Thursday, January 7, 2010

Organization Tip #3

Get rid of it!

I touched on this a bit in the other post, but it's an important point to make. It always amazes me how recycling and de-clutter goes hand it hand. So here are a few ways to de-clutter and also follow the old phrase:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I also like to say

Reuse what I can, recycle what I can't.

So when you have stuff to get rid of, it's much easier to pass it on to someone who can use it, rather than just toss it in the trash. First of all, it's more incentive... I hate wasting stuff, and isn't that how most clutter starts?? What if I need it someday, it's perfectly fine I can't throw it away... etc. Here are a few ideas:

Find your local food and/or clothing pantry.. If they don't take household items and clothing, they probably know who does. These places pass stuff on to families who can't afford to go to even Goodwill. I have to admit, my kids got alot of clothes from our local one. When they were younger, we just didn't have a way to buy them new. We save many of our clothes from our older two, to pass on to our younger ones.

Pass clothes on to your family. My SIL and I had kids stair stepped, so when my oldest was about a yr old, she has a son. All my baby stuff passed to her, than when we had our 2nd child, I got it back, and back and forth it went. Now we are both done having children and we pass what we can on to our other siblings and friends to keep, that can use it. We of course kept clothing that was made just for a child or other special clothes. I have a tote for each child, this holds their keepsake items. Blankets, homemade clothes etc. If you don't have siblings to do this with, maybe a friend?? My girls are 8 years apart, so we are being selective in what we keep to pass on. 8 yrs in a shed isn't going to help anyone. They may be chewed and worn by the time they get used again, so most of them we pass on now.

Try If you aren't familiar with it, check out their site. You can find a local group for you and give and get free stuff. The purpose is to pass it one and reuse something rather than fill a landfill. Here are some of the things we have received for free, from freecycle:

Chest freezer (actually 3 over the years)
Cast iron pan (perfect condition, someone just didn't use it)

I try to give more than I take, it helps on the whole clutter thing lol.. So here are some of the things we've given to others for free:

Old washer and dryer (someone wanted the scrap metal)
Couch (a friend had given us a new one, it would have cost us to take it to the dump that's 30 miles a way)
Baby items, swing, exer saucer, etc.
leftover garage sale stuff (YES I didn't even have to take it anywhere, they picked it up from our house)
Rocking chair
Other various items

You can specify if you want them to pick it up at your home, or meet them at a public place. Of course always use caution when having them come to your home.

Of course there are always second hand store, consignment shops and places like that as well. If you are in a good area you can save it for a garage sale too. We tried that last year, and our area just didn't do well, it didn't end up being worth the hassle. We even sold it really cheap. So we choose to keep a box in the back room of stuff to get rid of. When it's full, we go drop it off. Even my kids add stuff to it. They know they won't miss it. We've been doing it long enough that they know we will provide what they need too, so keeping broken or to small stuff is not necessary.

So find your local donation place and go for it. It will feel great to drop off a bunch of stuff, knowing someone was dreaming of having it!!

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