I personally love organizing!! It is one of my favorite things.
You know the 3 R’s of school; Reading, Writing, & 'Rithmetic.
Well here is my 3: Reduce, Rethink, & Recycle & although they are not similar I am going to show you how I came up with them. Call it my teaching blog for you all.
I lived in a home with a whole lotta stuff as a child. Very close to hoarding in fact. So in case you didn't know, I am the exact opposite. Maybe I am a little too much on the extreme other end. I do have a tendency to declutter to the max. My theory has been since I was about 16 is .... 'If I don't need it, don't keep it'.
So as I was redoing the house last month I did just this.
Starting with Reduced.
In the office it was all about the books that we no longer read.
Kitchen it was all about the utensils, coffee mugs, plates, bowls... the items we do not use but have a whole bunch of.
Front Closet was the winter wear clothing we do not wear anymore.
My closet was the clothes that I no longer want, wear or the ones I do not like anymore & I did this with the husbands too. Iit wasn't just ours that got cleaned out, I did it also to my youngest son's room as he does tend to 'hang' onto things until they are way too small.
Basement was the junk that gets collected & ignored like gift bags & toys (yes my kids are all grown up & we still have Nurf guns & Lego). Also went through all the Christmas bins to see what I wanted to keep & what could find a new home.
Linen closet was all the bedding we do not use or don't have beds for & the trashed out towels.
And then, let me tell you there was a whole bunch of organizing & just random stuff to go through.
I personally love organizing!!
It is one of my favorite things, EVER!
Next was to Rethink some of the stuff we had but to try & make sense of it in our home.
As I mentioned in the 'Do It Yourself - Adventure' post we moved items around in the house instead of throwing them out or buying new. Example (in case you didn't read that post): The old bookshelf in the office has gone to the basement to hide my spouses collecting issues. Looks way better than having bins upon bins of his stuff.
Another was the old hutch we had, I drilled in the back of the wall & bought cord grommets (I love that I know what this is) & made it into a new TV stand.
But I didn't only do this with furniture, I did this too with old clothes & sheets & towels.
I made a bunch of cloths that the Hubs can use to clean the trailer, or vehicles. I also re-thought the sheets & made them into floor drop cloths for painting & other messy adventures.
There isn't anything that you cannot Rethink!
But the best part of all of this is the ability to Recycle.
I do not know about you but I personally love thrift shops. My favorite things about consignment shopping is that you can find name brands for way cheaper & that you can usually find random one off items that very few people have.
However, for this little piece I am writing today, it is about Recycle!
So let me get to this....
The thing about my clothes is that I hit up 3 different stores in a certain type order to get the best bang for my dollar. The 1st place I go to is Expressions. They usually take higher end items like Lululemon or Aritzia or Joe Jeans for example. They are the type of store that takes your items & sells them, then you can collect your money.
I then move on to Plato's Closest. This store is more aimed at 20-somethings & they pay out less for your clothes, but they do pay immediately. They also favor the cheaper brands like H&M, Old Navy & Ardene's. After that I hit up Style Encore, which is the same parent company as Plato's, but their target audience is 30+ women styles. Their pay out is immediate also & they also take the cheaper brands. All of these places will take higher end items also.
I do it this way because the payout at the one is higher, but I have to wait for the items to sell versus getting immediate cash for a lower amount. So if patience is something you are willing to do then this would be the route for you.
Here is the key to this; make sure the clothing is clean, organized per location.
Another for us is to make sure that when we are getting rid of any type of winter wear we donate it to the people in need. Usually in years pass there has been an ability to drop stuff like this at a Fire-station or a grocery store. However, with Covid it just isn't the same, so off to the local Drop Inn Center to make sure that the winter jacket can help keep someone warm. Again, the key to this is make sure they are clean. I wouldn't want a dirty jacket, so why would I give one!
Next item is Jeans.
'Jeans' you say?
There is this remarkable lady that sells gently used Jeans here in Calgary. She has her own little store & to be honest I have found some of my favorite jeans there. Jeans Addiction is the name & she just recently opened a Lululemon consignment store too. She takes pretty much all name brands of jeans including Silver Jeans. So I generally keep my jeans that I know are her preferred styles for her store. She takes the jeans herself (no employees) & she goes over them & makes an offer on the ones she would like & payment is through e-transfer, just to make life way easier. The best part about her is the fact that she is super friendly & she pays out for jeans more than any other consignment store. Key for this is that she is super honest about why she isn't taking a certain style & tells you if & when you should hang onto them.
When it comes to my youngest son's clothing, I take these to Once Upon A Child (same parent company as Plato's & Style Encore). I know he is 16, but did you know that they carry clothes up to size 18? Well if you didn't, you do now! They also pay out immediately & they are not so brand picky, but they do want the clothes to be in decent shape. No one wants to buy stained clothes for their children. The other perks to this store are they take DVD's, toys, & even kids furniture, like our old Ikea step stool. Again, something to consider if you are like me & need to purge the Mighty Machine Movies!
I mentioned the son's clothes & mine, but what about all the Men of the world. Well, Expressions has a men's consignment store & that is where I took the Hubby's clothes. The store is called Men of Distinction & they have 2 locations in Calgary. They also like a more middle to higher end type of clothing & this honestly is the only route to get any money for Men's clothing. There are not a lot of options when it comes to dudes, but if you have it, my advice is to use it. This is also the same as Expressions; pay out after the clothing sells. I am not sure why men do not get the same choices as us ladies as I am sure there is a market for it. Maybe an idea for someone to pursue??
Another was all the books!
I got some serious mula for them at Fairs Fair Book's here in Calgary.
I mentioned this before, but it is something that can be said again. It is important that if I am not reading these books ever again, that someone gets the chance to do so. Recycling books & making some money. Key is to know that they are not going to take them all & look up where the other donation places are to drop the remainder. It is important that you know what cause you want to support when it comes to books, as there are a few options.
One of those items that get stocked up in our home is old electronics. So after some research we figured we could take them to the local E-Recycling. If they can be repurposed for anything, then that is what we are going to do. There is no need for any of this to go to the local landfill. There is always a way to Reduce, Rethink & Recycle everything!!
Next is the random glasses we have around the house. I know it is weird but we have all the prescription glasses that we have used in my closet for like the last 15 years. So again, after some research, I realized that Lens Crafters will take them & donate them. There is no money exchanged in this one, but it feels good to know that someone will get the benefit of eye sight with our assistance. Side note on this, I also gave all the glasses cases, cause you never know if it can be reused also.
Last Recycle move on my part is the final drop. This is where all the items that I know I have maximized the potential out of, but no one wants is taken to Value Village. There is no money to be made on this drop, but you do know that at some point someone is going to love my old treasures. I personally have found new items at Value Village that someone considered to be Junk & I thought it was Gold! I love shopping at Value Village for anything really. It is affordable & you can find anything! NO Shame folks.
I know this is a process & there is a lot of timing, planning, research & executing with all of this. However the benefits totally out way the of keeping, hoarding, or trashing of decent Recyclable items. When I decide to do this, my poor office is usually full of reusable bags & containers, & my car gets quite full. But the amount of money we make or the joy of knowing that someone else will love this is truly all worth the hassle.
If it is motivation you are lacking; then find it or a friend that will help you.
If it is figuring it all out; then use the world wide web to give you the tools to know where to go.
If it is not knowing where to start because you have too much; then start in a small room one week, complete that room & move on to the next.
Honestly you could be sitting on some decent cash & a feeling of self accomplishment with knowing you have passed it forward to someone else.
You can do all this too & it is a great feeling to have it all done & gone.
Reduce what you got, because chances are you don't need all of it.
Reuse what you can so you don't have to buy new stuff.
AND always Recycle as it can be beneficial for generations to come!!