ziilch blog – declutter your home tips, spring clean, find free stuff, daily giveaways, save money!

February 22, 2013
by Don
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Guest Blog – How to Declutter Painlessly

Hey Ziilchers,

Today’s guest blog comes from Jason Ireland, who gives us some simple yet helpful tips on how to  declutter our homes.

How to Declutter Painlessly

Are you fed up with all the unwanted junk that you have lying around the house? Do you feel claustrophobic inside your own home from the lack of space? Are you having trouble keeping your stuff organised? If these questions keep popping inside your mind on a regular basis, then it’s probably high time to go on a house decluttering campaign.

Don’t know where to begin? Here are some tips to get you started:

Throw away what you don’t need.

Go through the rooms in your house and put everything unessential and unneeded inside a bag. Decide which things you really have no use for and discard them. You can give away old items like books and clothes or donate them to charity. For appliances and other electrical devices, you can recycle them or sell them in manufacturers’ buyback programs if applicable.

Time yourself.

If you don’t want to do all the decluttering in one day or if you just feel overwhelmed with the huge amount of stuff that you have to clean up, then you can try breaking up all of your tasks into manageable chunks and commit to it for a set amount of time. For example, you can set aside fifteen minutes in a day to organize your bookshelf or to clean up the clutter in your room.

Take advantage of all the extra spaces inside your house.

This is where space maximising tools like hooks, shelves, bins, and hangers come into play. You can place stackable shelves underneath tables or install a floor-to-ceiling shelf on a bare wall. Multiple hangers can also maximise the amount of clothes that you can store inside your closet.

Create a clutter maintenance plan.

And stick to it religiously. Organising and decluttering your home is not a one-time thing; it’s a continuous process. You can schedule your decluttering tasks for the whole month or dedicate a whole weekend to tidying up the clutter inside your house. Don’ try to finish everything at once. You can try starting out with the small tasks first before moving on to the bigger ones. The important thing is to make the act of organization and decluttering a habit. To constantly remind yourself of your duties, hang your clutter maintenance schedule in an area where you can easily see it.

Constantly keep the items that you use the most at arm’s reach.

Store them where they can be easily seen and accessed. You can dedicate a small bin placed in an accessible spot for small objects like cellphones and keys. You can stash items that you don’t normally use in more secluded spots.

Decluttering your house need not be an agonising process. The hardest part is getting started, but once you’ve got your gears rolling, you’ll have your house free from junk and clutter in no time.

Jason Ireland is an interior designer and DIY enthusiast. He enjoys sharing his ideas and stories through blogging. For discount bedroom furniture, visit the link.

December 14, 2012
by Don
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We’ve Made Some Changes!!

Hi everyone!

Another year is drawing to a close and what a year it’s been. The Ziilch Community is stronger than ever and our free items are now at an all-time high.
It is because of this that we’ve decided to take the next big step in our evolution and make a few changes to our homepage.

What you’ll notice is that our listings are now exclusively grouped by category. So instead of the “recently listed” items being on the homepage, you will now see our most popular categories. We’ve done this for a few reasons….

Firstly, due to the high number of listings we are getting every day, we’re finding a lot of items are being missed because after a few hours they’re already “buried” on page 3 or 4. But now, you’re more likely to find a new home for your item because it will be near the top of the list in it’s category.
Secondly, this grouping by category just allows for a far more effective search experience for you. You’ll have a much clearer idea of what kind of items are currently on the site and you’ll be able to find them much more quickly.

Now for those of you who still prefer to see everything in one search, you still have that option. Simply use our search bar at the top of the site and search for “Everything” and you’ll have it all in one list. Or alternatively, you can refer to our “recently listed” news feed on the right-hand side (just under the green “etiquette tips” box)

It might be an adjustment at first, but we’re very confident that you’ll find it to be a far more effective way of browsing Ziilch. More established sites, such as eBay, are set up this way and quite frankly, we’re excited to now be in a position to follow suit. We must be doing something right :)

Please email via our online form if you need help with anything, but we hope you enjoy the changes and have no issue with them.

Cheers guys

Team Ziilch.

November 8, 2012
by Don
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Our Goal for Christmas

This time last year we declared that 2012 was going to be the “Year of Ziilch!”
Well to an extent, that’s been true.
Our membership has just passed the 24,000 mark and our “ziilched” items are closing in on 9000. We’ve been featured on Today Tonight (twice), Channel 7 news and also on A Current Affair. Plus the Ziilch Community continues to impress us by being just the nicest and most generous bunch of folks you can meet.
But despite the great year so far, we’ve still got a long way to go.  Ziilch is still very much a Victorian entity and it’s high time we introduced ourselves to the rest of the country, starting with Sydney.
THIS is our Christmas goal and we’re very confident we’re going to get it.
Here’s why……history.

This time last year, Melbourne was in the same position Sydney is in now. But after a great TV campaign over Christmas, Melbourne took off and never looked back. So this year, the same TV campaign will hit Sydney over the Christmas period and we’re very excited about it. The growth of Ziilch has always been strongest with organic, word-of-mouth promotion and with both Melbourne and Sydney on board, we’ll be reaching the rest of Australia (and beyond) twice as fast.

At it’s core, Ziilch continues to be defined by one simple line – “where good stuff goes free.”
There’s a ton of it out there folks.  We just want it going to you and not in the bin :)

 

October 26, 2012
by Don
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*Guest Blog * What to Keep and How to Keep it.

Hey everyone. Long time, no blog :)
Well that won’t be happening again as we start gathering steam toward another MASSIVE Christmas/New years period.
And to kick things off, we’re happy to introduce you to one of our newest guest bloggers – Sarah Paulsen.
Like all of us, our houses need a good decluttering from time to time. Sarah weighs in below on how  to go about it.

 

What to Keep and How to Keep it

Once in a while, you notice the big brown box behind your closet. It has been there since you moved in, but you haven’t opened it yet. You have a tub filled with toys your kids used in kindergarten, and now they are in University. Some of the stuff we have, but don’t use, we can pass along; but how do you deal with those you don’t use but you can’t bring yourself to part with? Read on to find out how you can organise the things you do not use but aren’t ready to give away just yet.

Pack everything

To avoid having individual items strewn all over the place, pack similar items in boxes. This is especially true for small items. Choose strong boxes that will hold the items for long periods without breaking down. Obviously, you have to sort them so that you do not keep fragile goods with non-fragile ones. Then label all the boxes so that in case you need one of them one day, you can easily pick it up without opening multiple boxes.

Designate a storage area

It would not make much sense for you to box and label your stuff only to have the boxes litter your rooms and block your way. Therefore, you should set aside a designated room/area for them. You can keep the boxes in the garage, attic or in any other room, depending on what they are. The important thing is to ensure that they are well kept and are out of your way. For things that can be affected by weather, you should factor that into your choice of boxes and rooms. Even if you live in a house with no spare room, you can reorganise your rooms and store them in the spaces gained. For example, you can put a box or two under that big bunker bed you have.

Slow and steady

If you have never organized your stuff before, and you just wake up one morning with a mind of doing everything the same day, you won’t accomplish much. There is something very tiresome about looking at a pile of unorganised things and knowing that you have to organise them within a set period. You should give yourself a reasonable amount of time and keep at it until you are done. For example, you can decide to organize the kitchen this weekend and move to the kids’ bedroom the next. Only decide to tackle it at once if you are sure you only have a few things to take care of.

Use Effective Storage Solutions

Boxing and labeling cannot be effective if you use the wrong boxes. You need to identify ways of maximising the space you have, and this also means using the right boxes. It is amazing how many people think they do not have adequate space, but they just don’t know how to organise the space they have. In fact, if you do not know how to use the space you have, you will only increase the clutter you have if you get additional space/rooms. For example, you can use CD file boxes to store your CD collection instead of storing them in CD racks (which take up a lot of space). Think outside the box and you cannot go wrong with maximising your use of available space.

Sarah Paulsen contributed this guest post on behalf of FactoryFast.com.au. Sarah is a freelance writer with extensive experience in the fashion industry. Her articles appear on various online fashion publications.

July 24, 2012
by michelle
1 Comment

7 Essential Things to Do Before You Sell Your Home

7 tips when selling your home

Selling your home is rarely a quick, simple process. Even the smoothest purchase usually involves handling many small elements which come together to secure the sale.  Here are seven essential things you need to do before you sell your home.

1.    Choose the right agent

When deciding on an agent, stick to the facts. How well has this person performed in the past? Better yet, does this agent have a proven track record dealing with the type of property you are putting on the market? Don’t be afraid to ask hard-hitting questions, either. Press potential agents to review the type of marketing strategy they plan to implement, and to reveal how well they understand your neighborhood.

2.    Complete minor repairs

Minor problems may not seem like a big deal to you, but they could make potential buyers look askance at your property. They are an unwanted burden that few buyers want to absorb, and they don’t look great, either. Complete those minor repairs before people view your home, particularly in places where first impressions matter a lot, like the front door.

3.    Clean well

Most people know well enough to clean, but not everyone cleans as well as they should. Tiny details matter – a bit of misplaced dust or mold could turn buyers away. Consider investing in a professional cleaning service if your home isn’t in the cleanest condition; years of kids and pets dashing between rooms, for example, can really take its toll.

4.    Tidy up your garden and front porch

If you have a front yard and/or a porch, it is probably the first encounter that buyers will have with your home. Make sure it is in great shape. Keep the lawn neat and tidy, with the grass short and edged well. Also, remove clutter from any porch space.

5.    Hire someone to do an inspection

In order to best understand the state of your home, you should bring in a trained eye. Hiring someone to perform an inspection can save you headaches down the road because, from it, you will learn exactly the kinds of deficiencies under your roof. You can then fix them, or at least be prepared to address them if they arise during negotiations.

6.    Remove personal items while people see your property

When potential buyers walk through your home, they want to envision their new lives within those walls. Don’t dampen that imaginative leap by keeping personal items throughout the house. While it is understood that not everything can be moved, attempt to shuffle some of the lighter things away, like photographs.

7.    Remove your emotions from the sale

For most people, their home is intensely personal – one of the most personal objects in their possession. That strong connection can create problems when you’re trying to sell it if you’re not careful. However, personal your home is to you, at the end of the day, it is still an object up for sale, at the mercy of the market. Try to view it through that lens before you get deep into the selling process in order to approach offers with an open mind.

Selling your home can be a stressful process. Simplify it by getting essential steps out of the way early.

This guest post is contributed by Sarah Bolt on behalf of Steel Line Roller Doors. Sarah is a freelance writer and real estate advisor. Sarah has been involved in many home makeovers.

May 15, 2012
by Don
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April Review – How much free stuff found a new home?

Hey there Ziilchers!

We’re getting closer and closer to our official 1 year anniversary and we’re still so amazed at some of the things we’ve seen. Whether it’s all of our new members or the amazing number of items you guys have found new homes for, we can honestly say it’s been a FANTASTIC year for ziilch! Rest assured we’ll be celebrating in style with all of you when we finally turn ’1.’

But today we wanted to start a new thing in which we take a little look back at the month that’s just passed. So let’s take a quick glance at April ’12 and some of the great things YOU achieved.

In April, (and we really can’t stress the word “glance” enough), we saw the following good stuff find a new home on ziilch:

1 Free Tampoline, 1 Free dishwasher, 1 Free Washing Machine, 1 Free Treadmil, 2 Free DVD Players, 3 Free Fridges, 4 Free Microwaves, 5 Free Dining Tables, 6 Free TV’s, 8 Free Desks,  10 Free Beds and AT LEAST 15 Free Couches/Loungesuites.

Can’t wait to tally up May :)

April 24, 2012
by Don
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Ziilch – Sharing in even more ways

what's coming this year on ziilch

Big hello to the Ziilch Community,

With our 1-year anniversary coming up, we’re thinking about even more ways we can further help the Ziilchers in our 2nd year. Along with some pretty exciting upgrades to the site (Can’t share just yet. Top Secret), our vision is for ziilch to really sink it’s teeth into helping people declutter, reuse and find even more free stuff! Here’s one of the ways….

Now whether it’s via email, Facebook, Twitter or direct feedback on ziilch, it seems that so many of you have some ideas on how people can further embrace the ziilch way.  Our vision is for ziilch to be the ultimate hub of information and services. So starting soon, we’ll be sharing these concepts with you on the site.

Along with giving and receiving free stuff, you’ll soon have access to our extensive content pages in which we’ll be sharing all the latest tips and information on a wide variety of topics.

These include Saving Money, Renovating, DIY Craft Projects, Moving House, Sustainable Living, Shopping and of course, all the many ways you can use ziilch!

Where to from there? Oh we’d love to share. But trust us when we say that if you thought we did some good work in year 1, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet :)

April 10, 2012
by Don
1 Comment

10-month review. “Free Stuff – Australia Loves it.”

This Sunday April 15th will mark 10 months since our launch. I can’t decide whether it’s flown by or not. On the one hand it has, because we still feel so young.  But on the other hand so much has happened that it couldn’t possibly be ONLY 10 months. So what have we learned…?

Australia LOVES free stuff. That might sound like an obvious statement, but it’s got layers. When we first started ziilch, our biggest concern was that there might be more “takers” than “givers.” That the site would eventually run out of free stuff to give away. Boy were we wrong!

After 11,000 listings and almost 4000 of them in a new home, ziilch has got so much stuff we’re having a hard time giving it away (pause for laugh). So when I say Australians LOVE free stuff, they do….. giving it AND getting it.

And what do they love the most? When I think about our popular ones, I would say our most frequent listings are Free baby stuff, Free TV, Free couch, Free furniture, Free clothes and oddly enough, Free trampoline. But it’s all there folks. Australia loves it and so do we. If we can re-house dirt we can re-house anything!

Thanks again to the Ziilch Community :)

March 29, 2012
by Don
1 Comment

Defining ziilch – “Free”-bay? Hard-rubbish online? Free stuff dot com?

Ziilch huh?,” he says as he types away on his iPhone, clearly unengaged. “Whats it do?”

It’s a question that I have to answer a lot and with nearly 14,000 members now, I’m betting there’s a few out there who have had this conversation too. It’s a very simple question with a pretty straight-forward answer. Yet every time I’m faced with it, I feel this sudden pressure to come up with an answer that’s as short and succinct as possible, or risk losing their interest forever.
It’s a tough one because ziilch can be appealing in so many different areas.

Anyone who has ever moved house. Anyone who has ever hired a skip. Anyone who has ever been to a garage sale. Anyone who has ever HELD a garage sale. Anyone with charity in their heart and believes in giving. Anyone who has ever put something out on the nature strip and then felt that subsequent good feeling when it’s gone that afternoon….Or anyone that likes free stuff.

Ziilch can be for everyone, but in their own way. I suppose in order to give the best answer to this guy on his phone is to figure out how he might use it. I tell him ziilch is a website where people give away their stuff for free.

“Oh yeah. What’s it cost?”

(Groan) Let’s start again :)

February 28, 2012
by Don
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*Guest Blog* From our friends at Open Shed

Hi guys,

This week we’d like to introduce you once again to Open Shed. Much like ourselves, they see the true value in reuse. They encourage us to “take another look at our stuff,” which we don’t use anymore and think about other people who might. So if you’ve got a lawn mower, power drill, tent or even sporting equipment that you never use, don’t let it sit in the shed gathering dust and/or rust. Rent it out to someone who needs it. So now they get to use your stuff and you make some extra cash!

Learn a little more about Open Shed, in their own words,  in our guest blog below. Enjoy :)

 

If happiness is our goal, we should be focusing on accumulating experiences, rather than stuff. Research has found that we get much more satisfaction from spending our money on experiences, rather than buying bright new shiny objects. This might seem a little counter intuitive since we get to keep the stuff for as long as we want, while experiences will always end. However, the research says that an experience gives us enduring satisfaction, while the shiny new object quickly loses it shine. The experience endures in our memories, the stories we tell and can impact on our own sense of self.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not advocating the end of buying, of course there are still things that we need. But don’t you think that if our things aren’t contributing to our happiness, it is perfectly valid to ask how much stuff do we actually need to own?

About 50 years ago we started on this current hyper consumption path. We were told we needed to consume for the sake of the economy, so consume we did…

But all this buying hasn’t necessarily improved our lives, nor is it making us feel like we have more. I recently read in G Magazine that more than 60% of us believe we can’t afford to buy everything we need – and this figure includes nearly half of those in the richest 20% of the population. One of the results of this kind of thinking says G Magazine is that 30% of full-time workers are deferring happiness, by working in unsatisfying jobs in the belief that the sacrifice will pay off in the long term. Unsurprisingly almost 50% of workers reported feeling blue or depressed at work at least twice a month.

Our thinking about needs and wants have been warped in a very negative and worrying way. But there are ways that you can regain a positive perspective. A physical clean out is a really great way for you to realise just how much stuff you already have! By refocusing your attention on what to do with all your excess stuff, you are diverted from thinking about what else you believe you need. Whether you call it decluttering, spring cleaning or editing your life (a new term I heard recently in this TED talk) it is a great way to empower yourself.

So, this coming weekend, why don’t you focus on decluttering just one space in your home. Split your stuff into three piles:

1. stuff you regularly use – return it to its action station!

2. stuff you occasionally use, but still want to keep – list on it Open Shed so someone else can make use of it, when you’re not.

3. Stuff you can’t believe you have kept – find it a new home via Ziilch!

Lisa Fox
Co-founder Open Shed

twitter: @openshed
facebook: www.facebook.com/openshed
blog: blog.openshed.com.au