Have you gotten the declutter bug? Congratulations, you finally dealt with those long forgotten piles, boxes, and bins! I’m sure it felt good to check that task off your list. However, if you really want to avoid the “clutter creep”, you’ve got to dispose of your clutter (donate, recycle, or trash).
There are many people who would benefit from the things you no longer want or need, but not everything can be passed along to others. In the interest of helping others, you may overestimate the market for your unwanted items. I’m definitely not someone who wants to load landfills needlessly, but sometimes there is nowhere else for items to go. To lessen the items that go to the landfill try to be conscious of the items you purchase. Aim for sustainable products or well built items. If you need to purchase lower quality or less expensive items, try to take care of them so they can be passed along when you are done with them.
Donate to Reputable Charities
Many people are suspect of mass donation places like Goodwill. By giving to a reputable 501c(3) charitable organization you can ensure your goods are helping others. A few local organizations I recommend: Ecumenical Hunger Program, LifeMoves, and Hope Services. Many of these places are overwhelmed with donations right now, but if you arrive early and are willing to wait, they will likely be able to accept your items.
For more specific items:
- Habitat for Humanity – furniture, appliances, housewares, and building materials
- NorthFace Clothes the Loop – outdoor gear (any condition, any brand) such as clothes, hiking boots, and more
- Local Library – books and media
- Columbia’s ReThreads – clothing is given a second life
- Patagonia Worn Wear – used Patagonia clothing or gear
- Nisolo – used shoes for re-distribution.
- Nike Reuse a Shoe – athletic shoes to be recycled as new shoes, apparel, and outdoor sport courts.
Post on Social Media Sites
Your trash may well be another person’s treasure. Post your items for free on sites like Facebook Marketplace, NextDoor, and Freecycle. If you want to make some money off your items, please keep in mind what you think is valuable may not be. It will likely be less hassle and time to give away an item for free than haggling with potential buyers.
Join a Buy Nothing Group
The mission of a Buy Nothing group “is to set the scarcity model of our cash economy aside in favor of creatively and collaboratively sharing the abundance around us.” Local groups are all over Facebook so you can trade items within your own community.
Set your old furniture or unused items on the street with a “FREE” sign. Depending on where you live your neighbors may not favor this practice, so use your best judgment. Be respectful of others by making sure that if the item is not gone within 24-hours you remove it and find a different way to dispose of it.