Okay, not quite our dead but we are in the midst of a great purge of unessential extras. A family of five can rack up a lot of extra “stuff” in a very short period of time. My son can actually accumulate a roomful of items in a matter of minutes. It’s a gift. And not a good one.
Purging the worldly goods is cleansing for both house and soul. For ourselves it is easier to function, work, and create when the clutter is no longer taking up both time and attention. For our home, it is easier to upkeep when there are not mountains of things to move in order to clean, repair, and maintain.
This year we are doubling our purging efforts due to the combined annual spring cleaning coupled with an upcoming move. The more we get rid of, the less I have to pack and carry. It’s simple mathematics really. Cleaning – accumulated riff raff * stuff + charity = happy + me
This year we asked ourselves a new clean out question. How many ways are there to get rid of your stuff while still maintaining sanity and being ecofriendly? Turns out quite a few.
GARAGE SALE: Well this one was first for us and I can now tell you it is a great way to meet people, get rid of stuff, make some money, and hang with the neighbors all at one time. We partnered with a couple of neighbors and held the sale between two driveways. Garage salers are early birds so we held our sale from 8 to noon and we still had a few people show up by 7:45. Yes, in the morning. It’s a lifestyle choice.
Apparently “multi-family sale” is a hot ticket on the garage sale circuit so if you can join forces I highly recommend this approach. This is recycling at it’s best. Our sold items are now “new to you” items for our customers and we get to know that things like the baby stroller and toddler toys are going to receive more love.
If you want to make a party of it, along with bringing in some extra coin, I would recommend having the kids set up a coffee/lemonade/muffin stand to address your customers potential snack needs. And definitely a pitcher of mimosa for you and the neighbors.
DONATION CENTERS: Super ecofriendly and charitable way to rotate goods. There are oodles of organizations that would love to take your unwanted items off your hands. Our extra clothes, toys, household items, and furniture made their way to the Salvation Army via the back of my truck but if you don’t have the means to get your stuff up and out many places will come and get it for you. Make sure that the things you are donating are in fair to excellent condition. Some things really do need to go in the garbage.
Along with feeling good about giving our items to a good cause comes the added bonus of a tax write off. If you donate don’t forget to get a receipt! Here is a quick tip-of-the-iceberg list of places you can contact to donate your own household items:
- Salvation Army
- Boys and Girls Clubs of America
- American Legion
- Local churches and religious organizations.
You can do an online search or check the phonebook (yes, some people still use them) for local branches and other non-profit organizations. FYI – you can also donate cars, boats, and even houses if you are in a really big purge mode!
FREE: We had a couple of big items that we didn’t want to keep, didn’t want to pack, and didn’t want to donate. Right…..so what did we do with them? We opted for a “if you can move it you can have it” approach with friends and neighbors. Everyone wins and we can still “visit” our stuff.
RECYCLE CENTER: Some items have been used to death, literally, so we had no choice but to throw them out. Instead of tossing them in the trash can we separated by plastic, paper, etc. for disposal at the local recycling center. Less waste for everyone. Plus who knows? Maybe in the not too distant future we will be driving a car made from my old planters.
SWAP PARTY: While we didn’t go this route it is definitely something I want to try in the future. Get a group of friends and their stuff together and everyone can switch out their old items for “new” toys, clothes, and gadgets. When we try this it will be a potluck and swap. Hmmmm, maybe a nice way to get some new serving dishes….
So, now we have cleared our stuff to let creativity flow and floor space appear. Take a look around your own place and see what’s needed and what’s holding back your happy. Then find a fun, easy way to get it out of your home!
p.s. – If you don’t recognize the quote from the post heading you need to download Monty Python’s Holy Grail immediately. Your life has been missing something. Go. Do it. Now.