I know lots of people are using this extra time at home as an opportunity to declutter their homes and let go of the items that are no longer serving them. However, I find that one of the biggest barriers to decluttering is physically removing the items no longer desired from your home. Let me be clear, it's still clutter if it's in your garage. You've just moved the clutter from one space to another.
Decluttering can be difficult for two reasons:
1) it can be hard to emotionally let go of items,
2) it can be difficult to remove those items from your home.
With some items, it’s easy to know when you’re ready to let go of something (i.e. you don’t love it and don’t use it). However, it can be hard to know when to let go of something- that’s when the aid of a professional organizer can be helpful. They can guide you through that process of understanding the emotional attachments we have to our belongings. Decluttering is a wonderful opportunity to connect items you don't want or use anymore, to charities and people in your community- which feels great! Below are some ideas for removal for items that you’re completely confident and ready to let go of. There are three main categories: reuse, recycle, and trash. I’ve added a new column for items you’re not ready to let go of, but they can’t remain in your home: store. Let's talk about ways to remove those items from your home.
i. Find charities in your community that are meaningful to YOU. Donations commonly end up in thrift stores where your donated items are sold to benefit the charity. Be aware that if you want to have an accurate tax receipt, you’ll need to make an inventory first and assess the value yourself. Some charities will require you to enter your receipt online (i.e. Goodwill).
i. Perhaps you know someone that can use the items you no longer have use for. You can also reach out to your community Facebook groups to see if there is a need for items.
Be warned that selling items can be an impediment to truly getting rid of items. I recommend giving yourself a timeline to sell something, if it doesn’t sell then find a meaningful place to either donate it or gift it.
i. Thread Up (selling items of gently used clothing that is less than 5 years old. Shipping items to them is free.
ii. Facebook Marketplace
iii. Once Upon a Child (selling children's toys, shoes, clothes and baby gear)
iv. Community Facebook Groups.
v. Garage Sales
Vi. Plato’s Closet
Below is a list of interesting recycling opportunities for items that have traditionally ended up in landfills.
i. Small electronics
Staples accepts many small electrics, see a complete list on the link below.
They have suspended this due to COVID 19. Be sure to keep checking their website for when this service will begin again.
1. Many retail locations such as Staples and Home Depot will take rechargeable batteries.
2. Single use batteries are trickier; however, some counties such as Lake County, FL do accept these for curbside pick-up.
1. Habitat for Humanity (brand new un-used paint)
2. Open paint
a. Most counties offer paint recycling in limited quantities at a single drop off.
b. Check with your local theatre. I was able to donate all of my extra paint recently to a theatre group- they even came and picked it up!
v. Car Seats
1. Target does a car seat trade in twice annually!
vi. Used Athletic Shoes
Finally consider how your item could be repurposed and another use may be possible in your own home or someone else's. If you're not sure, google it! For example, I had a number of tired pillows that had gone flat, no amount of washing or fluffing was bringing these back to life. So after consulting the internet, I found the wonderful idea to use the stuffing to create new pillows. I was able to combine 5 deflated queen pillows into 2 king sized pillows! I needed two new king pillows, so it saved me money.
Some items you're ready to let go of may not be appropriate for donation or reuse. Larger items require you to call ahead of your trash pick up day to ensure they are picked up. Always consult your area trash guidelines to ensure you're disposing items responsibly and appropriately. Below are the guidelines for Lake County, FL.
If you need immediate trash/ junk removal find someone that can do this for you locally. I’ve had an amazing experience with Indy’s Junk Removal here in Central Florida. It’s as simple as texting him with a photo of what you would like removed, and your address. You can reach Indy at 407-920-9988 or check out their website: www.indysjunkremoval.com.
If you have items that you simply cannot part ways with but you don’t have enough space in your home, you can consider storing these items. Historically, the storage market has been a difficult beast to tame with many barriers to success including: physically getting the items to the storage unit, cost, and a pricing model that increases over time. Packed Up addresses all of these concerns by getting an instant quote right from your mobile device or computer, price flexibility, transparency and convenience. They take a look at all the grievances from everyday self-storage customers and have answered them with a modern storage solution.
Simple, flexible pricing - We do this while avoiding the gimmicky admin fees, surcharges and price hikes. Prices are $5 per box and $10 per appliance or furniture item.
Valet Pick-Up and Return - Get back to what matters most in life and skip the truck rental, hauling and lifting. Packed Up does all the hard work for you.
Instant Quote - They did away with the sales calls, online research and contact forms. Get your quote in under 10 seconds using the Instant Quote Tool.
By offering flexible $5-10 item pricing, you only pay for what you store. No need to pay for the entire 10 x 10 storage unit on the other side of town. They also understand that the booking process and online research takes a lot of time. They have simplified this by providing an online instant quote. In a matter of seconds, you can get a price and book your storage and moving. Skip the sales calles, trips around town and traffic. Lastly, the valet pick-up and return is what really makes them stand out from the pack. In the everyday hustle and bustle of getting the kids ready, keeping up the house and managing work, no one really wants to spend the day moving their furniture from their home to a smelly old storage unit. Let Packed Up moving professionals do all the hard work for you. This gives you back your day to spend it on what matters most - your family.
In summary, storage has never been an attractive option when it comes to taking control of your home. It required jumping through hoops, phone calls, research, and heavy lifting. Packed Up has partnered with Try Organizing to provide the easiest modern storage in town.
I hope some of these suggestions will make your own decluttering project a little less daunting. You've got this! And if you don't, that's okay. Don't be afraid to ask for help.