The intention for this post is to help you choose the best way to dispose of the objects you are decluttering. Some objects will be just trash but for others you will be endeavouring to find new homes either by donating to a charity, giving them to someone else or selling them.
There are often emotions involved when it comes to clutter. Finding the right home for your things can make the decision to let go a lot easier. For example it feels easier to let go if you…
- Know that the procedes of donating your items to charity will help someone in need.
- Get a little money back by selling your items.
- Know your items will be appreciated when giving them to family or friends who have admired them.
- Doing the right thing for the environment by finding a way to recycle items you thought were good for nothing.
Donating to charity is simple. In some places it is as simple as making a phone call and the charity will come to you to collect your items. In some cases you just amass the objects until you have a car load and then drop them off to a charity near you. I won’t go into specific details as to what charity to use because that will be different depending where you are in the world. I am sure everyone is aware of a charity in their area that you can either drop off or phone for a pickup.
Be mindful of what you send to charity. They will not accept certain item because of safety and/or hygiene reasons. They may or may not accept mattresses or sofas that are stained. Some won’t accept mattresses at all. They usually will not accept underpants, for obvious reasons, unless they are new with tags on. Also, please make sure any items that you send to a charity are clean and in useable condition (working order). Soiled and broken items will be rejected and the charities end up having to pay huge fees to send loads of these uncharitable donations to landfill. If in doubt about what the charity will accept just phone them and ask.
Selling is a great way to eleviate the guilt of having spent money on an object that you didn’t get good value out of. It is also a good way to redeem a little cash to help pay off credit card debt that you probably shouldn’t have racked up in the first place.
I mostly sell on eBay but there are also other world wide sites like Craiglist. These are not the only options though. My husband’s work place has a on-line community board where employees can post For Sale ads, maybe you have such a resource. Australia has Trading Post and Gun Tree and others I am sure. Most places will have newspapers that also have on-line classified. My daughter once sold some old clothes using Facebook as her advertising medium. Just use your imagination or google something like “Selling Online” and see what comes up.
It is important however when advertising items to give a detailed description of exactly what the item is you are selling and what that includes. Just as important is to be honest about the condition the item is in. Just because something doesn’t work or isn’t complete doesn’t mean someone won’t want it. Parts can be just is valuable to people as the whole. If you think an item is worth selling why not give it a go.
Giving to family and friends is can be a very satisfying way to pass things on. Particularly things that you have held dear for some time. Perhaps things that have been handed down to you from other family members. If someone you know admires something you have decided to declutter they would be a good candidate to offer this item too. Always make certain that the person you offer it to only takes it if they truly want it. Make sure you explain that there is no obligation and you won’t be upset if they turn down your offer.
Giving to family and friends isn’t always about precious objects it can also be about useful objects. My father recently gave my brother his ride-on mower because my father no longer lives on a large property but my brother has a vacant block of land to mow.
Other ways to give stuff away.
- Freecycle is a great resource for giving things away. Especially those odd things that aren’t suitable for charity or for selling.
- Putting stuff out on the footpath with a free sign on it has also worked well for me in the past.
- One of our readers occasionally leaves a box in the foyer of their apartment building with free items in. You could possibly do this at your place of work or at a community group that you visit like a children’s playgroup.
- When I lived in the US there was a homeless man that was often begging at my freeway exit who I used to give things to every now and again. One day I even brought him a hot meal, he was very happy about that.
- Rachel, one of our readers is having a give away morning on the 20th of August to reduce her stuff before moving into a smaller dwelling. Hows that for ingenuity.
The options are endless. Once again just use your imagination. Today I googled “Give stuff away” and came up with some sites I didn’t know about like ozrecycle.com, scoodi.com and altruists.org. I didn’t check to see how good they were but I did find those and many more.
Recycling is an important aspect to decluttering. Anything that can be recycled should be disposed of responsibly. There are several way I go about this….
- I put any items, that are suitable, into my recycling bin. Your local government department in charge of the collection of these bins will most likely have a web site giving clear instruction as to what type of items are suitable to go in them.
- Larger items that may have some potential for recycling get saved until our local council has a curbside pick-up day. This is where you put the bigger items that won’t go in the trash or recycling out on the street for pick-up. Old mattresses, furniture, televisions, building materials and many other items are suitable for this type of collection. Many of these items will have components for recycling. I find that, in my area, the piles of stuff awaiting pick-up are well picked over and deminished in volume by the time the actual collection day happens. What is collected is sorted into trash and recyclables and treated accordingly.
- There are often designated drop off areas or special drop of days for the recycling of certain items. Batteries, paint, electrical goods, chemicals etc are often disposed of in this way. Once again you can utilise your search engine by typing something like “recycle batteries (name of your city)” and helpful information will likely pop up.
- Once again Freecycle is also a good way to recycle or repurpose items that are no longer in working order. I have given away pieces of furniture and electrical items on Freecycle. There are often folks out there who are happy to fix of use the parts for these items.
I hope this post has helped you find some ways to responsibly rehouse or recycle your unwanted items. You will have peace of mind knowing your once precious things are going to good homes. And I can not stress enough how important it is to do the right thing by the environment, by keeping perfectly good stuff out of landfill and by decreasing the demand for the production of new products.
Here is a link to a guide I am slowing adding to that gives you ideas and web sites that will help you find appropriate places to donate and recycle.
Today’s Declutter Item
Some more t-shirts off to the thrift store today when I go to do my volunteer work.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
I love how fast my donations leave the house now that I am volunteering at the thrift store where I drop them off. Last week I even dropped something off for my neighbour. I am grateful the the lovely people at the thrift store have made me feel so at home there already. I look forward to going each time. It is wonderful to see the stuff walking out the door to be reused by someone else.
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow