it make me money?

  • Whether it’s online, in your garage or at your local car boot sale, selling is another way to lose unwanted things – and make money to boot!

Some more tips…

  • Ask a friend: get a friend to help you with the decluttering process. Having an outside perspective can help you rationalise what to keep – and what to lose.
  • Take stock: every so often, revisit the items you have decided to keep and review your use, need and love of them.
  • One in, one out: think carefully when you buy new items, asking yourself whether you really need them. When you do, adopt a ‘one in, one out’ system so you lose an old item each time you buy a new one.
  • Recycle or upcycle: do your bit for the environment and recycle old items where possible. Visit Recycle Now to find local companies that recycle. Or why not upcycle old items to turn them into something new you can enjoy again?