5 questions to ask yourself for your home’s New Year clear-out

25th Jan, 2019

Even if you’re not a Netflix subscriber, you may well have heard all about the tidying-up sensation that is Marie Kondo. Her new show appears to be taking the world by storm, and it might be worth a watch before doing your New Year clear-out. (A 2016 study by the enviably-named Professor Ferrari says that the more clutter people have, the lower their life satisfaction.)

Now, we’re not tidying experts here at Skip Hire Network. We don’t know about the psychology behind it all, but we are pretty good at waste and recycling and efficiency. In our experience, if you come face to face with an item you can’t bring yourself to throw away, there are four vital questions you need to ask yourself before you come to hire that skip. 

1. Is it useful?

We’ll start with arguably the most straightforward of our questions. Sure, the answer still isn’t always black and white, but it’s still easier to categorise than some of the other questions on this list. When you find an item you’re not sure about, does it still have an appreciable use? And if it does, do you use it for that purpose? Kitchen gadgets can be big culprits for this kind of thing, bought on a whim for specific meals you never got around to cooking. If you don’t use it for something, it’s not worth having around.

If you still can’t make up your mind, it’s worth setting yourself a small challenge of using your possession for its intended purpose within a set amount of time, say a week. If you don’t manage to – whether that’s because you don’t have time, or you’re not sure how, or because you just don’t fancy it – then you likely never will. In the skip it goes!

2. Do you love it?


This is the tricky one, and Marie Kondo’s uncanny ability for helping people work out the answer is why she’s got her own Netflix show. The way she likes to phrase it is “does it spark joy?” but even that can be hard to answer. Your wedding photos spark joy. A childhood book might not do so on the same level, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’d want to get rid of it. Here at Skip Hire Network, we like to pose a much easier question: did you remember exactly where it was until just now? The answer can range between “yes, right here on the windowsill” to “sort of, under the boxes in the living room. Or maybe the ones in the hall.” And that answer can help you get one step closer to a decision!

3. Could you ever find another one?

If it’s something unique and specially created for you – again, wedding photos are a good example – then obviously you’d never want to throw them away. Beloved books, though, are another matter. Sure, you might feel attached to them, but if you haven’t read them in years, exactly how strong is that attachment? Unless the book itself has been through a particularly memorable ordeal with you, it’s likely that you won’t notice it’s gone. And if you ever do fancy reading it again, what’s to stop you from buying it again? It likely won’t be a big purchase, and if you have to make it, you’ll know for certain whether it’s really worth keeping the second time around.

4. Is here the best place for it?

We’ll use shoes as an example for this one. Shoes that fit you, and that are in good repair, aren’t likely to be candidates for the rubbish bags when you hire a skip, but they can be the source of some ungodly messes in narrow hallways. It’s worth considering whether you can put them in another room, or set up some kind of storage solution for them. And, moving on from shoes, if you can’t think of anywhere in the house that’s suitable for it, you have to ask yourself – is it really worth keeping at all?

new year clearout

5. Could someone else get better use out of it than you?

Getting rid of something doesn’t have to automatically mean consigning it to landfill. In many cases, it just means moving it on from your house. A neglected child’s teddy bear, for example, might have a lot of sentimental value to you as a parent, but if it’s no longer wanted by your (possibly adult) children, you might have to be brutally honest with yourself and admit it doesn’t have much of a place within your house. In that case, rather than hiring a skip and lobbing it in, it’s worth taking it to a charity shop, or putting it on Freecycle, or even just asking around your group of friends. Who knows, it may end up in the hands of a child who will love it just as much. (The same theory can be applied to kitchen implements, except obviously the intended recipient will differ. Or they should, at least!)

This last question is especially important to us here at Skip Hire Network, as it’s one we ask ourselves every time one of our skips comes back to us. Recycling is a major part of what we do, and we take care to recycle as much of our collected waste as we possibly can. Our ultimate aim is to divert 100% of waste from landfill, and with steady advances in technology and proactive changes to our working practices, we’re edging steadily closer to that goal! Find out more about this any why so many of our customers choose us. Alternatively, if you’re all set to get started on your New Year’s clear-out, you can go straight to our homepage and enter your postcode for an instant quote on cheap, local skip hire. It’s never been easier!