All month, I’ve been encouraging you to reclaim space in your home by purging items you no longer need or want (big emphasis on “need’). While deciding to part with your cherished stuff can be challenging, doing so makes it easier to access the belongings you do use regularly and just makes it easy peasier to navigate your home. So now that I’ve hopefully convinced you to rid your home of your excess, you need to figure out exactly what to do with it all. Having a solid plan for where it goes next is crucial to your success, because simply piling up bags and boxes full of items you’ve decided to let go won’t help you until it’s actually gone!
You have only four basic choices on what to do next:
1. Sell or 2. Donate (for things that are still usable)
3. Recycle or 4. Trash (for things that are not still usable).
Obviously, there are pros and cons attached to each of these and the decision for which to choose depends, in part, on the item in question but also on your priorities. Picking the best option will make you feel better about letting it go. Consider each of these questions carefully to help you narrow down your choices:
If you need to get rid of a perfectly usable article of clothing quickly and don’t really care if you recoup some of your initial financial investment or who ends up wearing it next, dropping it off at a local charity like Salvation Army or Goodwill is probably your best bet. But if you need to make some money and don’t mind investing a bit more time and effort, trying to sell it at your local Tot Swap or consignment shop may be a better option. Or if you really want it to go to someone you know, try joining a neighborhood group like Freecycle or Buy Nothing or passing it on to a friend or family member who needs it.
Use your determined priorities to help you identify one or two go-to choices in each of the four categories.
Connect Online for each item:
Visit our Donating/Recycling page (it also provides info on Trashing and Selling) for more detailed information on many of the various options mentioned above.
There are as many ways to get rid of your excess items as there are items to get rid of. If you are stumped on what to do with a specific item, ask members of your network (friends, family, co-workers, neighbors) or Ask the Organizer. Chances you aren’t the only one who wants to know!
One final note of caution: Each of us has a responsibility to learn what is and isn’t safe to discard in the trash and what can and cannot be recycled. Discarding just one wrong item can contaminate an entire truck of recycling or create a serious hazard. Even if you aren’t particularly concerned about the environment, you can do a lot of damage to our planet, yourself and your community if you are reckless or too lazy to educate yourself on the basics. Always follow package directions on how to safely dispose of anything that contains chemicals or toxic ingredients or Google it if you aren’t sure how to handle it.
Stay tuned next week to learn a few easy peasy tricks for maintaining your newfound space and accessibility forever with minimal effort!
ICYMI: Each month I issue a new 1-day EasyPeasy Challenge that can be completed in less than a day (usually less than an hour). You have all month to take the challenge and then add a comment, photo or GIF to the challenge post on my Facebook page to be entered into a prize drawing at the end of the month. This month’s challenge is to join an online group like Nextdoor, Buy Nothing or Freecycle and give away just one item. It must be given away...no selling or swapping. Give it a try! I look forward to seeing your photos and comments on my page!
Valerie Sheridan is a professional organizer, wife, mother of two, and Founder/Owner of EasyPeasy Living.