Ever notice that life is full of clutter? Of things you thought might be useful one day, but after a couple of years, still sit in your room gathering dust? This is also a good analogy for our mental health – we hold on to resentments, guilt and shame that we don’t really need. These emotions, like physical clutter, take up room in our minds and leave little breathing space for positive reinforcements. We can’t see through the emotional mess to the freedom beneath. It might be a weak connection, but I believe that clearing our rooms of actual junk helps us to clear our minds. At the very least, it teaches us not to hold on to useless things that serve no purpose.
It is important to identify and categorise your items according to their worth. For example, firstly try to identify what is actual rubbish, what is worth giving away or is reusable and what is worth selling.
There are many ways you can purge and recycle your clutter - and I guarantee your wallet and wellbeing will thank you for it!
Giving to charity
This option takes first prize for the warm fuzzies you get when the person behind the counter at the charitable organisation smiles at you and thanks you for your donation. You’ve just helped that organisation provide services to disadvantaged and needy people, well done!
It’s simple: pack a bag of things you no longer want but would be able to be reused, and take it to a local charity. Some charities that would greatly appreciate your help are: The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society, The Red Cross, Brotherhood of St Lawrence and The Smith Family.
Swapping or giving away items
If you would rather get something in return for your goods, or would rather give the item to an individual, then swapping or giving away is the option for you. Swapping can easily be done through a number of websites such as Oz Recycle, The Clothing Exchange, Book Swap Australia and SwapAce. Giving goods away for free or finding free items can be achieved through FreeCycle Australia, Plunder, Reuse Moose and Ziilch. Alternatively, swap or give items away to friends or family.
Selling items online
Things that have considerable value, such as textbooks, electrical goods and furniture, may be worth selling online. Armed with a few photos of the item, an account with a given website and some patience, selling the item should be relatively hassle-free. But bear in mind that there are no guarantees that you will sell the item, so you may need to try different websites. Some useful websites include ebay, Gumtree, The Trading Post and Textbook Exchange.
Throwing away for good
If it wasn’t entirely obvious, throwing rubbish away in a bin is a way to purge items you (or anybody else) can no longer use. If you’re intent on getting rid of quite a lot of items, I highly recommend large heavy duty rubbish bags.