I haven’t been shy about my love for Marie Kondo’s
The basic premise is to let things got that don’t spark joy in your life. Literally everything in your house… from clothes and toiletries to papers and pictures. You lay all like things out together in a big pile and hold each piece in your hands and make a decision about their place in your life.
It’s a process that can be down-right liberating, like lifting
But guess what? That literal weight has to go somewhere. And the one thing I wish Kondo covered more, is what to do with all of it after you’ve decided it doesn’t belong in your life.
Where does it belong?
Not in a landfill!
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So, what else can you do with it?
Here are some options:
What doesn’t spark joy for you, will likely spark a whole lot of joy for someone else. My number one thought when purging clothes or toys or anything from my house is ‘could someone else use this?’ Many times, what you have to pass on might be a blessing for someone who couldn’t afford it new.
There are many charities that are grateful to pass on your items to others. Some, like Goodwill and The Salvation Army, will take everything from clothes and toys to kitchen appliances and furniture.
>> MoneyCrashers.com has a great list of charities that take clothing donations. <<
If you want to make a difference in a more specific way, there are charities for that too. Dress For Success takes business attire to help women who need clothes for job interviews. And the Red Cross takes clothes for families who’ve lost everything to natural disasters.
Other places in your area that might need donations are churches, women’s shelters and homeless shelters.
>> LittleThings.com has a great list of items you can donate to women’s shelters. <<
Not all clothes can be donated. It’s a good gesture to want to give everything to charity, just in case someone could use it. And a lot of what you have to give probably has a lot of life left. But you know those old sweatpants with the holes in the hem and the knees… and the butt…
There are a couple of things you can do with these items. First, you can drop them off for the American Textile Recycling Service.
You can also compost SOME clothing items. You’ll need to make sure they’re pure wool, cotton, silk, linen, hemp or ramie (or a blend of any of those). Here’s a good article on composting cotton clothing.
For clothes you can’t donate or recycle, or if you don’t have a textile recycling location near you, you can turn those rags into other things like… well, rags.
Old shirts can make great rags for all kinds of cleaning.
You could also use clothing scraps for craft projects. Hey, that’s exactly the thing Pinterest is for, right?!
You could even make some money back on the things you’re getting rid of. The items that are in great condition and have brand names could make you money on resale sites like Poshmark or eBay. Or you can sell them to people in your own community through Facebook Marketplace or LetGo. Each site will give you better chances based on the type of thing you’re selling.
Here’s a guide on the best resale sites for your stuff
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