When I came across Never Liked It Anyway, a site where the recently divorced as well as runaway brides can sell their wedding items, giving once loved things a second chance, my first thought was that I would like to start a site called always-liked-it-but-have-to-get-rid-of-it-and-want-to-find-it-a-good-home-where-it-will-be-appreciated-dot-com because most of the stuff I struggle with are things that have meaning for me, or at least whose meaning is something I would like to share with others.
After giving it some thought, I will probably not be creating that website – at least not anyway soon – so what can I do, what can all of us do?
Give your stuff away.
Saturday May 12 is Give Your Stuff Away Day
Mike Morone has created what he hopes will be the largest recycling event where you can put your stuff out on the curb for others to take. You can join in with people around the nation to make this the day you clean out the closet, junk drawer, basement, or garage and put the items out on the curb.
Donate for good.
Check out the AARP Recycling Guide where you can learn about organizations that recycle everything from batteries to blue jeans or Parade Magazine’s Places That Help Your Clutter Do Good for places that will put your stuff to good use.
Don’t buy gifts.
That may sound extreme but you can let your loved ones know that you are decluttering and suggest alternative gifts like a massage, dinner out, or theater tickets. As Jane Brody suggests in “Making Progress Against Clutter” you can even ask them for services like helping you box up clothes or books to give away.
Or give to a charity or nonprofit organization as a gift. Shift My Gift helps you set up a page where friends can donate to your favorite charity in your honor.
Tell your stories.
It’s been shown that the more we share the stories about our stuff, the easier it is to let the stuff go.
At the recent PEN World Voices Festival, author Margaret Atwood said she was once asked by a moderator “Why write?” Atwood said that the real question is “Why tell stories?” And her answer is “Because we are human.”
Whether we are a recent bride selling the wedding dress, a participant in Give Your Stuff Away Day, or someone donating in place of gifting, we are all human beings telling our stories – and helping to keep our stuff out of the landfill.
≈Linda Hetzer is an editor and author of books on home design, crafts, and food, and coauthor of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home.
Filed under: decluttering, downsizing, downsizing the home, emptying the house, enjoying the process, getting rid of stuff, keeping the memories, recycling, sentimentality about things, share your stories, workable strategies | Tagged: cluttering, creative strategies for downsizing the home, decluttering, downsizing, downsizing stories, downsizing the family home, emptying the house, family stories, getting rid of clutlter, getting rid of stuff, getting rid of things, share your stories, workable strategies |