I love being a home organizer! Witnessing my clients’ sheer joy and relief at finally reclaiming their space always brings a smile to my face. Just the other day, I helped a client empty the storage unit she’d been renting for the past 18 months since moving from her home of 30+ years to a smaller condo…just in time to avoid paying next month’s rent!. (We celebrated with a chocolate milkshake…yum!) It’s amazing how much people actually love getting rid of stuff once they’ve made the decision to do it. So what makes deciding to do it so terribly difficult?
Most often, not knowing what to do with excess belongings prevents folks from even starting to clear stuff out of their way. This procrastination leads to an ever-growing pile that eventually just feels too overwhelming for some. The longer they put it off, the more daunting the thought of shifting that enormous pile becomes. So it sits…and sits…and sits…gobbling up all of the available breathing space.
That’s why I created a guide on how and where to donate, recycle or sell many of the most common items people struggle to divest. It has become the most-visited page on my website and elicits a surprising number of emails from readers wanting to contribute their own suggestions on what to do with all manner of cast-offs. If you haven’t yet visited this treasure trove of information, you’ll find it here in the Free Resources section. I encourage everyone to become part of this collaborative effort and email me if you know of ways to donate, sell, recycle or repurpose in ways not already mentioned.
If you’ve been following my blog or Facebook page for any length of time, you’ve no doubt heard me mention the Buy Nothing Project. For those who are unaware of this enterprise, I strongly recommend visiting their website to learn more and consider joining your local group, especially if you yourself have excess stuff you need out of your way but don’t know how to go about getting rid of it. It's all about neighbors helping neighbors...and who doesn't love that?!! Many items that can’t be donated to charity can be shared with your neighbors who need them through a Buy Nothing group. Some examples include food items; opened-but-no-longer-wanted self-care items like shampoo/conditioner, nail polish, lotions or first aid supplies; leftover construction, DIY or craft materials; clothing or other household items with slight defects; cleaning solutions; broken electronics (yes, someone handy may want to fix them or use the parts); empty boxes, jars and packing materials. Heck, one woman in my group was even collecting leftover vegetable peels for making natural dyes!
Many of my clients find it easier to part with their more sentimental objects when gifting them to someone that they know really needs or wants them than by merely adding them to a donation box without knowing exactly where they will end up. All it really involves is posting a photo and brief description on the group’s Facebook page to be connected to members who are interested in what you have to offer.
If you want to give Buy Nothing a try but aren't sure where to start, request a copy of my free guide to joining and using Buy Nothing. Once you join your local group and understand how it works, getting rid of unwanted items as you go becomes easy peasy and prevents unwanted pileup in your cabinets and closets. It's truly a win for everyone, including the environment!
Nothing feels better than coming together as a community to meet each other’s needs. My need for more space and your need for the items I no longer want that are hogging all of it are a match made in heaven! With a little information on what to do with all that stuff, even reclaiming your space can be easy peasy!
Valerie Sheridan is a professional organizer, wife, mother of two, and Founder/Owner of EasyPeasy Living.