It’s funny how even when you think you’ve done a good job of decluttering your home, there are always areas that are magnets for rubbish. While we’d done a very good job of getting rid of lots of extraneous things in the preparation work for putting our house on the market, our house held a deep dark secret: there were areas in our home that were absolutely cluttered with crap.
The areas that needed sorting before we actually started to pack? The loft space, the shed and the small area in our cellar that we use to store DIY paraphernalia. Now you know I always try to be real around here and while this post may not have
too many any pretty pictures, it does paint a picture of real life. After 7 1/2 years, this house was filled with extraneous crap we just never threw away. The job became so big that we just stuck our head in the sand and pretended it wasn’t there.
For years, I didn’t even bother going in the loft because it would just give me heart palpitations even thinking about organising all that. Having to go through everything and decide whether to donate the things that were still in decent condition but we just didn’t fancy anymore, the true rubbish, the items that could be recycled and just the general mountain was more than we could handle. But we knew that we had to face our fears soon because there was just no way we were ever going to move all that stuff into the next house.
So it was like fate when I heard from Clearabee, a nation-wide rubbish removal service, who approached me about trying out their services for review here on the blog. I had heard of rubbish removal services before but this one seemed too good to be true. Not only do they come and take all that stuff away, they go through everything you’ve got and recycle or donate it, often saving around 90% of their collections from landfill. Hallelujah. And let me tell you (and you know I wouldn’t just say this), it was genuinely THE MOST SATISFYING THING EVER.
Forget spa days, forget taking a walk on the beach. Do you want real honest-to-goodness contentment and satisfaction? Watch 2 burly guys come in and take all your crap away with no fuss at all. That’s genuine contentment, I promise.
But before we talk about Clearabee, I just wanted to show you what we’d started with.
We tackled this area first, “eating the biggest frog” as it were. Over the course of a Saturday, we went through (almost) all the boxes and just made a pile of things we wanted to get rid of. We didn’t worry about whether it’d be good to sell or whether or not could be recycled or if it really just needed to be in a skip somewhere. If we didn’t want it, it went into the pile. This lack of decision-making made the whole job a lot faster and we saw our pile grow as the loft slowly emptied.
We were left with sentimental items, Christmas decorations, some homeware I wasn’t ready to part with, a few valuable items (Wayne has a small collection of limited-edition Lego sets) and a few other bits and pieces. So it’s not exactly pretty but it’s definitely an improvement. Plus, it was incredibly cathartic, let me tell you.
The shed was tackled the following weekend. This one was a little easier as I’d done my best to clear out as much as I could earlier in the year but there were still loads of old planters I didn’t want, some more DIY stuff like leftover tiles and broken garden equipment and extraneous items that we just hadn’t bothered throwing away. It all got added to the pile.
We ended up removing everything we were keeping out of the shed first and then once the whole shed was empty, I gave it a good sweep and we piled everything back in nice and neatly. More clear boxes were used here to corral all the small items and garden tools. The pile, of course, had grown.
The Cellar Storage Area
The following day it was the turn of the storage area in our cellar. Now I realised after the fact that I’d failed to take before pictures – I was so pumped up getting all these things done that I totally forgot. Yes, a huge #bloggerfail there so let me just assure you that all those shelves were pretty much just packed to the rafters with every kind of DIY gubbins you could find. There were paint tins and tubes of adhesive, various electrical parts, things for plastering, a whole host of items for painting and wallpapering, sandpaper, tools, about 1 million screws and nails and all the other things you might expect for keen DIYers like ourselves. But wow, was it a mess. We knew we wouldn’t need those tins of extra paint, boxes of tiles and everything else that wouldn’t necessarily be used in our next home but it really needed to be organised.
So we got to work, removing all the things we knew we didn’t want to move with us and using clear plastic storage for those things we did. We organised things by the types of DIYs they were – we had separate boxes for electrical items, for painting & decorating, for plumbing, for screws and nails, etc. After ridding ourselves of the things we didn’t need, we ended up with a nicely organised storage area that will be so much easier to move with us.
The Pile We Were Left With
You have no idea how embarrassing it is for me to show pictures like this on my blog but my goodness, LOOK AT THAT PILE. How we were holding on to so much stuff over the years is actually mind-boggling but clearly, we were closet hoarders of the highest order.
We’d contained it to our decking area and the side return on the house (and of course, the rains really came in the day that Clearabee were due to come as is the nature of living in Manchester) and everything got a bit wet! But well, it was out of the house and that was the important thing. You’ll notice as well there were a lot of old building materials that we’d hung on to because you just never know when you’ll need it for a project but seeing as we were moving, we decided that for the most part – it could go!
Clearabee Rubbish Removal
Clearabee operates nation-wide 7 days a week and they have various services depending upon your needs. You can even book same day removals with them. I decided, given how big this job would be, to book their Man & Van service for a Saturday afternoon. Two friendly lads parked up and then, all I did was watch from the kitchen windows with a nice cuppa as they cheerfully proceeded to carry every bag, every box, every piece that we’d set out into their van in the rain. Within around an hour, the entire space was clear.
They also have a ‘bee bags’ service in which a huge bag (they have all kinds of sizes available) is posted to you to fill as you go and then simply call someone to remove it. The best part? Clearabee diverts over 90% of the rubbish they remove from landfill and offset all of the CO2 from their vehicles.
I genuinely could not have been more impressed with the service. I know that clearing rubbish isn’t exactly the sexiest topic for a blog post but I can’t even imagine how much time they saved us and how many individual trips to the skip we would have had to make to clear so much. It means we are moving house taking only those things we really want to keep and there’s a real sense of calm and achievement that’s made when you know that even those areas of your home that are clutter-magnets have been turned into organised spaces.
I am absolutely happy to recommend the service. It’s perfect if you are considering some home renovations or you just want to start the year off with a huge de-clutter. The service and the amount of rubbish we had to remove would have cost around £175 but prices start at just £75 for a small load. It really is an amazing service and I wish we hadn’t waited so long to use it!
I’d love to know if you’ve ever called in a professional rubbish removal team to help you out with a massive de-clutter? Do you have areas of your home that are also magnets for random rubbish? (Please tell me I’m not alone here!) Is Clearabee a service you’d consider?
Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review but did receive the Man & Van service in exchange for sharing my honest opinion here on the blog. I only team up with those companies I really like and think you’ll like too and of course, as always, all images, words and opinions are strictly my own. Thanks for supporting the businesses that support Swoon Worthy!