Going Green Mama is blogging instead of cleaning house...
Cleaning out the clutter is a common wish for many of us in January, as the dust settles after holiday celebrations and gift-giving. But the actual execution doesn't always happen the way we'd like.
Sure, you can be like my neighbor and collect 5 1/2 garbage bags worth of unused toys, which hopefully didn't go to the trash as she seemed to imply on her Facebook page. Or you can buy more organizational equipment and supplies for your workplace or home. Or you can de-clutter a little more consciously.
Level 1: Just get it out.
Like the day my fed-up dad tossed my textbooks in the trash (no, I haven't forgotten that one), sometimes the most efficient way is to get things out of your home. Now. So that may mean boxing up your donations for Goodwill and recycling and doing drop-offs one afternoon.
Level 2: Recycle or Freecycle what you can (not just the easy stuff).
This takes a little more effort and time, admittedly, but with a little effort you can find places that will reuse or repurpose everything from computers to Christmas lights. It's easy to start locally, looking at your local sustainability organizations, Craigslist or Freecycle, or even your church. Personally, I've had luck with our employee classifieds, which has helped find homes for everything from textbooks to our toy kitchen.
Level 3: Make your donations matter.
I'm sure I'll catch fire for this one, but I'm going to argue that it makes most sense to donate directly to organizations that can best use your belongings than a bulk drop to Goodwill or Salvation Army, where it's a crap shoot on whether someone who truly needs it will ever get it. By taking the extra time to locate places that get adult clothing items or outgrown baby goods or even holiday items to those who are trying to rebuild their lives, I'm directly helping those who need it.
The great thing about decluttering is that it doesn't just free us of our stuff, it has the potential to free others. Just think about the stress of deciding: Clothes or dinner for our kids? So by spending a few more minutes in our decluttering process, you might make a difference for more than one family.
And if you're looking for a place to get started, check out my five quick wins for decluttering. I'm happy to say that I've largely kept up on most of it this past year!
What are your favorite places or charities to donate or send your unused items to?
This post is part of the Green Moms Carnival. Visit Strocel.com on Jan. 17 to read other takes on de-cluttering!