BY KATHY MEGYERI
Marie Kondo, a Japanese organizing consultant, reality TV star, and author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is inspiring people everywhere to declutter their homes and lives. As a result, Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and thrift stores across the country are bulging with donated items. Baby Boomers are adding to the bulk as they downsize and their children refuse to take the goods.
Tossing everything isn’t the answer as it hurts Mother Earth, so the key is to find a welcoming new home for our possessions in ways that are ecologically sound and won’t add to landfill waste.
My circle of friends who have been through the decluttering process talk about how great it is to have fewer things to manage, store and clean. They advise to clear out sooner rather than later, while we still have the energy and to avoid burdening others with this tedious chore.
Think no one wants your stuff? There always a market for that Pink Floyd album or that purple velvet couch, no matter how tired or worn. Some research may be needed to figure out the fair market value and one may even have to give it away for free, but doing so is
better than leaving it curbside for the waste collectors.
Please note that jewelry and other potential valuables should be appraised so you
don’t accidentally give away a gold watch or painting worth thousands.
Throw a garage sale or advertise items online; objects you don’t sell can be donated
to those in need – it’s the ultimate in recycling.
Schools are often appreciative recipients of many items. English teachers like donations of
stationery so students can experience the art of handwriting a thank you note. Used instruments can go to music departments. Period clothing, costumes, wedding dresses and even some furniture may be given to the drama departments.
Consider donating vintage items to museums where they may be displayed for future generations to enjoy, or give them to a favorite charity where they may be sold at an
auction or fundraiser.
Towels, pillows and bedding should go to the local Humane Society or SPCA. Contribute books to the local library.
Companies like the Junkluggers franchise, an eco-friendly removal service with several Florida locations, will haul stuff away (for a fee) where it is sorted and disseminated to charities, recycling centers and hazardous waste facilities. Their mission is “to save
the Earth, one piece of junk at a time.”
Now that’s a thought worth recycling.
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