What to do with all the stuff you've decluttered?
Are you on a decluttering kick? Are you also trying to figure out the best places to go with the stuff you’re hoping to unload? At one point I hit a wall, filling boxes but not taking those boxes anywhere. What happened for me? Well, I kept decluttering, but not unloading them because I was fearful I wouldn’t be sending them to the best places. I had watched a documentary called “The True Cost” and felt debilitated after that. If you haven’t watched it, I recommend it (despite what I’m saying here!). It talks about our Fast Fashion Industry and the impacts it has on our world. In one part of it, it pointed out how little we know about where our donated stuff goes. They talked about how some donations go to other countries and actually hurt their economy because some mom and pop shops are shut down because individuals are only using our donated stuff. Yikes. That's definitely not what I want to happen when I think I'm doing something helpful.
Ok, so what have I done to move forward with my decluttering efforts? I’ve asked around, searched around, and compiled a list of the best places to send our stuff.
If it’s worth a pretty penny, use ebay. Ebay is a little more effort, but you know people are searching for that exact thing and will be using it because they are seeking it out. What are some things we’ve sold so far on Ebay? Some of my gently used college gear and a nice coat. Next on the list? Designer Watches. We don’t want to use Ebay for much since it is more effort, so we are picking and choosing what items are best suited for Ebay.
If it’s worth something, and specific, use marketplace. Actually let me add…when you put things on marketplace you can also select to advertise the item in any local yard sale group you've joined. Even during Covid, I’ve sold a lot and haven’t needed to extend much effort because I’ve put in my description that I prefer porch pickup and Venmo. What have I sold so far on here? Lots of athletic clothing (this always goes so fast on here!), gently used Nike sneakers, designer shoes, designer earrings, apple watch bands and sweatshirts. To some people this isn’t worth the effort of posting pictures, but for me I like knowing that someone has made the effort to get the item, which means it will hopefully be used more in the future!
3) Salvation Army
This has always been my go-to place for donations. I like this option in comparison to a place like Good Will because it’s a non-profit. The owner of Good Will makes a hefty paycheck every year. I don’t know about you, but when I think of donating I want the value to go to those who really need it. It’s really easy and they give you a tax deductible receipt that you just fill out the items you’ve donated and the value. If you want more information, check out this link.
4) Green Drop
A friend of mine recently told me about Green Drop! You have to try it! I’m going to drop a link right here. On the link it will show you what charities they serve and what items they accept. Typically when you go, all you have to do is open your trunk and they fill a bin with all of your stuff. When I went the other day, they actually had me get out and unload my car myself…I think because of safety precautions with Covid. One recommendation…register on their site before you go. I didn’t do it beforehand, so they collected my information when I was there (at a distance, of course). If you register before it will just make it so much easier.
5) Buy nothing Facebook Group
This option is a new love of mine. One big reason Alan and I have been trying to simplify our lives is to invest in relationships more and build a greater sense of community. We’ve always been on the go and relationships have been put on the back burner. A Buy Nothing Group is different than other facebook groups because it’s built on the spirit of giving. You can post about something you are in need of or even something that you’d like to pass onto someone else. I had some baby bottles the other week that we didn’t use and passed them onto someone else who is due in the Fall. It feels great to know we are helping someone else in our local community!
If you've been feeling stuck, I recommend making a plan with where to send your stuff. Also, another helpful thing is to set a deadline for how long you will post things to sell, and then when your cut-off for that is to then take it to donate if it doesn't sell. For my first round I gave myself a week, and then donated 3 large bags of things. How do I feel afterwards? Much lighter...and motivated to continue passing on what we no longer use or want to keep around! Happy rooting, everyone.