Do Good and Make Money by Responsibly Discarding Unwanted Things
A few years back, the popular American reality TV show “Hoarders” profiled an Edmonton, Alberta woman who couldn’t part with any of her possessions. She wasn’t living in clutter. She quite literally buried herself in junk.
While this woman’s plight is extreme, we can't deny the fact that as North Americans, we really like our stuff. Lots of it. But there comes a time when all those things laying around serve no purpose. As Marie Kondo, the Japanese organizing consultant, best-selling author and Netflix TV host recommends, decluttering your home provides benefits way beyond freeing up closet space. (What she doesn't say and what we, as real estate professionals know, is that decluttering a home before selling can help significantly increase the final selling price.)
Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up provides a spiritual dimension to cleanliness, organization and tidiness. She lays out simple ways of decluttering and organizing a home, and thus one’s life. There’s a simple criterion when deciding what to keep and what to chuck. Does the object “spark joy”? If not, out the door it goes.
KonMari not only helps determine what to keep but how to keep it. There are prescribed methods of folding, storing and organizing your possessions.
Benefits of KonMari
Successfully KonMari’ing your home provides a number of benefits beyond not tripping over old, seldom worn shoes. It will lead to a more positive, happy and joyous life. And logistically, it sure makes it easier to find things.
There is some evidence that KonMari provides measurable psychological benefits too. In a study conducted at the University of Navarra, in Pamplona, Spain, researchers found that people committed more errors in a messy, unorganized environment. Furthermore, the report noted that conscientious employees worked with much greater accuracy in a tidy workplace environment.
What to do with all that stuff?
Now that you’ve decided to get rid of unwanted junk, what do you do with it? Discarded items don’t have to become the new-found treasure for dumpster-divers. There are many responsible, environmentally sound, socially beneficial and, yes, profitable ways of disposing of unwanted possessions. Whether its electronics, clothes, books, appliances, furniture or that velvet Elvis painting your crazy aunt gave you, here are a few places to dispose of things in a correct manner:
For the Community and the Needy
Community services and charities are a wonderful way of getting rid of unwanted items. Municipal budgets are always tight, so local libraries and schools often accept books, audio tapes, and DVDs that are in good shape. They sometimes seek old computers, ones that have little market value because of their age.
Savers/Value Village takes discarded donations — electronics, clothes, etc. — and will either recycle or sell the items. This is a profit-making enterprise but some of their revenue is distributed to charities. There are over 160 Savers locations throughout Canada and the U.S.
Fraternal organizations such as the Lions, Rotary, Shriners and Elks Club often seek donations of discarded goods so they can distribute them to local charities and the needy. Local shelters are happy to take donations. The Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Habitat for Humanity take unwanted items such as clothes, furniture, appliances, and other everyday things.
For the Environment
Old stuff must be properly discarded so as not to harm the environment. A good place to go to find local eco-friendly recycling facilities is Earth911. Another environmentally correct way to get rid of stuff is to go to Junk-works.ca. They adhere to Canadian government environmental and climate change regulations. Importantly, they recycle or donate over 60% of the stuff they collect. Only a small amount goes into landfill.
For Extra Cash
If you need some extra cash, eBay and Craigslist are great platforms for selling almost everything. The old-fashioned garage sale is another way of getting quick cash. There are a number of places that pay for unwanted books. These include Cash4Books.net and Bonavendi.com. Consignment Stores take things that people want to sell and display them in their shop. Ikea Canada resells used Ikea furniture. It gives customers a gift card in exchange.
For the Trash
There’s just some stuff destined for the trash can. People who have a lot of it – reformed hoarders perhaps – sometimes need a dumpster delivered to their home. Once it’s filled, off to the dump it goes. Most municipal dumps will sort the items for recycling.
These are just a few of the ways to properly dispose of your unwanted goods. Once you’ve done that and find yourself surrounded with only “joyous” objects, you can enjoy the next stage in life and home ownership.