So, you’ve committed to starting the challenge but before you start you must decide what you are going to do with your discarded items and you must commit.
I repeat!!! YOU MUST DECIDED NOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO WITH YOUR DISCARDED ITEMS.
My suggestions are that you need to:
- 1. Sort stuff to be donated vs trash/recyclables. (Please, PLEASE recycle!)Go to this link to find out how to recycle different items in your home (batteries, electronics, etc)
- Immediately throw away trash, immediately sort recyclables to be recycled. (We have bi-weekly recycling pick up here in NY, so all recycling goes down to my basement but I suggest getting a bin to take to a local center if you don’t have at home collection).
- Determine which charity you will be donating the rest. I found this cool website where you put your zip code in and it tells you donation centers that will come pick up your stuff. You can also use this website for determining the legitimacy and goodness of your chosen charities. (Unfortunately, some big box donation centers pretty much just pad the ockets of the CEOs and do very little work in the community or for those in need. I suggest first looking at local donation centers and of course, Catholic Charities is always a phenomenal place to give!)
- Do everything in your power to FIGHT the urge to hold a yard sale. Unless you desperately, desperately need the money – you will *make* more money on itemized charitable donations tax deductions during tax season than you will getting $.25 for your items. Not to mention, yard sales do have upfront costs, are extremely time consuming AND you will have to hold on to your **crap** until he sale which makes the…. ***crap*** much more likely to make it back into your home.
- Whatever you do, get the decluttered items OUT of your home ASAP. For me, I immediately trashed or recycled things and immediately put the stuff to be donated in my trunk. It was a great motivator because 1 – the kids couldn’t see the stuff I was donating, 2 – it wasn’t in the home to be put back somewhere when I wasn’t looking, 3 – I couldn’t use my trunk until I had dropped stuff off at the donation center so I went about every 1-2 days during the height of my decluttering (just did quick drop offs before errands or school drop offs during the day)
As an aside for all of this purging – please look into the links I have provided below regarding caring for our common home. Pope Francis wrote an encyclical in 2013 called: “Laudato Si: Caring for our Common Home” – about taking care of the environment and our individual responsibility to glorify God by protecting all of creation that we have been trusted to keep during our time on Earth. You can read the summary and action points here.