Kristen (AKA The Frugal Girl) had a post this week called “How to Declutter Without Creating Trash.” I thought I would say a few things about that since I’ve had a number of Tuesday posts recently referencing throwing things out.
Yes, I throw things out. Yes, I do recycle too. Any paper/cardboard goes out in the recycling and with four kids in school we get a lot of that. I do try to fix things that can be fixed. And somethings cannot be fixed – by me or anyone else – so they go in the trash.
My Tuesday posts have referenced a lot of clothing – socks, pants, and shirts. On the plus side, with 5 boys pretty much everything is worn thoroughly. I have the oldest and youngest boys in my family so I don’t do much clothing swapping beyond what we happen to end up with that doesn’t work for our kids. Since I have twins, I do sometimes pass on my duplicates. There are also a number of local consignment stores/sales which take gently used kids items. I’ve participated in a few of these sales. We also have many Goodwill and other charity drop boxes that take different sorts of gently used items. However, Kristen references fabric drop boxes where they will take clothing that is no longer wearable and recycle it. I’m not aware of any drop boxes around here for fabric recycling. She also recommends posting damaged but salvageable items (think pants with holes in the knees) on Freecycle for crafty folks. Unfortunately, when I throw pants out, apart from the giant knee holes they are usually in very good condition. I actually tried Freecycling them thinking someone might make shorts, quilt, etc. but got no takers so I’ve stopped.
One of the comments talks about making sure you use up toiletries. I thought that was a good one as I recently started going through the backlog of toothpaste tubes we get from the dentist. For the longest time I just set them aside. My kids weren’t old enough for fluoridated toothpaste and the samples weren’t my preferred type. I donated a few when toiletries were being collected. But, I also saved some for use when traveling or just because it seemed wrong to waste them. Anyway, I recently realized that I should start using them. So, I’ve been using them myself and working with the kids to use them. So far so good and we’ll have a few months where we don’t need to purchase toothpaste.
Kristen also talks about selling unwanted items. I’ve done this too. I parted with a number of books using an Amazon shop. As mentioned earlier, I’ve participated in a few kids goods consignments sales. I’ve used Craigslist for some larger items. That being said, I’m in need of a yard sale. They’re not my favorite thing to do, but it’s a good way to get rid of lots of different stuff that might be around your house. I last participated in one four years back. My preference is for a group yard sale.
Our previous town used to have a town-wide one where everyone brought their items to the town common. The advantage is that you had a bunch of buyers; the disadvantage is that you were basically limited to one vehicle load. That being said, it did it for a few years and felt it really paid off. I also picked up a few items (like that plastic lawnmower you saw a few days back) that we still get good use from. Our current down doesn’t have such a thing and with the boys’ schedules I haven’t been able to link up with our neighborhood yard sale. I’m going to have to figure something out in the next year though as the pile I’ve identified for this purpose isn’t going anywhere.
I’ve touched on some different things and this post is getting rather long. I’m sure there are other ways to reduce trash while reducing the stuff in one’s home.