How to declutter— without throwing stuff awayHome » Blog » Holly Jean Brooker » How to declutter— without throwing stuff away
Holly Jean is jumping the ditch, and completely decluttering her life (in a sustainable way, of course!).
Emptying a one-bedroom apartment doesn’t sound like a very laborious or mind blowing task. However, if you look at our small urban apartment right now, you will surprised at how much stuff two people can accumulate, which we are now trying to unburden!
Don’t hate me, but my husband and I are making the big jump across the ditch to Australia. The call of better job experiences has lured my husband, with me in tow. We are selling up, and being an organised, non-sentimental, hater-of-junk-and-useless-stuff I thought this would be a breeze. I am wrong.
To reduce environmental impact I have spent the last three weeks thinking creatively about how I can go about ridding my place of stuff, in a way that is not time-consuming and is ace for Mother Nature.
I’m on a mission to limit what I throw in the rubbish, as I cannot bear the thought of all my useless crap ending up in landfills, rotting away for years to come (or not rotting away if, you consider my wrought-iron violin shaped CD holder and steel magazine holder).
These are some of the things I am doing:
Trade Me: Listings, listings, listings. I have been selling everything I possibly can on Trade Me. Couches, beds, table and chairs, heaters, shoes, toasters, fridge and microwave … it’s all there. Piles and piles of clothing I rarely wear is slowly decreasing as I sell items at times for a $1 reserve, just to be rid of the mad volume of unnecessary stuff. It is a little bit of a hassle listing, relisting, packaging, posting—but the reward is the helpful chingas that accumulate.
Thrift stores: A big bag is going to the local Salvation Army, for the locals to score a range of goodies at a low price, also creating revenue for charities with good causes.
Giveaways to family and friends: I have three sisters, and they have recently had the pleasure of me delivering two car-boot loads of clothing, makeup, shoes, storage containers, beauty products, head scarves, DVDs, books, bookshelves, scanner/printers, heaters and CDs (the list goes on), which they can distribute amongst themselves and any neighbours who might need any extras.
Our good friends are taking over the tenancy on our apartment and will also benefit from our washing machine, dryer and dehumidifier—much needed essential items in any New Zealand abode of the damp old villa variety.
The roadside: Okay, I know it’s a little bit naughty, but there have been a few items that I am at my wits end about what to do with, and I have (sneakily, so my husband doesn’t see) placed a couple of items on our front kerb! Needless to say they were snapped up quicker than during the inorganic collection.
Donate NZ: This is a fun organisation that enables people like us to give stuff away to charities, based on their needs. The Donate NZ website explains: “Donate NZ provides the ultimate simple portal where individuals, organisations and companies can donate goods, time and discounts to schools, early childhood and not-for-profit organisations in New Zealand."
The process is simple! All you have to do is list what you have to offer, then recipients have the opportunity to accept your donation. Alternatively, browse the Wishes section and if you can help, simply click Fulfill Wish to be provided with the recipient's details. From browsing through this site for two minutes, I have found a home for my DVD player, and one of my spare cellphones!
Freecycle: This non-profit movement is very active in Auckland (and all around the world), where people give stuff away (and get stuff) to encourage reuse and reducce build up in landfills. Although I haven’t used this online movement myself, it's a great idea and completely supports my aim to get rid of stuff in a sustainable way.
It would be great to hear of any other ideas for decluttering in an environmental way. We can all play a small part in reducing waste. And maybe, just maybe, when setting up my new home in Perth I will simply buy less!