Downsizing and getting rid of junk can be phenomenal for your mental health. You feel lighter, less bogged down by material possessions, and have far less to maintain and clean on a regular basis giving you more free time. This being said, the act of getting rid of junk can be tough. Sometimes you don’t know where to take something—especially if it’s an odd item like a stove—and you might worry about the impact your clearing out process is having on the environment. The following will explore some of the more eco-friendly ways there are for getting rid of stuff you no longer want or need.
The phrase: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure has been repeated for generations for a reason. It’s true. Just because you think something is junk doesn’t mean that someone else will agree with you. You don’t know; they might have been looking for exactly what you’re throwing away for a while (if an item exists, you can bet that there’s someone out there who collects it). Or maybe they only need a part for something they own that your junk can provide. Consider taking items to donation centers in your area. This is a fantastic way to keep items out of a landfill and support families who don’t have enough money to buy something new. To make this option even more enticing, many second-hand stores that accept donations give their proceeds to charitable organizations helping people in your community and around the world.
Yard sales are another wonderful option for getting rid of personal items you no longer want. This involves putting things out front of your home (usually on a sunny Saturday when lots of people are off work) and selling them for crazy cheap. People love a good deal and are happy to pick up and carry away items that might otherwise have been tough for you to move. Books tend to do extremely well in yardsales as well. And at the end of the day, you might find yourself with a bit of spare money, which never hurts.
Given the advent of apps like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and Kijiji, it’s pretty easy to sell items online. All you have to do is take a picture of it, make a post, and wait for offers. If you want something to move quickly, you can include the price but then type: or best offer underneath it. Electronics, workout equipment, and furniture tend to do extremely well on these sorts of platforms.
Deliver To A Consignment Store
This option works particularly well with clothing. Consignment stores are locations that sell things to shoppers on your behalf, cutting the profits with you. If you have a closet full of clothes that needs to go, this can be an excellent option, and you’ll end up with a little bit of money from the deal.
Hire A Junk Removal Team
If the above steps seem like too much effort or most of the stuff you’re trying to get rid of isn’t in good enough condition to warrant them, consider hiring a junk removal team. Each company is a little different, but typically this will involve someone bringing by a trailer or a dumpster of an agreed-upon size and leaving it at your property for an agreed-upon length of time. You can then fill up the trailer, and they’ll come and take it away and deal with the sorting and environmental concerns on your behalf. You might also be able to arrange for some extra hands to help you with the heavier items like appliances or furniture. This option tends not to be too expensive and can be one of the fastest ways to get rid of junk.
It also can be extremely eco-friendly as professionals tend to know what can be taken where and how to get items somewhere that will do minimal damage. All Out Junk Removal & Debris Removal says, “improper disposal of hazardous waste has enormous impacts on the environment. Air, soil, water, and wildlife health are all affected.” An expert will often have arrangements set up with different facilities to help get rid of things the proper way.
It is worth noting, though, that if you have something hazardous you need removed (flammable chemicals or corrosive, toxic, or reactive materials) you need to keep these items separate and inform the junk removal team. You don’t want to be putting anyone at risk when they begin to unload and are surprised by something dangerous. Aerosol cans as well should be kept separately as if they’re not emptied properly, and too much weight or pressure is put on them, they can explode.
Understand That The Process Can Be Emotional
Even though you know you’ll feel much better when the junk is gone, it can still be hard sometimes to actually physically get rid of it. The stuff around people usually is imbued with memories and meaning, whether or not people even like the stuff. It’s a good idea to give yourself a little more time than you think you need to help you deal with those moments where you really do need to take a break, or you’re going to cry. If part of your downsizing involves dealing with the grief of someone lost and their possessions, give yourself even more time. If you’re really struggling to let a particular item go, consider taking a photo of it. This way, you can still hold onto it in one form while making space and lightening your life at the same time.
The above ideas should help you figure out what you can do with the junk and excess stuff in your life that you want to get rid of without contributing more things to the landfill problem. Of course, occasionally, junk is actually trash, and in that case, it needs to go. Any used beauty or hygiene products or personal care items like combs and hairbrushes, for example, need to be thrown out.