Where most people fail in their attempt to get and STAY organized isn’t in their lack of good intentions, their motivation to right size, or even in finding the time to tackle what can be a challenging project.
The reason many organizing projects fail to deliver on the promise of a decluttered oasis is due to a lack of strategy for what to do with the things you no longer want. Instead of marching unwanted items straight out the door, people get stalled on what do with them, letting them pile up in garages and storage rooms where they can slowly creep their way back into your home!
Recycle, Freecycle or Sell?
Start your organizing project by deciding what you are going to do with the things you no longer want. Your choices are recycle by donating to a charity that will put them to good use, freecycle by giving them to someone who will repair or reinvent them or sell to someone who will appreciate getting a useable item for less than the cost of new.
Recycle Things that are Functional and in Working Order
Donating unwanted or unused items to your favorite charitable organization that will use or sell them often makes it easier to let go of things because your items will be put to good use and benefit others.
Call first to find out what types of things they will take as these organizations tend to have limited storage space or specific needs to support their charity community. Ideal items include electronics, furniture, clothing and linens. Do not donate broken items thinking they can fix them as most organizations do not have the manpower to fix things and will end up using their limit budget to pay for junk removal.
If your local Salvation Army or Women’s Shelter won’t take items and hauling away large pieces of furniture is a challenge for you, find a removal service that will both haul away and donate items to charity for you.
Freecycle Things that are Broken (but Fixable) or that Charities Don’t Take
Freecycling is perfect for the broken, but fixable items that charitable organization won’t take or quirky things that artists or crafters use to make their new creations. The benefit of freecycling over throwing away is it extends their usable life and prevents them from cluttering up landfills.
Examples of things that are suitable for freecycling include fixable things like electronics, furniture, and appliances. Even things like old tiles and glass can be given new life by artists in your community. When in doubt offer your items up, what may no longer be valuable to you, may be incredibly so for someone else.
Freecycle by placing a listing in your local classified paper, Craig’s List or Kijiji, or on a specific freecycle site with a description and “Free to a good home” or “For the cost of shipping” listed as the price.
Sell Things that are Gently Used and Valuable
Selling the items you no longer want is a good way to recoup part of your initial purchase price. You win with a de-cluttered space and $$ in your pocket.
A good rule of thumb is list bigger ticket items that are in-demand like strollers, baby carriers, and furniture on sites like Craig’s List or Kijiji and sell smaller items like clothing and small toys at swap sales or a garage sale.
When determining a price, check what the current model is selling for and set your price at about 50% to 60%. If it’s a brand new, never been used item, consider asking for 75% to 80% of retail, specifying that purchasers are saving on tax and shipping on top of a discount. When in doubt do a little research and find out what similar items are being advertised for.
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