by Nettie Owens of Sappari Solutions, LLC
As an organizer, I am always encouraging my clients to streamline, purge, declutter and otherwise let go of the excess. As Marla Cilley, The Fly Lady, says, “You cannot organize clutter.” It is not that I am on a mission to help you get rid of your stuff; on the contrary, I want you to be surrounded by all that you love. I want you to have time and space for that which brings you joy.
In this process though, we get to a point where we have to let go. It’s one thing to decide to let go and a whole different process to actually remove those items from your space. You can get them out of your home or office and do so in an environmentally friendly way.
In a perfect world, corporations would be responsible for Cradle to Cradle Design. They would have a plan to dispose of or reclaim the materials in their products such that none of it ends up in a landfill. Unfortunately, the responsibility currently falls on you, the consumer, to dispose of your unwanted items without trashing the earth. If you know where to take things, it is possible to divert a large portion of your cast-offs away from the landfill.
- Household goods – these should be in good or like new condition and include items like clothing, some furniture, small appliances, tools, etc. Goodwill, Salvation Army, Purple Heart and many local charities will accept these items.
- Scrap metal, computers, and appliances – in any condition. These can be taken for metal recycling and you may even earn a small amount of cash back. Try AlwaysRecyclingLLC.com or look for ‘scrap metal recycling’ in your area.
- Paper and cardboard – may be recycled curbside in many areas. Look for community PaperRetriever.com drop off locations, shredding days or stores like UPS that perform paper shredding on site.
- Hearing aids, cell phones, jewelry and glasses – the Lions Club in your area may collect hearing aids, glasses & books. Try the library for books they will sell at fundraising events. USPS collects cell phones as do some local charities.
- Old linens and towels – are accepted at pet shelters and humane societies.
- Fluorescent bulbs & batteries may be collected at your Home Depot, Lowes and Ikea.
- Prescription Medication – is accepted annually at National Take-Bake Day and at local pharmacies
- TV’s – are accepted one per customer at Best Buy.
Still not sure where to take your items? Try TheStuffStop.com to search for charitable locations that will take what you have. Freecycle.org is another wonderful way to find new homes for what you have. Earth911.com also lists locations for recycling. Call your local junk hauler or professional organizer, as they will often have resources for finding where to take things.
If you live in Harford County, Maryland, bring a carload of your unwanted items to ClearYourClutterDay.org on April 27, 11am-3pm at the Harford Community College. You can let go of your unwanted items and support Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna for a cost of $5 per car. Check the website for more details.
Remember, it is not about getting rid of your stuff, but making room for what you love. If you do part with things along the way, make sure you do so in a way that protects the environment. Have a GREEN Earth Day!
© 2013 Nettie Owens, Sappari Solutions. All Rights Reserved.
Nettie Owens is a professional organizer and owner of Sappari Solutions serving Harford & Cecil Counties. Since 2004, Sappari Solutions has provided residential and small business clients organizational solutions that fit their lifestyle, budget and schedule. Sappari Solutions is highly committed to protecting the environment and to sustainable business practices.