/r/declutter

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Advice, challenges, and discussion for reducing clutter, whether physical or electronic. This is not a sub for detailed "how to sell" advice.

/r/declutter

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3

Sad after selling clothes that don't fit

I've been really good at getting rid of clothes these past few months, with me selling most of them on Vinted or donating them.

But this week I've parted with some really nice 'going out' clothes that I no longer fit in after gaining some weight, and that I didn't get chance to wear. I like clothes that show my personality so these items are often bright or unusual, but that's led me to not reach for them as much. It just makes me feel shame because of putting on weight, and also the waste of not using these things when I had them, especially some which I bought fairly recently (working on my shopping habits).

I'm sure others have felt the same, but I just wanted to vent a bit as it's made me feel unexpectedly low.

1 Comment
2023/12/11
22:26 UTC

21

My wife loves thrifting.

How do I deal with a STUFF problem?
My wife and I have been married for 3 years and we are about to have a baby next month. She loves to thrift, is good at it, makes good finds, and "wants to open a store." The issue is she doesn't seem to know when to stop buying stuff. We have lots of excess pottery, plates, framed art, lamps, chairs, and other furniture. She also has a lot of clothes, shoes, and hand bags. She already has two smaller storage units with furniture in them, but the baby gifts are filling the room of my office, and the nursery is FULL of extra items. I know it is nice stuff and some people will want to buy it, but it needs to get out of the house. I am worried that the baby is going to get here and all this stuff will still be in the house. I have explained to her how this makes me feel, I have offered to help move more stuff to the storage units, she has had friends come help and we have made a dent, but a lot stuff still remains. It is always an excuse for why it can't get done or I get told not to move something, etc., so I have given up. I work two jobs and I am in school, so I don't have a lot of free time. We are currently enclosing a one car garage and having closet systems built. Hopefully this adds more storage but my goal is to get rid of the extra things and utilize the space we have efficiently without crowding and clutter. She does speak with a therapist regularly. Her mom saves too much stuff too. Am I overreacting? If we do clean it up will it all just come back? Is it OK to set some boundaries about no resale items in the house? What can I do to help her understand that this hobby is damaging our relationship and our family? It is creating a lot of stress for me. Separate post of pictures since I can't figure out how to add to this post.

20 Comments
2023/12/11
20:22 UTC

6

Struggle Area: Text Messages

I’ve been working on my digital clutter and doing pretty well with it, but I’m completely overwhelmed by the text messages on my iPhone. I stupidly never deleted anything and now I have texts dating back 5+ years.

On one hand, I’d love to just mass delete and be done with it. On the other hand, I know I’d regret it deeply because there are convos from when I first met my husband, sweet convos with loved ones who have passed, and I kind of want to go through and screen shot. But it’s thousands upon thousands of texts to wade through!

Any tips from someone who has been there?

9 Comments
2023/12/11
15:35 UTC

28

When is it time to be ruthless (bit of a rant I wrote by mistake)

I've gotten rid of a lot of things recently, a lot more than in previous un-clutterings. I've finally gotten rid of things that previously I have debated for a long time about keeping, because I realize the only time I touch those objects is when I am trying to justify keeping them. I've been doing good, but now I have reached the clothes, which are my weak point. As someone who works in fashion and costume, clothing is very important to me and more than just a body covering. I don't feel the need to keep clothes solely for wearing and do collect special pieces. I wear them sometimes but also just keep them for reasons that are hard to explain (if anyone is into egl you can perhaps understand wanting to own more and the quality associated with different brands etc)

A few weeks ago I really wanted to wear a dress that I had never worn before. I spent hours searching for it then realized I had actually sold it earlier in the year, because it didn't suit me at all (and I had tried it on multiple times spanning years to see if it would ever look good). I'm glad I got rid of it but in my head I still wish I had it, even though I know I would NEVER wear it because it looked awful on me! I have more pieces like this that I keep because I don't want the sad feeling of realizing they are gone when I go to hunt for them (and then I always take them off and won't wear them because they look like crap).

I'm finding more and more items like this- things I won't wear because they don't suit me, they are itchy, they are too revealing, etc. 'Almost right' clothes, where if just one part was a bit better, the fabric was higher quality, etc, I might actually like them. But some part of me wants to keep them, not just for myself to wear but for future potential styling at work, as I work in costumes a lot now. I don't even enjoy styling, dressing or designing - I mainly work on making garments. I have one dress in particular which I have worn myself and don't like, but was also used by stylists on a show I worked on. It fits a diverse range of sizes, and I happened to have it in my bag when they needed to style an outfit for an extra who didn't fit into any of our stock. So I kind of want to keep that just in case it is ever needed again. At the same time, it's a very specific style, so I doubt we would ever use it again, and I also have the capabilities to just make a dress to fit someone if a job doesn't have something that works (tho budgets even for large productions don't necessarily have the budget to make individual outfits for bg extras). I have a friend who works on smaller productions as a stylist and MUA, and she has a garage full of different clothing items that she uses at work, to save on costs for lower budgets, etc. Even though I do not do that kind of work and dislike it, part of me is compelled to amass my own costume wardrobe 'just in case'. I know people who have storage units for their kits as well, which they will often rent out, but it doesn't really appeal to me to pay to keep my extra work stuff stored somewhere. So as much as I want to have all of that stuff, I really don't want to deal with it!

I guess these are dreams of 'what if' and I should just get rid of these items. I've done an experiment before and realized that if I ever need a specific garment (ie I got invited to a 'pink' party and didn't own anything pink), I can find things in thrift stores to suit, which I really enjoy doing. It was fun going shopping with a purpose and knowing I could donate the item again and then find something completely new if I needed something with a similar theme again. I have previously gone buying for costume elements in different stores too and had success so I don't know why I'm hung up on specific items - I guess because they have such specific unique designs, I think they are cool. But there are a million more unique pieces out there!

I'm used to racks and racks and racks (industrial sized) at work so maybe my view is skewed - when I look at what i have it doesn't feel like much, but when I go in depth I don't like half my clothes for various reasons.

I didn't mean for this to end up as a rant but hopefully someone can help me get over myself 😅

11 Comments
2023/12/11
05:31 UTC

9

i have a really small closet

i have a small closet about 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide. the top of my closet is a slant down bc i’m in the upstairs of my house, so it’s less than 6x3x3 feet. probably slants down to less than 5 feet. how can i maximize this space?

i came back from my first semester as a freshman in college and i realized how small my home closet is in comparison to my college closet and i need to fix this. also i have my prom dress and grad gown hanging in there what do i even do with that?

8 Comments
2023/12/11
02:24 UTC

12

Looking for inspiration

Hi there! I just finished reading The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, which I enjoyed, but I found it to be a bit heavy on the “gentle” message lol

Does anyone have book recommendations to inspire a higher focus on minimalism?

1 Comment
2023/12/10
22:54 UTC

109

Is there any ACTUAL reason to keep boxes from electronics?

I live at home (20, saving to move out and trying to cut down on my stuff in preparation), and my dad and older brother have instilled in me that I NEED to save boxes from phones, laptops, headphones, computer mice. I have a stack in my closet that includes phone boxes from phones that have long since stopped working, tablets that I donated forever ago, broken headphones. What is the actual purpose of keeping these? Am I gonna regret recycling these, or can I finally get them out of my room?

127 Comments
2023/12/10
18:56 UTC

20

Decluttering slowly, tips

I have always struggled with obessing about decluttering because of how much i aquired in the past and never touched or used. Every time i wanted to declutter i would get depressed and riddled with anxiety that i lost all motivation. I've noticed what's been working for me is going about it slowly. Every time I have off I take a look at some things again and little by little recycle clothing, post items on ebay or on buy nothing pages add it to the box and store it in the closet. I haven't decluttered as much as I want because i love my 30 sweaters and such but I've made progress. Post your best tips My goal is to one day have my counters completely cleared and have a more calming environment, but I do love things. There's always something new we co Vince ourselves we need, even if we use it

12 Comments
2023/12/10
18:54 UTC

610

A trick I discovered that can help you actually get rid of sentimental clothes.

I'm someone who has emotions attached to certain items of clothing. Whether it's the dress I wore at my college graduation, a blouse I wore when I had my first kiss, or whatever. Or maybe it's just a pair of shoes I wore as a teenager that remind me of walking the halls of my high school with my friends and running around the neighborhood after dark.

If you have a stash of sentimental clothes, do this --- put them on.

I was hanging on to a hoodie I wore years ago, at a time I was dating my ex. It was a hoodie I wore to a job that I loved, and I wore it often outside of work. I practically lived in it.

But when I actually put it on, I hated how it made me feel. It reminded me of my ex and that specific time in my life, and I realized how far I've come and how much my life has changed since then. I am not the same person. And there was no reason to hang on to the hoodie because I would never wear it again.

In fact, I couldn't wait to take it off.

Now this isn't to say you should get rid of all your sentimental clothes, but only if you really don't have the space for them anymore. If you're seriously looking to declutter, try this tip!

40 Comments
2023/12/10
17:42 UTC

8

How do you store gym clothes?

My room is tiny and at the moment it has a wardrobe with one drawer at the bottom of it.

I want to store my gym clothes seperately to my regular clothes. Partly because the gym is disgusting so I'd like to keep them seperate even after they're washed and partly to make my life easier as I get ready for the gym.

How do you store them? Do you hang or fold? Do you keep it in storage bins?

20 Comments
2023/12/10
13:03 UTC

20

Decluttering in a small space with 2 little tornados

Hi - I've read a lot of great posts here and my goal for the next year is to maintain a much cleaner, less cluttered house (I didn't say spotless because I'm trying to be realistic). I've been adopting the "don't put it down, put it away" strategy for myself.

I have 2 little kids - almost 3 and just over 1. They get into everrrrrrything....do not sit still from sun up till they go to bed. Unfortunately they are also great climbers so nothing seems out of reach. We do our best to put the dangerous/fragile/important stuff out of reach, but our cabinets don't allow for childlocks because of the way they are set up.

My husband knows I'm overwhelmed and says to call a cleaner, but he doesn't understand the problem is not the cleaning, it's the picking up BEFORE anyone can clean.

I regularly purge items and donate old clothes and toys. I do not buy a lot of stuff, but it just feels like there are never ending little things on the floor...scraps of paper, colored pencils, combs, cables, you name it. I really want to get a handle on this. Does anyone have any game changing tips for managing clutter with 2 little kids? Any YouTube/tiktok or other books that have been helpful?

29 Comments
2023/12/10
11:31 UTC

15

"To do" clutter suggestions

One thing I always run into when decluttering is what to do with "to do" clutter. As in, things that need to be fixed, cleaned, installed/replaced etc.

In the last year, I've gotten way better about not buying things in the replace/install category unless I can commit doing the task within a couple of days. But I have things from before that realization that I'm not willing to part with, plus a toddler and a dog and an extremely tight schedule so things fall into the clean/fix category faster than I'm able to keep up with them most of the time.

Does anyone have a system or suggestion for this?

11 Comments
2023/12/10
05:43 UTC

250

Does anyone else prefer to clean the house alone?

And struggle to be motivated and keep focus when there are other people around? It sucks because I’m never alone in this house and I have the hardest time to want to be in the communal spaces to do things because I feel exposed I guess? Plus there is a HHA here as respite care for my grandmother and it just feels weird that this is my home, and for this stranger/acquaintance this is their place of work. Maybe this is just another symptom of my burnout but I’m curious if I’m alone in this feeling and if there is any advice to overcome it.

58 Comments
2023/12/10
05:06 UTC

6

Decluttering t shirts

Any tips for decluttering t-shirts? If I like a style of shirt I buy multiple items. Or I have 5 t-shirts for the same musical artist (but all different) I have taken all multiple items from my wardrobe and have filled two medium garbage bags. Any tips for going through them?

10 Comments
2023/12/10
03:37 UTC

11

Help me resist the temptation to nap instead of decluttering!

My bedroom has piles of clutter everywhere and 'the chair' is out of control! I've got my trash bag, donation bag, and box ready for things that belong in other rooms.

But I'm looking at the bed thinking oh a siesta! I know once I give in, it will be all over.

I thought I'd better hop on Reddit asap for some inspiration lol

10 Comments
2023/12/10
02:17 UTC

63

What are our top questions to ask when decluttering?

I'm kinda of stuck on one place and have items I feel like I like (does that make sense?) So I don't declutter them but then my room never feels declutered because those items are always rent free on the back of my head, I normally ask myself "would I buy this again if I was on a store right now? "

73 Comments
2023/12/09
23:38 UTC

7

Need help/ideason declutter gifts

Hi everyone! I need some support/help on what you’d do in my situation. My MIL has BPD and does not respect our wishes for less stuff for our son (her only grandchild). She is a hoarder (truly) and doesn’t understand that we live in a tiny apartment. For the most part I’m able to return clothes for credit, donate toys and books he has read or doesn’t show interest in. With the holidays coming it is completely overwhelming us. She has 3 boxes on the way to us, and then a big John Deere tractor toy for him to ride. We physically do not have the room for it, we’ve told her, we’ve told her he can ride it at her house, and she is still sending it. If you’ve ever dealt with someone with BPD you know it’s very hard to get through to them. We’ve asked for experiences etc but she only wants to send toys. Any advice on how to continue to declutter? Generally she forgets about items she buys because she buys so many, but the tractor and any big gifts she will remember.

1 Comment
2023/12/09
22:04 UTC

70

Tip that has helped me declutter

Hi everyone! This thread has been such a great resource during my declutter journey, but I wanted to share a thought process I had while decluttering that has helped me.

A little background, I have a hard time getting rid of the misc. things I think I may need in the future and clothes. I also think I'll need it, or I'll fit into it again, or sometimes put a weird animate narrative on to it and feel bad for getting rid of it.

Anyway, what has helped me is that I've had boxes for 2-3 years and I have transported stuff from one place to the next, never really using it in my daily life. I have found that when I am having a hard time getting rid of something that I ask myself "how long has it been in this box?" "When was the last time I used it?" "If I keep it, will I be here again in a year asking myself if I should keep it or get rid of it?"

Long story short, my trick is to NOT over think it. I ask myself these questions and then make a decision. I try to reason with my 'crazy brain' that it's been sitting for years and I haven't missed it or even knew what was in the box. I basically put myself on autopilot.

Changing my thought process is actually the only thing that has fully helped me declutter and keep my space decluttered. I ask questions when I buy stuff now "do I need this?" "If I do need this, is there space to store it (decorative items) or is there a spot for it in my house?". Stopping and taking a moment to ask a question and then not overthinking the answer has helped so much.

Anywho, wishing everyone luck on their journey and I'm so thankful this thread is here!

Edit: what has also helped me is thinking "if I was helping my friend declutter, would I tell her to toss it or keep it?" Objective perspective helps so much, because it's so easy for me to declutter others homes, just not mine. 😂

15 Comments
2023/12/09
18:04 UTC

35

Declutter with Disabilty ?

I am severely disabled with about a dozen health conditions . I have severe chronic pain every day. Once upon a time I had a bit of a hoarding habit (not worthy of tv but enough to be a slight issue ) that was years ago and I got over it , and became sort of a neat freak. But over the last few years my health has taken a horrible turn and I struggle to care for myself . All the things I need to help me cope with my pain, medications; doc paperwork , topicals , devices , heat pads, PT equipment , supplements and on and on and on. Idk how to even begin to approach the clutter that’s been forming especially with my poor health, severe pain and fatigue . I’m wondering if anyone else has some experience in this and tips for now on earth do you tackle it ? I know that being less cluttered and more organized would prob help me immensely but I have intense brain fog, memory and concentration issues due to my various pains . And I often need to have things at arms reach . I use mobility aids and am sometimes bedridden . It just sounds impossible .Any advice?

17 Comments
2023/12/09
02:40 UTC

25

Donation Guide crowd-sourcing request: BOOKS! (oh boy, here we go...)

Hello r/declutter! I am working on a "donation guide" that will go in the "useful links" section. I'd like to ask you to read what I have come up with and add any other ideas or suggestions you may have. If you're from outside of the US, please let me know so I can highlight any ex-US options.

I will periodically post categories of the guide for review. If you have an urgent request, let me know and I will work on that topic next.

Today's topic is BOOKS! Oh boy...

FYI, the default for any "gently used item in good condition" is always going to be 1) donate to your local thrift store and 2) offer up on-line. My goal is to capture any less obvious donation (including recycling) opportunities.

And remember, trash is always an option!

BOOKS

Remember, even librarians have to cull their collections periodically.

Whether you decide to sell, offer up online, donate, recycle, or trash your decluttered books is a very personal choice - there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

If you agonize about the fate of your beloved books, if you NEED to be sure they go to someone who wants them, then it MAY be worth your time and effort to find a good home for your books. You may want to consider selling (either online or to a book reseller) or offering them up online (if you want to put an actual face to your donation).

If you just want to give your book another chance to be re-read, books in good condition can be donated. But if you're going to donate, be realistic about what can be reused. Don't foist crummy books on the public or burden a charity with books they can't resell - they will have to dispose of the books (which usually means trash) which wastes their time and their resources.

If you're feeling overwhelmed and just don't have the bandwidth to deal with your books, there is nothing wrong with recycling or trashing perfectly good books. Do what you can do. The ultimate goal here at r/declutter is to get things out of your space and if putting your books in the trash is what you need to do to maintain your sanity, then trash those books and be free. You (and your family) matter - the books do not matter.

Note: Any book that has gotten wet, shows signs of water damage (water spots, ruffled pages) , has pages stuck together from moisture/humidity, or shows any signs of mold/mildew should be removed from your collection as soon as possible and disposed. Moldy books can contaminate other books and there's no getting rid of the mold without destroying the paper. If the book looks/smells "musty" then it probably is (even if you can't see it). Thanks to u/thesilvernail for this technical information.

Selling:

If you think you have something "good," you might want to consider selling:

AbeBooks https://www.abebooks.com/ (specializes in old, collectible books), Amazon.com https://sell.amazon.com/learn/how-to-sell-books, eBay.com https://community.ebay.com/t5/Selling/Tips-for-a-New-Bookseller/td-p/29356537, Half Price Books https://www.hpb.com/stuff-we-buy.html, Pango Books https://pangobooks.com/, WeBuyBooks https://www.webuybooks.co.uk/sell-books/ (UK), Ziffit https://www.ziffit.com, Zubal Books https://www.zubalbooks.com/sell.jsp (scholarly, rare, and hard to find books and other published materials) or your Local used book store (search for "used book store near me")

Recycling:

Contact your municipal/county recycling program, or whatever company manages your solid waste disposal, and ask them if they accept books for recycling and how they should be prepared. Some books, like soft cover cooks and/or books with a stapled spine, are considered "mixed paper" and can be recycled as-is. It may be necessary to remove (and trash) the cover/binding from hardcover books before recycling.

Some programs may accept "mixed paper" in curbside recycling, some programs may have book bins at a municipal/county recycling/transfer station.

Wet, moldy books or books with pages stuck together may not be acceptable for recycling so contact the recycling program before recycling.

It may feel sacrilegious, but some books are just trash.

Donating:

General interest books in GOOD CONDITION are generally acceptable for donation. But not all books should be donated! Consider the condition and the subject matter.

Books in poor condition, dirty, torn, water damaged, crushed, moldy, etc should be recycled where available (or trashed).

If you end up with a "questionable" book, like old "non-fiction" books full of cringe-worthy discriminatory ethnological/behavioral "information" (age, ethnicity, disability, gender identity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexism, sexual orientation, etc), ask yourself, do you really want to be the means by which this kind of thinking is put back out into the world? Recycling (or trash) may be more appropriate.

Most organizations do not want old/outdated books including computer/software tech guides, cookbooks, encyclopedias, parenting books, phone books, textbooks, technical books, travel guides, (Reader's Digest) abridged novels etc. Old non-fiction picture/art books with lots of black-and-white photographs might also be less appealing to modern audiences used to color. But you can always offer up online. You never know the crazy stuff other people want for projects or their collection.

Religious books are a hard sale at many secular thrift/resale stores so if you have religious books, you might want to choose a thrift store sponsored by a religion-based organization, offer up at your local place of worship, or offer up online.

Old school textbooks & reference materials. The best piece of advice might be to sell them back to your school's bookstore when you're finished with the class. Too late, right? If the content in your books are still valid, then go ahead and donate - when in doubt, call and ask.

There are quite a few literacy programs that may accept text books. But scientific or technical subjects do change. For example, Books for Africa requests dictionaries, reference, technical, and science books published within the last 10 year so that's probably a good benchmark. If you're not sure your donation is appropriate, call the store/organization and ask about their donation guidelines. Outdated (or wrong) self-help books, diet/weight loss books, parenting books, study guides, medical books, etc could do more harm than good. Resist the temptation to burden someone else with your outdated books. Don't be the means by which outdated, potentially harmful information is put back out into the world. Recycling (or trash) may be more appropriate. Thanks to u/lsp2005 for this clarification.

Old texts and professional development training materials from a previous career. Remember that scene in About Schmidt when he sees all of the boxes of business documents and files he painstakingly prepared for his successor unceremoniously dumped next to the trash? What could be worse? How about bringing all of that stuff home with you because you thought you might want to refer to it again? This can be a very difficult category to declutter so having somewhere to send the items can help. If your materials are recent, you could offer up to a community college, professional development organization, or online. But like old textbooks, if your materials are old/outdated, or specialized, accept the inevitable and recycle (or trash).

Old "decorative" books that look really cool but no one would ever want to actually read, they might have more value as décor. If you're afraid your thrift store won't appreciate their "inherent" value (and put them in the trash), then offer up online. A local theater might want them for props or a historic home might be able to use them as period-correct décor.

Crafting books can go anywhere people do crafts.

Knitting/craft pattern pamphlets can be problematic. Does anyone out there really want to crochet a dress or cross-stitch on a sweatshirt? But the turn-over on these items at the thrift store can be surprising and vintage books can be highly collectible. When in doubt, call and ask if your local thrift/resale store is interested or offer up online.

Old cookbooks, recipe pamphlets and old crowd-sourced recipe books (communities, places of worship, etc) are also problematic. Tastes and diets change, access to "real" ingredients have improved - does anyone really want cookbooks with garish, color-shifted pictures, recipes that rely on highly processed/packaged ingredients, or a bunch of savory Jell-O "salads" from 1960? Another case of one person's trash is another person's treasure. Again, when in doubt, call and ask the store what they will accept. Or offer up online.

Magazines/periodicals, catalogs, art/photography catalogs, etc. Some vintage/specialty magazines and catalogs may be extremely collectible so check eBay sold listings if you think you have something good. Many thrift/resale stores will accept magazines in good condition for resale but call and ask before you donate. You can always offer up online, especially if you have something of special interest (automotive, crafts, fashion, food/cooking, history, hobby, sewing, woodworking, etc). And it's possible that someone may be looking for colorful, glossy paper to make crafts. Otherwise, "glossy paper" (that is easy to tear) can generally be added to mixed paper recycling.

Places to donate:

Public Library or Friends of Library groups. They probably will not add your books (or other media) for their collection, but they may accept books/media for their "book sale" section where they can raise money for library programs. Please contact your branch before donating and verify any condition standards they may have.

Little Free Library works on the take-a-book, leave-a-book free book exchange but if you can target your donations according to library location, the materials will be more appealing. For example, children's books near parks, schools, trails. https://littlefreelibrary.org/ has a map of locations. Magazines in good condition are generally appropriate.

Coffee shops sometimes have take-a-book, leave-a-book sections for their customers.

Retirement homes (indepentant, assisted living or nursing home) often maintain a library for residents to use. If you have books or magazines of general interest you want to donate, especially series, call and ask if you have anything they could use. Large-print books or colorful illustrated/coffee table books may be especially appropriate for nursing home residents.

Domestic violence/women's shelters, homeless shelters, rehab clinics and other supportive/transitional housing may accept book or magazine donations for their clients.

Waiting rooms. Now that most people have phones, this probably isn't the issue it used to be, but if you've ever been bored to death in a waiting room, you could ask the receptionist/staff if they would be interested in recent issues of your magazines.

Vietnam Veterans of America https://pickupplease.org/books-donations/ accepts hardcover and softcover books, textbooks, and magazines.

Book Exchange sites such as Book Crossing https://www.bookcrossing.com/, Book Mooch http://bookmooch.com/, PaperBack Swap https://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php, Read It Swap It https://readitswapit.co.uk/ (UK)

Book Bank. Some larger municipalities may have a facility that will collect and distribute books to underprivileged children and communities.

Book Drive. Check with your local library, school district, place or worship, community center, etc and see if they are hosting a book drive

National Book Resellers like Better World Books https://www.betterworldbooks.com/go/donatebooks and Discover Books https://discoverbooks.com/pages/map both maintain book donation bins (search by zipcode or map location).

Brotherhood of St Laurence Community Stores (https://stores.bsl.org.au/donate) accepts books in good, clean condition. They also have an online resale site at https://www.brotherhoodbooks.org.au/. Call before you donate to make sure the location can accommodate your donation (Australia).

Public Recycling Centers/Transfer Stations may have big metal bins (marked for BOOKS) where you can deposit books for a reseller to evaluate for sale (Better World Books, Discover Books). Out of courtesy to the bookseller, please only deposit books in that meet the general "donation" standards. If your book is damaged, you are just foisting that book onto someone else to deal with - recycle (or trash) when appropriate.

Some public recycling centers may have shelves installed where people can put the books, magazines, pamphlets they think someone might be interested in taking, separate from the book/mixed paper recycling bins. If nobody takes the materials, they are added to the recycling bins.

If you participate in curb-side recycling, it might be worth your time to check out your physical recycling center and see if they have a book bin or a book shelves. If you have any questions or concerns about "the right thing to do" call the recycling department or find an employee on site to ask.

There are quite a few programs that will collect books for distribution to libraries and literacy programs around the world. Contact the organization directly to find out if there are any restrictions/limitations on what they will accept.

Books for Africa https://www.booksforafrica.org/donate/donate-books.html Drop off locations in St. Paul, MN and Marietta, GA

Books Through Bars https://www.booksthroughbars.org/ Philadelphia, PA

Books to Prisoners https://www.bookstoprisoners.net/ Seattle, WA

Mag Literacy https://magliteracy.org/recycle/ accepts gently read magazines for literacy newsstands in food pantries, homeless and domestic abuse shelters, and other programs.

Operation Paperback https://www.operationpaperback.org/ Input the genres you have on hand and their system will generate a customized address list for you. Mail books directly to troops, veterans, and military families.

Prison Book Program https://prisonbookprogram.org/ Quincy, MA

Re-Book It https://www.rebookit.org/ Donation pick ups in LA County, 4 boxes or more for all areas outside downtown LA

CHILDREN'S BOOKS

Daycare, preschool, elementary school teachers or library. Call the school or district office and ask if you have anything (books, magazines, art/nature calendars, etc) they can use.

There are quite a few programs that will collect children's books for distribution to libraries and literacy programs around the world:

African Library Project https://www.africanlibraryproject.org/get-involved/ Book drives

Book Smiles https://www.booksmiles.org/ Pennsauken, NJ

Books for Africa https://www.booksforafrica.org/donate/donate-books.html Drop off locations in St. Paul, MN and Marietta, GA

Children's Book Project https://www.childrensbookproject.org/give-books/ San Francisco, CA and surrounding area (local pick ups available)

Kids Need to Read https://www.kidsneedtoread.org/give_books.html Mesa, AZ

Reader to Reader https://www.readertoreader.org/donate/ Book drives

Reading Partners https://readingpartners.org/take-action/bookdrives-fundraisers/ Partner locations across the country https://readingpartners.org/locations/

Thanks for you input and suggestions.

22 Comments
2023/12/09
01:48 UTC

11

Declutterring/Cleaning Out Old House - Responsible Disposal

Hi everyone!

I’m currently helping my parents declutter, organize, and store items from their old house. I’ve been struggling quite a bit with how to declutter some items and I need some help. I’m not sure how to declutter some items without being incredibly wasteful and throwing everything away. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for how to dispose of these items responsibly:

-Old medical textbooks (my parents are doctors) that are 20+ years old

-My old standardized test prep books (SAT II & AP books) that might be outdated because they’re from 2004-2017. Some AP books are from 2004-2007 were all given to me for free and I never used them because the tests had changed by the time I took them in 2015-2017. The remaining SAT II and AP books are from 2016 and 2017.

I would like to donate them if I can to avoid throwing them out. I’m trying to minimize sending as many items to the landfill as possible. Thank you for your help in advance!

EDIT:

Thank you everyone for your helpful input! I’ll look into the recycling options some suggested but it seems like discarding them really is my best bet. Unfortunately unavoidable at this point. I definitely didn’t want to add to anyone’s clutter, I just didn’t want to throw them away if there way any possible other option. I really appreciate the time you all took to reply to my post!

12 Comments
2023/12/08
21:10 UTC

4

Pro-Tools to Hobbyist Tools Downsizing. Anyone ever done this?

Worked in the engineering field for a while and had a technical role. Left the field for something else and wound up having to haul my shop home, which is waaaaaaay too much for my garage.

Anyone with experience downsizing and declutterring like this? Anything ‘specialty’ you got rid of that you wish you kept? Retired machine shop or auto mechanic owners will probably have a good bead on this exact problem…

Thanks!

1 Comment
2023/12/08
18:09 UTC

23

Postpartum/Post Purge Stuck

When we were pregnant and nesting we did a huge declutter week. I did my reading, spent time in this subreddit, and went for it. Yard sale, stuff to friends, selling items, donating, trashing and recycling some. Babies bring in a lot of stuff so we wanted to be ready.

Now that we are too tired to stay on top of tidying as much, the amount of sh*t there still is in this house is overwhelming me. There are just THINGS everywhere.

I guess what I need help with is where to start. I look around like “AH GET THIS SHIT OUT OF HERE” but I can’t find any one item that needs to go. I’m always like “let’s trash the TV.”

Girl, there a million useless things around, what?!? Help 🫠

9 Comments
2023/12/08
16:52 UTC

109

Weird Decluttering Memory

Just had a memory of February 2021 when pretty much my entire state (Texas) lost electricity for nearly a week during a freeze.

It rarely gets cold enough here to use the fireplace, and we only had any firewood at all because it was a small amount left over from Valentines Day, when the fire was more for romantic ambiance than warmth. I live in the city, so scavenging firewood outside was slim pickings too.

Every morning that week from sun up until we lost the good light, I went through the house gathering all the least toxic flammable junk I could find. We managed to keep our living room to 50 degrees for a week by burning paperwork, decorative junk, old clothes, broken crayons…

Anyway, we stayed warm and got rid of a bunch of junk in the process. We now keep a decent little stash of firewood at all times though 😂

17 Comments
2023/12/08
15:39 UTC

74

I'm curious... what is something you NEVER buy (to save your self decluttering)?

Stumbled across this YouTube video and it got me thinking - what are some things you never buy (so you never need to even declutter them?)

I'm keen on pre-emptively simplifying (and decluttering) things in the new year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsZLMBfhcFU

147 Comments
2023/12/08
11:37 UTC

75

Selling stuff for coffee money

I think I created a brilliant way to declutter while supplementing my coffee habit.

My favorite lattes are $4.75 (for a 12 ounce!!). I can’t justify buying one every day.

I’ve been on a big decluttering mission. I’ve decided I’m not going to get a coffee until I sell something. I list it on marketplace for $5. It doesn’t matter if it’s worth $20, I’m not here to haggle or get rich. I just want $5 for my coffee.

It’s definitely a slow process. I’m lucky if I get 1 coffee a week 😆. I’ve been made fun of bc I’m driving farther than $5 in gas and meeting up with strangers.

But I feel it’s genius idea! Most of this stuff is worth way more (in my opinion anyway). I feel like I’m being less wasteful and more economical. I just wanted to share my new idea in case anyone was in a similar position.

19 Comments
2023/12/08
05:59 UTC

26

Ways to dispose of certain clothing

We will be cleaning out my grandmother’s house soon and she has a lot of nice “church clothes” and costume jewelry. Is this something that is best sold at an estate sale and then donate what’s not sold? She was 93 so I can’t imagine there’s a big market for it. I also thought of asking some of her church friends to come look and see if they wanted anything.

This is my first time having to deal with this so any advice is appreciated.

26 Comments
2023/12/07
21:55 UTC

4

Weekend thread: goals, triumphs, general discussion!

It's the weekend. What decluttering are you proud of accomplishing this past week? What, if any, decluttering goals do you have for this weekend?

If you're on a break from decluttering, are you up to anything fun?

New sub r/IsThisTrash would love your trash-related questions and opinions!

Weekend threads between now and Christmas will not be pinned, as a sub gets two pinned spots, and they're currently taken by the December challenge (share what you're proud of accomplishing and your plans for 2024) and the How to Handle Gifts guide (so the sub isn't wall-to-wall "how do I get my family to stop giving me crap?" questions).

-----

Books, podcasts, IG, YT, etc. about decluttering ~ Selling guide ~ Trashing guide

5 Comments
2023/12/07
20:02 UTC

23

Help! Useless junk from grandma who passed away

Hello everyone!

I have two big boxes and a big luggage full of crap from my grandma’s house. She passed away last year and I am having hard time getting rid of all this junk.

Short background: I moved to US from Turkey at age 16 and left everything behind except a few clothing items. It was very traumatic and painful. When I went back to visit my grandparents 7 years later, she gave me bunch of stuff from my childhood.

Mostly pictures which I cherish but rest is just junk like my old pencil case that’s broken, little baby pacifiers for my doll, those gel rings, pens, small wood spoons that I played with. Bunch of stuff that lives in a box.

Some items are even worse, dried flowers, broken bits of stuff. I don’t even know. None of them are in usable condition.

Some items are things she knitted that I will never use and not my style.

All of them live in two big boxes and a luggage. Smells awful. I have Ben lugging them around from move to move, across states and continent for 16 years now. I never even open the boxes or look inside. They just sit in a corner in the garage.

I want to toss them but I feel anxiety, hurt and pain whenever I open the boxes to toss them out.

Once I even tried to just throw them without looking inside.

It’s not working.

I don’t know what to do with any of this stuff. I am so stuck!!! HELP!

18 Comments
2023/12/07
17:16 UTC

39

Is there a new subreddit to replace r/ICleanedMyRoom? It was a big inspiration for me when it was active

It seems it closed during the Reddit protests. I understand and appreciate the purpose, but it is a little sad losing that community. As someone with severe adhd who regularly deep cleans the whole apartment and then ~4 hours later it already looks like a tornado went through it again, I used it to inspire me to keep on top of things.

I know this community is mostly text based so it’s not quite the same niche as r/icleanedmyroom

4 Comments
2023/12/07
16:41 UTC

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