Spring is (mostly) here! If you’re anything like me, this time of year is both thrilling and exhausting. You’re so excited that the days are finally longer and warmer, but you also suddenly realize that somehow, over the long winter, your house has become stuffed with clutter.
Where it all came from nobody knows, but your junk drawers are crammed, your closet is barely accessible, and every surface seems to hold items you neither want nor need. But this is the perfect time for it - spring cleaning! It’s a whole thing, isn’t it?
Along with spring cleaning comes a challenge, though: what do you do with all the stuff you’re getting rid of? Most of it is probably still in perfectly usable condition, so you feel bad throwing it out, but you definitely want it gone - so what to do? Well, if you’re finding yourself stuck in this dilemma right now, I’ve got a few suggestions for you:
This is an obvious one - got some extra clothes, furniture, or other useful items you need to get rid of? Plenty of worthy organizations will gladly take them off your hands - check out Dress for Success to donate women’s clothes, or the Canadian Diabetes Association for just about anything else you can think of (bedding, small household items, electronics, etc.). And if neither of those is quite up your alley, a quick Google search should help you find the perfect place to pass on your gently-used items!
Depending on what you have to purge, you might have one or more items for which you’d like to recoup some of your purchase cost - maybe you’d like to get some cash back for your infrequently-used tablet and put it towards a laptop or a new TV instead, for instance. Check out sites like Craigslist, Kijiji, or even eBay - you might be surprised what you could get a few dollars for while simultaneously clearing out a bit of your household clutter!
With the rise of services like Uber and Airbnb, our society is becoming more and more comfortable with the idea of a “sharing economy” (“a socio-economic ecosystem built around the sharing of human and physical resources. It includes the shared creation, production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services by different people and organisations.” - via https://www.thepeoplewhoshare.com/blog/what-is-the-sharing-economy/).
Did you know there’s a whole subsystem in Toronto devoted strictly to the trading of unneeded or unwanted items? It’s called Bunz Trading Zone, and its only real rule is that no money is to be exchanged - only goods and services. You can visit the website at bunz.com (and even download the app for trading on the go), create an account, and begin uploading your unwanted items - trade last season’s shoes for a couple bottles of wine, or the coffee table that doesn’t fit in your new apartment for some bar stools or a cool painting. The possibilities are endless!
Whether you donate, sell, or swap, hopefully you’ll find ways to divert just about anything you’re getting rid of from the landfill into the hands of someone else who can use them. And in the process, you’ll be creating a calm, clutter-free space for yourself to enjoy with the windows open and the warm spring air wafting in. Happy cleaning!