Okay, so if you’ve read my previous post on decluttering, then you already have an idea on how to determine whether or not something is worth getting rid of.
If you haven’t read that post, then I’m just going to assume you’ve already assessed you’re junk and determined that it no longer needs to live with you. You’re ready to evict it.
Now the question is, what the heck do we do with all the stuff we don’t want anymore?
We can’t just throw it all away, right?
No, of course not.
We need to find a way to get rid of our junk and declutter our spaces without sending everything we don’t want to a landfill.
Throughout this post, I mention all the ways I could come up with to rehome the needless crap from our lives.
So, let’s get into it…
GIVE IT TO SOMEONE ELSE
When giving things away, please consider the person on the receiving end of your junk. Yes, your trash may be someone else treasure, but not if it’s something they don’t actually need or want.
Many times, people take our stuff just because they were offered it. And this is why I think it’s important to preselect who your items are going to.
Case and point…
I have a friend who is an elementary school teacher. I think it’s common knowledge that teachers go through a crap ton of supplies. Often times, if they want more supplies for their students, they have to buy this stuff themselves. This is why I asked her particularly if she wanted any of my extra office supplies.
What I didn’t do is just hand her a box full of office stuff and say here, do you want this? No, I sent her a text message of the things that I thought would be of value to her classroom. She wanted all of it, and that’s completely fine, because I know that her goodies were things that her 4th-grade class would actually use.
My work at home mom on the other hand? She would gladly take a decent sized amount of paper clips. Why? Just because. And they would do nothing but sit in her office completely unused and create clutter. These are the kinds of giveaways we want to avoid.
The takeaway here is to only give things to people if what you’re giving them is something they would buy whether you gave it to them or not.
TURN IT INTO SOMETHING ELSE
Some of y’all are master crafters. I really don’t know how some of you are able to get to that level of creativity for the stuff seen on Pinterest.
Either way, definitely use that to your advantage.
Like, if you have a giant load of yarn taking up an unnecessary amount of space, turn that ish into something else. Get those little fingers moving and make some washcloths, makeup rounds, socks, or whatever else you can make with yarn.
Even if you don’t want those things, guess what, they make excellent free and homemade gifts that your people will love!
For those of us with a medium to low level of creativity, Pinterest will be our best friends.
It’s a really nice resource that makes typing in “glitter crafts” and getting suggestions a very easy process. Writing this out, I just remembered I need to type in this exact keyword phrase. Oh, I have so much glitter. Giant Facepalm.
But seriously, use Pinterest to your advantage. Anything you have an excess of, if you type in “(what you have too much of)” followed by the words reuse, remake, craft, recycle, upcycle, or anything similar, you will get flooded with results on how to make new and useful things out of what you already own.
Could you take something and find a new use for it?
If you have an old bucket or wicker basket laying around, would it better satisfy you if you were to turn it into a decor piece by putting it next to your couch and storing folded up blankets in it?
Sometimes our belongings used in the way that they were meant to be used don’t really make those happy centers in our brain light up.
Maybe those items just need to be moved to a new place, turned upside down, painted, or something of the sort that will allow it to bring us joy.
If you’re struggling on how to repurpose something, then you can also use Pinterest for this. Just search “repurpose (your item),” and bing bang boom. You’ve got some results.
I legit have seen some old raggedy wine racks get turned into bomb towel holders. I swear, Pinterest is like THE MECCA of all things for that reuse tier of the zero waste pyramid.
I think a lot of people forget this is still an actual thing. Guys, we can still haul all of our stuff into our driveways and sell our belongings the old fashion way. I love a good ole garage sale, because they take me back to my childhood.
I used to have so much fun pricing everything the night before, and it was so cool to see that other people liked my stuff. Even more so, as a kid, I liked bringing in that all mighty dollar. Holla holla.
This is a nice way to set up shop right at home and for other people to find new little treasures. Before you set up shop though, make sure you check and see if you need any permits.
In my city, we’re “supposed” to get a permit before each garage sale, but yeah, we don’t exactly do that. Because we’re rebels.
If you don’t want to be bothered with having an actual garage sale, don’t have the space to do so, or want to reach a lot of people, then this option may be a pretty good alternative.
I love online garage sales because they really don’t take much effort. All you gotta do is take pictures of what you want to sell and post it.
As far as finding an online garage sale, I suggest heading over to Facebook. Search for “garage sale (your city),” and that should pull up some groups (most of which are usually private) that you can join and sell your stuff. Easy peasy.
There are TONS of online resale shops. They work kind of like eBay where you list your stuff and people from all over have the option to buy it.
My favorite at the moment is Poshmark. I’ve purchased so many pre-loved things from there it’s insane. Some others include Vinted, Swap, and ThredUp.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck in finding online secondhand stores that specialize in anything other than clothes.
THIS LAST THING TO DO IS DONATE
What I don’t suggest you do is haul all of your unwanted junk over to goodwill and assume that you have a job done great.
Use big companies like this as a last resort. Why? Because a lot of times they will just dump your stuff in the trash. Especially during certain times of the year when they’re overflowing with stuff and have no time to look through yours.
Someone in one of my Facebook groups mentioned how she saw that happen a lot when she worked at goodwill even though they claim to recycle all of the unwanted goods.
Not her, Goodwill.
Big companies like this also have a tendency to just ship all the extra clothing over to third world countries which can really screw up their economies, because when they have all of this cheap clothing being shipped over, their own textile companies kind of get pushed out. So this is why donating to these huge companies aren’t my favorite thing to do.
A good way to donate unwanted things is to reach out to your smaller and local shops. This may not be true for where you are, but a lot of the smaller shops here don’t tend to have as much good quality stuff as a larger thrift shop.
For this reason, I like to donate there and add a little pizzaz to their selection. This is also a good way to get to develop a relationship with the people running it, so you can find out what happens to the unpurchased leftovers.
Shelters are always another option. Women’s shelters are a great place to donate extra menstrual products once you’ve found a zero waste alternative.
Generally speaking, shelters are a really nice place to donate clothing items, but make sure to check with the shelter to see if they will take them.
One idea I really like is making little goodie bags for the homeless. you could always reuse or repurpose plastic bags that you may have managed to collect but never really wanted ( like those plastic bags bed sheets come in).
These bags can be filled with the little travel and sample sized products of things you have lying around the house. But, PLEASE don’t give them away if they have been opened or if they’re expired. Just because someone is homeless doesn’t mean they aren’t still people.
Lastly are animal shelters. For the animals, you can take in old blankets, towels, pet beds, toys, food bowls, and really anything that an animal could need. The staff working at the shelters could also make use of some of your old belongings. You can call around to see if they need any extra cleaning or office supplies.
So there you have it. A few different routes to take when you decide you’re ready to ditch some of your belongings and declutter your life. I hope this helped you out some!
What methods do you take to get rid of your stuff without sending it to the landfill?