Getting rid of stuff is on my mind just now. Actually, it often is, as I always seem to have more things than I have need for – or, at least, more things than I have space for. My current preoccupation with disposal started with planning to move house. Although the house I moved to is a little bigger than the last one, it has no garage and no loft, which is a challenge. However, I figured out that many of the things you store in those places are items that you do not actually need. Having moved, I now have another problem. My Other Half is moving in. The problem is not her moving in really – I am delighted about that. The challenge is that she has a house full of stuff too.
So, this means we have to be serious about finding means of disposal …
What are the options available to get rid of things? Here is what I thought of:
- Trash [landfill or recycling] – this is the last resort
- Sell [eBay etc.] – it takes a lot of effort and we live in a very “throw away” society, so used items are less attractive
- Donate – many charity shops etc. will take a variety of items
- Store – sometimes you definitely want to keep something or just put off a decision, which should be almost the last resort
- Give away – this is an option that is rich in possibilities
Just giving away unwanted things can be very rewarding. Sometimes it is just a matter of asking a friend if they want something. Toys can always find a good home. And, so long as you make it clear to the recipient that they need not feel obliged to keep it, the possession need not be burden. Another possibility is to have a yard/garage sale, where everything is free [though a donation in the charity bucket is welcomed].
There are a couple of more organized ways to give stuff away:
Books can be “set free” using BookCrossing. The idea is that you register the book on the website, label it and leave it somewhere [anywhere!] for someone else to find. All being well, they will then log onto the website and you will see your book’s progress. Hopefully, the new owner will later pass it on in the same way and you can track your book’s journey around the world. Of course many books are never heard from again, but there are great stories of books that have really taken on lives of their own and have traveled very widely.
Another way to give stuff away is to simply find someone who wants it and hand it over. The Freecycle movement is dedicated to enabling this process. You just post a message on your local group’s forum saying what you have got and where you are, and, all being well, one or more people will pop up and claim it. You then exchange an email or two with them to arrange collection. Sometimes I have been chatting to someone when they are collecting and identified some other stuff that they would like too – a great result.
So, next time you realize that you have too much clutter, just give it all away!