Do the Back To School declutter!
HOME & GARDEN | August 25, 2016

Do the Back To School declutter!

It's a whole new dance craze! Well, unfortunately not, however the Back To School declutter will set you and your family up for success in the new school, college or university year.

Clearing out and recycling unwanted stuff from your kit will leave you feeling calm and in control as you tackle new challenges in your learning. With a place for everything and everything in its place, you can work out what's reusable for this year so you won't end up shelling out on unnecessary duplicates. 

Make the Back To School declutter part of your end of summer ritual...


Recycle and reuse papers from old school work

If you're 100%, absolutely positively, definitely sure that you're never going to need that folder of three-year-old biology notes ever again, get shot. Same goes for any other papers and leaflets that you're never going to look at again.  

Any blank pages can go into a scrap paper box, to be used for notes and lists. The rest can be shredded for pet bedding or composting, or simply added to your recycling receptacle.


Donate or reuse old folders and binders  

Once you've cleared out the redundant paperwork, you'll probably end up with a pile of empty folders, binders and storage boxes.

If you know you won't use these again, donate them to a local charity shop or give them away via your local Freecycle group. You'll no doubt make a poor student very grateful. 

If you will use them again, a lovely way to give these battered old stalwarts a fresh start is to re-cover them with favourite magazine images, a sheet of wrapping paper or brown paper. Bung a sticker on for your name and the course details - best handwriting now! 


Check through your pens and pencils

Do you find dried up pens and broken pencils as annoying as I do? Let's enjoy a good pen and pencil decluttering together...

Pull everything out of pen pots, drawers and pencil cases. Give the containers a good clean and dust to get rid of any grime.

With broken pencils, often all they need is a sharpen to get them ready to go again. Wooden pencil shavings can be put into the compost or used for kindling.

If you can see ink inside a dried-up biro, sometimes it can be revived if you dip the tip into some water and rub the nib on the bottom of a rubber shoe. Those beyond repair make excellent dibbers for sowing seeds in the garden or write on them with permanent pen and use them as plant markers. (With the better quality ballpoint pens, check to see if you can buy refills before you start dibbing!)

Find any old erasers, protractors, rulers and the like? Give them a wash in soapy water and they'll come up like new.


Sell or donate old textbooks

Unless they're literally falling apart, your unwanted textbooks could raise a pretty penny if you sell them online. New textbooks, especially those dealing in rare specialisations, are so dear that people are willing to pay a good percentage of that price for second hand ones in decent condition.

Online reseller Abe Books has a useful Textbook Buyback service - simply type in the ISBNs of the textbooks you want to sell, tell them the condition of the book and they'll instantly give you an offer. Agree to the offer and they'll send you a prepaid shipping label. You get paid once your books are received. (It's also worth checking to see whether Abe Books has second hand copies of the textbooks for your new term in stock!)

If the textbooks aren't worth selling but are still in OK condition, you could offer them to a worthy soul on Freecycle or give them to a local charity bookshop. Really battered books can be recycled with your paper recycling or shredded for the compost heap.


Are you all set for the new school year? Share your Back To School thoughts and tips with us here or via Twitter and Facebook!


>> Entertain the kids with these easy Back To School projects

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