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How to dispose of things

Tue, 25 Aug 2020 23:25:10 +0000

How to dispose of things

I’ve been decluttering heaps recently and I just wanted to briefly go through the best ways to dispose of things when you get rid of them.

It’s easy to get caught in the moment and to want to get rid of everything all at once. It helps to not have to be around those things you don’t want  - out of sight, out of mind.

However, bringing everything straight to the op shop is not necessarily the best solution. 

Op shops are not always able to sell everything that’s been donated. With clothes especially, sometimes up to 80% of what is donated to op shops ends up in landfill. (There are many reasons behind this: have a read here).

So what to do? How to dispose of your items in a sustainable way?

This is my personal approach:

  1. Of course, upcycling is always an option. Before you throw that t-shirt away, consider whether it could be cut up and made into rags. An old pair of jeans can be sawn into a purse. Use your imagination! But if the purpose is to own less stuff, then keep on reading.

  2. My first option is always to give an item I don’t want to someone I know would want it. Someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure! I do this particularly with books, as I think they make a great present that can be passed on and on.

  3. Clothes swap are rad and sustainable af. They are one of my favourite things ever because you get to meet people and food is often involved. AND you get stuff for free! Of course this can be tricky if all you want is to get rid of stuff, and I personally find it hard to not pick up things I don’t need just because they are free. But if your willpower is stronger than mine, clothes swap are so so awesome.

  4. For items in good enough conditions, I’d try to sell them. However, I always try to sell them to someone in my local community first: someone who can come and pick the item up or that I can deliver to, as to avoid sending it via post. Neighbourly is a great platform to give away stuff to your local community.

  5. Garage sales are also great, although you need to have enough things to sell that would make it worth setting up a garage sale. Keep your prices low and I guarantee your neighbours will flock to you and help you declutter your space by cluttering theirs.

  6. Flea markets! These are quite popular in Wellington and I’ve taken part in one or two. It’s basically the same concept as a garage sale, just with more sellers all together and more potential buyers.

  7. If the above solutions don’t work, I will then expand to the rest of the country and post items for sale on platforms like Depop, TradeMe, and Facebook Marketplace. However, when I do send things via post, I will always try to send them in a bag or envelope I already own, so that I avoid post office plastic envelopes.

I would only bring stuff to my local op shop if none of the above solutions is achievable. It’s always better to give stuff to people who you know want it, because once your stuff is in the op shop, you lose control over what happens to it. If the quality of the items you’ve donated isn’t good enough, or if simply the op shop already has too much stuff, it’s likely that your donations will end up in landfill.

I hope this was helpful and, since I’m on a roll, you can expect more posts on minimalism and sustainability soon!

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