Purge Responsibly for Earth Day
As we all know, Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd. This is a day where people come together and work to better our environment, whether it be via collecting trash, planting trees, participating in community activities and educational events in order to spread information about how to best take care of our planet.
As you may know if you’ve read our book or visited our website, we Pixies are huge fans of purging and getting rid of extraneous clutter. The ways that people can best do this depends on their personality type, which is why we recommend you take the Pixie Quiz on our website and figure out just which Pixie type you are. This will, in turn, help you to decipher the way in which you can best organize and maintain your home and your life.
Purging can be difficult for all types, simply because we often get attached to our things — for sentimental reasons or because of the way we grew up. ‘Stuff’ often helps with a feeling of security. For example, some people buy certain items in bulk, such as paper products. This is mainly so they don’t run out, but some can go overboard, and these items definitely take up valuable space in your home and can count as clutter if you have too much. In fact, too much of anything can count as clutter — but this is subjective. What we do is work with your personality type to determine the best way to purge for you.
Purging is, by far, one of the hardest things for us to navigate as home organizers and organizational consultants, simply because it’s hard to let go — no matter who you are.
In this article, we will go over the various ways to make this tough task easier for yourself. First off, get someone to pick it up and literally take it off your hands. Second, make sure the items are disposed of responsibly — in other words, recycled or reused, NOT put in landfills.
Ways to Purge Responsibly
This company is amazing. They provide full-service junk removal from wherever it is in your house. You don’t have to lift a finger, and they price according to volume, meaning the amount of space your stuff takes up in their truck. No more dragging junk to the curb, organizing large-scale, elaborate yard or estate sales, just dialing a number on your phone, scheduling a pickup, and paying a fee. And not just that, but after your clutter is out of your hands (or hair), you’ll sleep soundly knowing that it will either be donated, recycled, or disposed of in an otherwise environmentally ethical manner. We cannot stress how easy and efficient this method of purging can be. They even have a statement on their website regarding their Environmental Management Methodology. These folks do not play around.
From their website:
“The Freecycle Network® is made up of 5,000+ groups with over 9 million members across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and keeping good stuff out of landfills.”
That’s right. So how does it work, exactly? Well, each group is led by a moderator, who checks messages of Offers and Donates from members who post to the Freecycle.org site. Things like washing machines, computers, baby clothes, carpets and anything else you could think of that you might have wanted to get rid of but felt too guilty to throw away, are wanted items that are ‘gifted’ to members (and membership is free, by the way) and kept out of landfills.
Freecycle describes itself as “the worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources and eases the burden on our landfills.”
An incredible nonprofit organization, Goodwill uses the revenue they receive from selling donated goods at retail stores throughout the country to fund services for the unemployed. These services include job training and community-based assistance programs for people who would otherwise have difficulty finding work. Goodwill has locations everywhere, as well as dropboxes where you can dump your things. The policy on donations is as follows, from the Goodwill website:
“Donating items that are in working condition, contain all of their pieces and parts, and are free of stains and rips is the best way to ensure that your goods do the most good. While we accept most clothing and household items, there are a few things we can’t accept – such as items that have been recalled, banned or do not meet current safety standards. In addition, if you’re looking to donate specialty items such as computers, vehicles or mattresses, it’s best to give your local Goodwill organization a call first to find out any rules or restrictions around these items.”
Generally, donating to Goodwill is the most labor intensive of these three decluttering options, but you’ll feel good (pun intended) knowing that your things will not only be going to people in need, but the revenue from the sale will be going toward a good cause.