Top Tips for Your Spring Clear-Out

Spring is here and what better time to have a thorough clear-out of your home, dust away the cobwebs and get rid of clutter to create more space. But organising your home can seem like a huge job and it can be difficult to know where to start with decluttering your house. But our handy guide is full of our expert tips for the best way to declutter your home quickly and easily.

Start Small

Clearing out your whole house might seem like too big of a project. So, start small and go through one room at a time. Decluttering one bedroom will be a breeze! Once that room is done, move on to the next one. Take on the project in an organised manner and don’t expect to get everything done in one day. It might take a couple of weekends to give everything a thorough decluttering.

Get the Right Tools

You’ll want to make sure you have the right equipment to hand before you start clearing out your home. We suggest using strong bin bags or garden sacks and cardboard boxes for items you want to throw, sell or donate. You might also want to use rubber gloves, a spray cleaner and a cloth to clean out the nooks and crannies of your home that haven’t been touched for a while! Lastly, you’ll probably also need a vacuum cleaner, to give everything a good clean when you’ve moved the items out.

Keep, Chuck, Sell, Donate

As you’re going through each room, you’ll need to decide what you’ll be keeping and what will be thrown away, sold, or donated to charity. As you declutter, put things in the right piles, bags and boxes, clearly labelled so there’s no confusion. It can be helpful to use the one-year rule when deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. If you find something that you haven’t thought of or used in over a year, it’s probably time to get rid of it.

Items that are past their best or unsalvageable should be thrown away or recycled. But remember, some people might like a project to upcycle furniture. It might be worth advertising it on social media to see if anyone in your area could make use of it before you chuck it. Items that are still in good condition, but you don’t use anymore should be donated or sold on rather than thrown away.

Recruit Helpers

Some people love nothing more than a good declutter. If you have a friend or family member who you know is an expert organiser, ask them to join you for your spring clear-out. Having another person can also help you when it comes to deciding what to keep and what to throw away. An outsider might be more ruthless if they don’t have the same emotional attachment to items that you might have!

Stay Focused

It can be easy to get distracted when you’re clearing out your home. You’ll probably come across photo albums, old birthday cards, school reports, or children’s art that makes you want to stop and reminisce. But it’s important to stay focused! You don’t want to get too comfy looking at things and then get behind with the declutter. If there are some things you want to take a proper look at, put them to one side to peruse later. You can then make a decision on whether you want to keep them or not.

Clean Up at the End

When you’re working through each room, make sure to give everything a thorough clean, including behind pieces of furniture you might not usually move. Once you’ve decided what you’re keeping, take the time to put everything back where it belongs in an organised manner.

You’ll then need to sort the items that you’re getting rid of. Things that you’re selling should be advertised appropriately and items you’re donating should be taken to the charity shop. Remember to call them before you arrive though, to check that they’re taking donations. You could otherwise face a wasted journey and have to unload everything again.

Things you’re throwing away should be put in the relevant recycling or waste bin or taken to the tip. If you have a lot of items, you could have to take a few trips to get rid of everything. Instead, a house clearance service could be more beneficial.

Away With It offers house clearance in Essex and the surrounding areas of East London, offering a reliable and professional service. We can remove a whole house’s worth of junk or just a few items. We recycle or reuse 80% of the items we clear, taking suitable items to charity and disposing of the rest in the most eco-friendly way possible. If you’re having a spring clear-out and need assistance with getting rid of your junk, contact us for more information.

How to Prepare Your Garden for the Spring

Spring is almost here, and with it will come warmer weather and a blossoming garden. But before we can enjoy our gardens again, there are a few steps to take to tidy up after the long winter and ensure our garden is ready for spring. Below are our top tips for what you should do to prepare your garden for the springtime.

Clean and Sharpen Tools

Your first step will be to assess your tools and see what might need cleaning, sharpening, or replacing. Regular maintenance and cleaning of your tools will not only keep them working as they should but will also prevent bacteria and disease from being spread around your garden.

Clean your tools with hot water and scrub with a stiff brush or wire to remove any soil. Sharpen and apply natural oils to the metal to keep them in good condition.

Remove Weeds

Your first step is to go over the garden and remove any weeds. The most efficient way to do this is hand-weeding, pulling out the entire plant. This will stop any roots from remaining underground which can regrow into new plants. You should also aim to get rid of weeds when they’re young, so they don’t have a chance to spread or develop wider roots. It can be better to weed before the Spring, when the soil is moist, as it will be easier to ensure the whole plant is removed.

Prune Plants and Hedges

Before your plants start to regrow in the Spring and after the frosts have passed, you should cut back plants, bushes and hedges to make room for the new shoots. As well as pruning, you should clear up any dead leaves, stalks and branches that have fallen to the ground. If left, bacteria can develop which can infect your plants with diseases when they begin to grow again.

Clean Your Garden Furniture

The winter weather can really take a toll on our garden furniture. You should take this opportunity to get it cleaned up again and ready for action in the spring and summer months. Plastic furniture can easily be cleaned with hot soapy water and a sponge to get it looking good as new. Wooden furniture will need a wood-appropriate cleaner followed by an oil to seal and protect it. You’ll need to leave the oil to dry properly, so if you don’t have a shed or garage big enough to store the furniture whilst the oil dries, wait until there’s some dry weather forecast.

You should also sweep and clean your patio or decking, removing any debris and algae that might have built up over the winter. If you have plant pots, give these a going over too to get them looking fresh again.

Remove Pests

It’s best to get on top of pest control well before you want to start growing again in the Spring. Snails and slugs can sometimes be found hibernating in your plants and can be disposed of. You should check under leaves for bugs and also check your compost for white vine weevil larvae. Get rid of what you find and use an appropriate pest control treatment if required.

Prepare Beds

Before planting season begins, you’ll need to make sure you have enough space to plant. So, take the time now to build new garden beds and planters. If you already have flower beds, clear them out of any debris and plants that are no longer viable. Most organic matter can be put into your compost but be careful not to include any weeds as this can cause problems later on – instead, ensure weeds are properly disposed of by burning them or putting them in the garden waste. Rake the soil to improve air flow and add topsoil, compost or fertiliser to ensure it’s workable and ready for planting.

Plan Your Planting Calendar

Once your garden is prepared, you’re ready to start planning your planting calendar and buying seeds. Decide what plants you’ll want in your garden this year, how much space you have, and what month each type of seed will need to be planted to ensure proper growth. Planting too late could mean the plant doesn’t mature properly, whereas planting too early can cause problems if the temperature isn’t right for optimum growth. By planning out your planting calendar, you can ensure your garden blooms beautifully.

 

If you’re clearing out your garden for spring, Away With It can assist with your garden waste removal in Essex and London. We can clear everything, including old furniture, branches, leaves, and turf. We’ll also make sure to sweep and rake up after ourselves to leave your garden neat and tidy. Contact us for more information about our garden rubbish clearance.

How to Reduce Waste in Your Business

Reducing waste in your business can bring many different benefits. Not only will it improve your sustainability credentials as a business, but you’ll also save money and even increase customer satisfaction.

By making some changes in your commercial waste management, you can help the environment and your waste disposal costs. Below are our top tips to reduce waste and increase your recycling rates in your business.

Find Out Where the Waste is Coming From

First, you’ll need to find out where the waste is coming from in your business. Speak to your staff about what they think goes to waste and look at what your business produces, what is used, and what gets thrown away. You should look at every area of your business, from the staff room and back office to the shop floor and customer areas.

There might be materials and processes that you can cut back on or cut out completely. It might be that you can reduce the amount you print or even get rid of your printer. Instead of giving customers plastic bags, you could have reusable bags available to buy. By analysing exactly where the waste is coming from, you can make practical and positive steps to reducing the waste produced by your business, as well as save costs.

Reduce Your Packaging

Around one-fifth of the waste we produce is packaging materials, adding up to around five million tonnes of household packaging going to waste every year in the UK. Of course, some packaging is necessary for transporting goods, extending the shelf life of food, and keeping items protected. However, most businesses could benefit from looking at the packaging they produce and seeing where improvement can be made.

It might be that your business is just using too much packaging, and you can reduce what you use. Not only will this help to make your processes more eco-friendly, but you’ll also save money on packaging costs.

You could see if you could swap some of the materials you use for something that is recyclable and more sustainable. You should aim to reduce the amount of plastic you use in your packaging as much as possible, and instead swap to paper, cardboard, or compostable alternatives. For example, instead of using plastic polywrap, you could use materials made from potato starch that customers can put in their compost bins.

Improve Your Recycling Processes

You can reduce the landfill waste your business produces internally too. You should also look at your business processes and staff behaviour to ensure you’re doing everything you can to reuse and recycle items.

You should make recycling bins highly visible and ensure all staff are trained on what can and can’t be recycled. It might be helpful to use colour-coded bins for each type of recycling to ensure items are disposed of correctly. You should make it easy for staff to recycle, so ensure there are just as many recycle bins around as there are normal waste bins. You should also do the same in customer areas, with clear signage on what type of material should go in which bin.

Provide Staff with Reusable Items

To reduce the use of plastic water bottles and single-use coffee cups in your business, you could instead provide your staff with reusable water bottles and travel mugs. You could produce items with your company logo on it for, staff to use when they’re at work and also when they’re out and about. You should make sure staff rooms are properly equipped with cups, cutlery, and crockery, as well as facilities to wash them up, rather than using single-use plastic items.

Engage Staff and Customers in Recycling

You could make sure both staff and customers are engaged in recycling by implementing various initiatives.

For staff, you could have a recycling awareness day, with activities and training focused on recycling and why it’s important. Or you could hold a ‘Swap Day’ for staff to bring in their unused books, DVDs, games, and anything else they might have at home that someone else could make use of.

For customers, make sure there is clear information for recycling on the business premises, and also on any packaging. Depending on your type of business, you could implement an initiative where if customers bring their own reusable item – for example, a container for takeaway food or a travel mug for takeaway drinks – they get a discount.

 

Away With It is a waste removal expert, providing commercial waste removal in Essex and East London. We can accommodate all sorts of business and can remove all sorts of waste, including food, bottles, bag collections, and even large items like furniture and electrical goods. We can provide a free waste audit to determine the most cost-effective solution for your business, plus we recycle or reuse 80% of the waste we collect, helping you to improve your green credentials.

Contact us to see how we can help with your business waste collection in Essex and East London today.

4 Storage Solutions for Small Spaces

Storage space is precious at the best of times, but even more so when you’re short on square footage. If you’ve already taken steps to remove your household junk to free up space, next you’ll want to find some handy storage solutions.

It can be tricky to know where to start with creating more storage in smaller homes. But by using these helpful methods, you can create more storage in your home and still save space.

Kitchen Island with Storage

If you have some extra space on your kitchen floor, but don’t have many cupboards or surface space, a kitchen island can be a great solution. Not only does it give you some extra counter space for preparing food, but it can also provide ample storage space underneath, for food or kitchen equipment. You can either build in a static island, or for a simple solution you can get an island on wheels, so you can wheel it out when you need the counter space but keep it tucked away way when it’s not in use and not lose any storage space.

Understairs Storage

You’ll likely have some space underneath your stairs that isn’t being utilised to its maximum potential. You can either use built-in cupboards to really make the most of this space or use modular storage solutions to build up storage to fit the space yourself. As well as cupboards, you can also build in shelving and even a small desk, to use as a mini work from home office. Or you can build in bookshelves and a storage bench for a multi-use mini library, reading nook, and storage.

Multi-Use Furniture

When you’re living in a small space, multi-use furniture is always going to be a benefit, having twice the practicality without taking up double the space. Storage benches or ottomans can be used to store all types of things, from extra blankets to toys, and can be used for extra seats when you have guests. You can also get sofas and beds which have built-in storage space or drawers underneath, for even more storage space. You can also use a bookshelf that includes a fold-down table, so you can fold it down to eat meals or to work on your laptop and fold it back up when you no longer need the table.  

Open Shelves

When you have a small space, you should make the most of as much wall space as possible. Open shelves are a simple way of adding more storage to your home whilst also maximizing the available space. They can be especially helpful in kitchens, giving you easy access to your equipment and staple foods. You can even style them so they look great as well as being practical – coordinate your kitchenware or use mason jars for your dry goods or that rustic feel!

 

If you want to create more space in your home, the best place to start is to get rid of the things you no longer need. Away With It offers house clearance services in Essex and East London, whether you need to remove just a few items or a whole property’s worth. Our friendly team will take the stress out of removing your household junk, coming to your home at a convenient time, loading the truck with your rubbish, and sweeping up to leave your property clean and tidy. We can accommodate all types of property, from the basement all the way to the loft.

Contact us to see how we can help remove your household junk and create more space in your home.

How to Reduce Waste This Christmas

Christmas is the time where we all gather with our loved ones to celebrate, with gifts, food, and festivities. It’s often a time for indulgence and luxury – however, with this extravagance often comes a lot of waste which ends up in landfill.

However, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy Christmas also vastly reduce the waste and rubbish that’s produced by the celebrations. Our tips can help you to reduce waste this Christmas. 

Reduce Food Waste

You’ll likely enjoy many fantastic meals around Christmas – but did you know, around two million turkeys and 17 million Brussel sprouts are thrown away every year at Christmas? Many people buy more food than they need in fear of running out over the festive period with family visiting, but this just inevitably creates more waste.

The solution is to plan your meals carefully and only buy what you need. If you have leftovers, make sure you plan to use them, with turkey sandwiches or Boxing Day turkey curry. You can also make various soups and sauces from vegetable leftovers. If you’re not able to use your leftovers straight away, you can freeze them, or put them on the compost heap. When you buy food, you should aim to purchase groceries with minimal plastic packaging. And always make sure to take your reusable bags with you to the shops!

Reduce Waste from Christmas Cards

It’s estimated that around one billion Christmas cards will be thrown away once the festivities are over. Instead of sending a physical card to your loved ones, you could send an e-card instead. You could make a donation to charity with the money you save buying and posting Christmas cards, and you could encourage your friends and family to do the same.

If you do receive any cards, you should recycle them where possible. Not every card will be recyclable, as cards that have glitter on them aren’t suitable for recycling. You could reuse these for Christmas arts and crafts, maybe by making decorations for next year.

Reduce Waste from Christmas Gifts

Part of the joy of Christmas is buying gifts for your loved ones and seeing the look on their faces when they open just what they always wanted. However, it’s estimated that shoppers spend around £700 million each year on gifts that are unwanted, with these items going to waste.

Don’t be afraid to regift items that you may have previously received but don’t use – your Auntie might love that slow cooker that you’ve never used. You should also look around charity shops instead of buying brand new items. A good alternative to buying a present that might go to waste is to buy experience gifts instead, like bungee jumping or a meal out at a nice restaurant.

Reduce Waste from Christmas Wrapping

Wrapping up your Christmas presents with beautiful wrapping paper and ribbons is all part of the Christmas experience. However, much of the standard wrapping paper that’s used for gifts contain plastics and isn’t recyclable – so it all ends up in the landfill.

Many shops are now offering recyclable wrapping paper, made from brown paper, and you can even get recyclable sellotape. You can decorate brown paper packages with some natural winter foliage, foraged from your local woodland for an extra Christmas flourish. Alternatively, you can buy reusable fabric wrapping which you can use again and again every Christmas.

 

Away With It knows how important it is to reduce waste that goes to landfill. That’s why we reuse and recycle 80% of the rubbish we collect, either taking it to the relevant recycling centre or donate useable items to charity.

Contact us for waste removal services in Essex and London, including house clearance, garden waste removal, and commercial waste removal.

End of Tenancy Checklist for Tenants

Moving is often a complicated process and for tenants moving out of rented property, there are even more steps that need to be taken. Our below checklist can help tenants to move out and make sure everything has been taken care of.

Find Your Documents

When you know you’ll be moving out of your rented accommodation, the first thing you should do is locate your documents. You should find and read your tenancy agreement and the inventory that would have been given to you at the beginning of your tenancy.

The tenancy agreement will state how much notice you’ll have to give, which is usually at least one month. If you’re in a fixed-term tenancy and you’re ending it early, the agreement will set out what steps need to be taken to do this.

The inventory will describe the condition of the property when you moved in, so you’ll know how you’ll have to leave it when you move out. 

Notify the Landlord and Utilities

The first person you’ll have to notify when you move out of rented accommodation is the landlord. This is especially important if you are in a fixed-term tenancy that you are ending early, as you may need to negotiate the terms to end the tenancy.

Once you have confirmed with your landlord, you will then need to notify the utility providers, like electric, water, and gas. They will need to know the date you will be moving out and some providers may need meter readings given on this end date. You’ll also need to inform the council that you won’t be paying council tax for that property after your moving date.

Update Your Address

Once you have your new accommodation arranged, you should update any organisation that holds your personal details with your new address. This will include your bank, doctors, employer, insurance companies, the DVLA, the HMRC, and friends and family.

You might also want to set up a post redirection through Royal Mail, so any mail that gets sent to your old address will be automatically forwarded to your new address.

Remove Your Belongings

You will need to make sure all your belongings are removed from the property before your end of tenancy date. If your landlord has to remove anything that belongs to you or isn’t in the inventory, you may lose some or all of your deposit. You will have to make sure every room and cupboard is cleared, including the loft, garden shed, and garage if your property has them.

If you have been living somewhere for a long time, it can be easy for items to accumulate. It may be that you have a lot of things that you don’t want to bring with you to your new property. You could find it helpful to hire a professional waste removal company like Away With It to assist with house clearance or garage clearance. We can make your move hassle-free, by removing any items that can’t be left in the property and disposing of them or recycling them. We can get rid of a single item or multiple loads, so no matter what you have left in your rented home, we can make sure it’s taken away. We’ll even sweep up when we’re done, so you’ll have less cleaning to do for your end-of-tenancy.

Clean and Repairs

Once the property is empty, you can start on the repairs and deep cleaning. Depending on your inventory, you may need to go around the rooms and make minor repairs, like filling in holes in the wall where you’ve put picture hooks or painting a wall back to its original colour. The number of repairs and decoration amendments you’ll need to make will depend on what consent you had from your landlord when you did any decorating, and what the terms of the tenancy agreement are. 

You’ll also have to deep clean the property before you leave. Cleaning is a common reason that deposits are disputed at the end of tenancies, so you’ll want to ensure a thorough job is done. You do not have to hire a professional cleaning company to do this, but you might find it beneficial as they will likely have experience with end of tenancy cleaning, so will know exactly what needs to be done. If you do hire a cleaning company, make sure to keep any receipts. Some letting agencies may have a cleaning company that they can recommend, which can help to save deposit disputes. However, you will not have to use their recommended company if you prefer not to.

Final Inspection

You should always attend the final inspection and check-out inventory, which usually happens a few days before your end of tenancy date. The landlord or letting agent will walk around the property and check the condition matches the check-in inventory. If anything looks to be wrong, you may have to discuss this with your landlord or letting agent, or you may lose some of your deposit if a repair or removal needs to be done.

You should also take your own photos once your items have been removed, any repairs have been completed, and the deep cleaning has been done. You can then use these as evidence if there are any deposit disputes.

Lock Up and Return Keys

On your final day of the tenancy, you should make sure all the doors and windows are locked when you leave, including the back door, the shed, and the garage if there is one. You should leave any instruction manuals for appliances that are being left are in an obvious place for the next tenant to find. You should then return the keys to the landlord or letting agent, as instructed in your end of tenancy terms.  

Update Rental Standing Order

The last thing you’ll need to do when you end a tenancy is to update your bank when the final rent payment has been sent from your account. You will usually have the rent on a continuous standing order, which means that the payment will continue to send unless you cancel it yourself.

 

If you’re moving out of your property and need help to remove unwanted items, Away With It can help. We provide Romford house clearance, Ilford house clearance, and waste removal services all across Essex and the surrounding areas. Contact us to talk to our expert waste removal team members about how we can help with your house clearance.  

5 Top Tips for Downsizing Your Home

There are many reasons you might be downsizing your home. You might just need less space, or you might want to save money. Downsizing your home can be a great way of reducing the time and cost that goes into bigger properties. If you don’t need lots of space, living in a smaller home can also be much less stressful when you have less to deal with.

Whatever your reason for downsizing, we’ve found some top tips to effectively declutter before you downsize, so you’ll be ready for your move.

Start Decluttering in Plenty of Time

Decluttering your home can be overwhelming, so you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to work through it at a pace that you’re comfortable with. You’ll want to start at least three months before you’re due to move, but you can never really start too early! Ideally, you’ll have the majority of the decluttering done before the last month prior to your move, so you can focus on the admin that comes with moving knowing that the decluttering has been dealt with.

It might be helpful to start thinking about the bigger pieces of furniture, like beds and sofas, first. This way, if you come across any delays then you won’t have to waste money moving these bigger items to your new property.

Get Clear Measurements of Your New Home

You’ll need to have a clear idea of how big each room is in your new home, so you know exactly what furniture will fit in it. Inspect the floorplan and, if possible, take your own measurements if you have an opportunity to walk around before you move in officially. This way you’ll know whether your current sofa, bed, or dining table will fit in the new place, or whether you’ll need to purchase something new.

If you find that you have to buy new furniture to fit in the new rooms, you might find it beneficial to wait until you’ve moved in, if possible. This will save any mistakes with sizes, as you’ll know precisely what space you have and what will fit.

Work Through Room by Room

Break down your decluttering so you can just take one room at a time. Decluttering a whole house is overwhelming, so this can help to make it less intimidating. It can help to make a schedule for when you will take on each room, but you shouldn’t worry too much if you don’t stick to this too rigidly.

You might find that some rooms take longer than others. If you have a lot of clothes, you might need some time to sort through them to only bring the items that you’ll want to wear again. If you have a lot of kitchen and cooking items, you might find it takes a bit more time to work out what you can fit in the new kitchen and what you could probably do without.

It can be helpful to make an inventory of all your belongings before you start packing. This can help to clearly see what you have, what will need to be moved with you, and what you need to get rid of.

Set Your Rules for Unwanted Items

Once you know what items you’ll be keeping and what you no longer need, you’ll want to work out what you can do with the unwanted items. The options you have will be:

  • Donate/sell
  • Pass on to loved ones
  • Trash/recycle

If you have pieces of furniture or other items that are still in good working order, but just aren’t what you need anymore, you can donate them to charity or sell them to someone else. If you have sentimental items that you don’t want to keep yourself, you could ask your loved ones if they want to keep hold of them instead.

Sometimes you’ll have items that hold no sentimental value and won’t be of use to anyone else. In this instance, you’ll want to put them in the rubbish or have them recycled. If you have particularly large items or a lot of items that need to be trashed, it might be easier to hire house clearance professionals to help you.

At Away With It, we offer house clearance in Essex and the surrounding areas, making your house decluttering easy and hassle-free. We can take all types of junk from all types of property and can help to clear away one item or a whole household’s worth. We also recycle 80% of the waste that we remove, through donating the items or taking it to the right licences recycling centre.

Think About Your New Lifestyle

When you’re deciding what you want and need in your new property, you shouldn’t just think about the space you’ll have. You should also think about your new lifestyle and what you’ll want from your new home. It may be that you have items that will fit but that you actually don’t use anymore. Or it may be that you have some items that can be replaced with a more practical and useful alternative.

As you declutter your home, you should think about why you’re downsizing and what your goals are for your new home. If you’re looking to spend less time maintaining your new home, get rid of items that require more maintenance. If you want more space, find alternative items that have multiple uses, and get rid of those items that only have one purpose. When you have a clear idea of what you want from your life in your new home, you’ll be able to easily decide what needs to go and what can stay.

 

If you’re downsizing your home or just wanting to declutter your current home so you have more space, Away With It can help. We offer Essex house clearance and house clearance across the surrounding areas. We’re fully licensed and insured waste carriers, offering a professional service in Essex and across London. Contact us to speak to our friendly and knowledgeable team about how we can help with your house clearance today.

7 DIY Projects for the Weekend

Whatever the weather, a free weekend is the perfect time to tackle some of those tasks around the house that you might have been putting off.

Below are some easy DIY projects that you can get finished over the weekend. Remember that preparation is key, so plan out what you’ll need and get to the shops early to avoid the rush!

Improve the Kerb Appeal

If the weather stays dry, use the opportunity to smarten up your front garden or entrance way. Remove any weeds from your driveway and path, mow the lawn and tidy up any flower beds or hanging baskets.

You could even paint your door a fresh new colour. Make sure to prime and sand your door first, before applying a couple of coats. It’s a simple and effective way of smartening up the entrance of your home.

Clean Up the Garden

After a summer of kids playing in the garden and al fresco dining, your garden might be looking a bit worse for wear. Use the weekend to give it a good going over, trimming bushes and tidying flower beds. Sweep up any leaves that have begun to fall, to get ahead of the autumn deluge.

Give your outdoor furniture a clean so it’s ready to be put away when winter comes. You could also use this opportunity to treat your furniture so it’s winter-ready if you’re unable to cover it or put it away. If you can get hold of a jet wash, you could also clean the patio or decking.

If you need garden waste removal, Away With It are insured and licensed professional waste experts and can quicky and efficiently remove any rubbish from your garden.

Upcycle Some Furniture

If you have some old furniture that’s seen better days, you might be able to revamp it into something fresh. You could paint a coffee table, or use vinyl wrap to jazz it up. A simple sanding and colour change can bring new life into something you thought was past its best.

You could even upcycle an old chest of drawers into a planter for your garden. This tutorial can show you how.

If you have furniture that you no longer need and you aren’t able to upcycle, it may be time to get rid of it. Away With It provides Essex house clearance services in the Essex the London areas, and we can remove one item or a whole household’s worth – no job is too big or too small!

Clean out the Garage

You might have spent the year gradually filling up your garage with items to “sort out later”. Now is the time to finally organise your garage properly and get rid of anything you don’t use or need.

Away With It offer a fast and convenient garage clearance service, so we can take away all of the items you no longer want taking up space in your garage. We even provide an eco-friendly waste recycling service, with 95% of the waste we collect being reused or recycled.

Touch Up the Paintwork

You probably have little bits of scuffed and marked paintwork around the house. Giving them a touch up can really refresh a room. Skirting boards and door frames can especially show wear and tear and you’ll be surprised how much a coat of paint can really brighten up a room.

If you fancy a bigger job than just touch ups, you could pick one room to repaint completely, to really give it a facelift. Lighter shades will help to make a room feel bigger, and bold colours can make a room quite striking.

Put Up Shelves

If you’re struggling for storage in a room, putting up shelves can be a great solution. You can free up surface space quickly and easily with shelves and arranging them stylishly will help to bring the room together.

Pick a colour to complement the furniture you already have, or you can even paint your shelves the same colour as your walls.

Hang Some Photos

With so many photos on our phones, it can be easy to forget to get any printed and put up. Use the weekend to go through your photos and find the best ones to print and hang.

Find the right frames to match your room and try to get your frames in the same colour for a sleek look. Photos can be a great way to overhaul a hallway or stairway, where the walls are usually left bare.

 

If you’re taking on a DIY project this weekend, Away With It can help with your waste removal. Whether you’re clearing the house, garage, or garden, we can cater for any type of property to remove your waste safely and effectively. Contact us today for a quote.

How to Live a Zero Waste Lifestyle

In the most recent study, it was estimated that UK households generated around 26 million tonnes of waste in 2019, 54% of which went to landfill sites. This waste contributes to the pollution of the air and water, affecting the eco-system and impacting climate change. A lot of waste ends up in the ocean, with plastic waste threatening marine life and, as a result, our health too.

There are easy steps we can all take to reduce the amount of rubbish we produce. Whilst living a zero waste lifestyle doesn’t happen immediately, changing some of your habits now can make a real difference.

Writer and activist Bea Johnson put forward the below five principles of living a zero waste lifestyle:

  • Refuse what you don’t need
  • Reduce what you do use
  • Reuse what you can
  • Recycle where possible
  • Rot what’s left

By implementing these five principles, you can start working towards living more sustainably. Below are some habits that you can change today for a zero waste lifestyle.

Food Shopping

When you go shopping, make sure to take reusable bags. If you already have a stash of plastic bags in the house, make sure to take them with you when you next go shopping. If you don’t already have bags you can use, you can buy reusable fabric bags – try to make sure they’re from a sustainable source.

Lots of food will be wrapped in plastic. Where possible, buy loose fruit and veg and use a reusable produce bag, rather than buying pre-packaged food. If it’s available to you, use the deli, fishmonger and butchers to buy your produce, or shop at a local farmers’ market.

Clothes

You will have probably already heard about the damage fast-fashion is doing to the environment, as well as the human impact. Do your research before you purchase and buy clothes from companies that have extensive sustainability policies.

The best way to shop sustainably is to buy second-hand and vintage clothes, as these items are already in the waste stream. You should avoid shopping online if possible – clothes will often be delivered in a lot of plastic packaging. Shopping locally will also reduce the carbon footprint of your clothes’ journey.

Don’t just throw out your clothes if they have a small rip or tear. Clothes that might be damaged can often easily be fixed. This can greatly extend the lifespan of your item and mean you don’t need to buy something new.

In the Kitchen

An easy way to reduce food waste is to compost what you can. If you don’t have a garden, you can get an indoor compost system. Some local authorities will pick up food waste as they do with other household waste and recycling. If not, you might have a place in the area that you can drop your compost off at, who can make use of it.

Rather than buying plastic food containers to store your leftovers, look for stainless steel or glass. Think about what you might already have in the kitchen – if you have bought food in glass jars, you can wash and reuse the container once the contents have been used. Plan your meals in advance and make sure to use up your leftovers so they don’t go to waste.

You can also purchase reusable silicone bags rather than single-use food bags and reusable waxed fabric food wrap to use instead of cling film or foil. Make sure to use up what you already have in the cupboards before buying something new.

In the Bathroom

If you can, buy your toiletries, like shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel, in bulk. You can get glass containers to decant bigger bottles into, so they’re still handy and accessible. Alternatively, you can now buy a lot of toiletries in bar format. This massively reduces the plastic waste, sometimes eliminating it completely, depending on where you buy it. 

Many personal care products are made of plastic. However, there are usually more sustainable alternatives available. You can get a bamboo toothbrush to replace your plastic one. You can also get stainless steel safety razors instead of plastic. Many companies will also organise recycling of razor heads, so they don’t end up in landfill. 

On the Go

If you’re leaving the house, make sure to always take a reusable coffee cup, bamboo cutlery, a metal straw, reusable water bottle and reusable bags. This way you’ll be prepared for any eventuality and should be able to avoid having to use anything that will go straight in the bin when you’re out and about.

Prepare your food where you can before you go out. If you want or need to buy food when you’re out, look for establishments which sell food in sustainable, recyclable, or compostable packaging.

 

Away With It knows how important it is to live sustainably. That’s why we reuse or recycle, on average, 95% of the waste that we collect. Good quality items are donated to charity and the rest is disposed of in the most environmentally friendly manner possible. Contact us today to get a quote for our eco-friendly waste recycling service.

5 Top Tips for Downsizing Your Office

When office workers started working from home during lockdown we saw how productivity could continue outside of the workplace. Now, as flexible and remote working become more popular, 45% of businesses do not expect all their employees to be located in the office at the same time and 37% of senior decision-makers plan to relocate to a smaller commercial space to accommodate this new way of working. Downsizing can cut costs associated with larger office space, whilst also maintaining a central hub for employees to use together.

Ask your employees what they need

A good place to start when downsizing your office is to ask your employees what they need from a workspace. Your team may prefer an open-plan office for ease of collaboration. Some employees may prefer private office spaces so they can concentrate better or make phonecalls that they don’t want overheard. If your team need both, you can achieve this by utilising meeting rooms and breakout rooms as private spaces for individuals to use when needed.

You should also think about how many employees you will want in the office at one time. Some people will prefer to carry on remote working some of the time and others will be keen to return to the office full time. Speak to your employees to find out their preferences and make a plan that works best for your buisness and your team. 

Find the right location

Moving office could be a great opportunity to find a better location for your workplace. You could find that you no longer need to be located in a city centre, as less people are coming in every day. So, you can move to a more rural location where costs may be lower. Alternatively, you could move closer to a transport hub to reduce the commute for your employees so they can maintain the improved work-life balance they found during the pandemic. You can also consider if your new office will be accessible by bike, for the employees who might still want to avoid public transport.

Make your workspace more efficient

Now is the time to really consider how much space each employee needs. There could be many ways that you could use space more efficiently so you can properly downsize your office.

You could currently be using desks that are too large – if an individual is just using two thin monitors and a keyboard, they probably don’t need a very deep desk. You could also use desks that are easy to move around and space out or group together, so you can adapt the workspace to what you need at the time.

Think about how many printers you actually need for your team. As we utilise technology more and more, you may find your need for printing reduces. The same can be said for all those filing cabinets – do you need to store hard copies of documents, or can you implement an electronic document filing system? This will reduce the amount of floor space you need just for storing documents. Read our guide to reduce office waste for more tips to reduce paper usage.

Remember safety precautions

Regulations around social distancing and sanitisation are still fluctuating so it’s best to be prepared for all possibilities. You will also find that your employees will have different personal preferences to how much they want to keep social distancing. So, it’s good to not completely condense your desks, so you can allow for individuals to spread out if needed. 

As people continue to remote work, you might not need desks for 100% of your employees 100% of the time. You can still allow for social distancing measures in a smaller space by having desks set up for less than the full capacity team.

Get rid of what you don’t need

After a lot of time in one location, all sorts of assorted office junk can pile up. Downsizing is a great opportunity to finally have a proper clear out so your new office can be a productive working environment.

Away With It can help with your office clearance to remove your old equipment, furniture and rubbish. We can properly remove confidential paperwork that you no longer need and also safely dispose of your electrical equipment, like computers, printers and fax machines.  With our help, you can start fresh in your new place and with the knowledge that all your space is being used efficiently.