So you've sparked joy... now what?
Marie Kondo has been helping harried moms and consumerist millennials alike reach that elusive nirvana known as the clutter-free home. First through her book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and now through her new show on Netflix, Kondo shows us how to simplify our lives by recognizing and discarding items that don’t spark joy. As Kondo says, “thank them for their service, then let them go.”
But for those of us who don’t like clutter but also hate waste this presents a conundrum: let them go where? To whom? Hanging on to things we don’t need is often more about garbage-guilt than it is due to pack-rat impulses.
This is especially true given what we now know about the billion dollar global trade in secondhand goods: even when we do give to places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army, the things we donate are likely to be sold for profit overseas in a cycle that is far from charitable.
Here are some tips for the aspiring zero-waste minimalists among us, so you can be sure the things you no longer need are sparking joy in someone else’s home too.
You’ve heard of “Shop Local”... now try “Give Local”. Your city is full of amazing charities that work with individuals and families in need. Use this hack: open Google Maps and search “donate toaster” (or whatever you’d like to give) - and see which organizations pop up nearby. Pick one with a local footprint that serves a group you care about.
Buddy Up. Are you a parent? Then you know kids come with a lot of stuff, and much of it is barely used by the time they’re onto a new size or stage. Try pairing up with parents of slightly younger and slightly older children in your neighborhood to create an organic hand-me-down network. Meet monthly to swap goods and spread goodness!
Giveaway Sites. Maybe it’s the thought of having to actually gather up your things and move them off premises that is intimidating. Sites like Freecyle allow you to offer them for free to households in your community (and browse for items you might like to grab). Takers will come pick up items right off your porch or out of your closets. This is a great option for certain items that might not work for a charity - in case you’ve been wondering how to get rid of that lava lamp.
Donii is all about giving better - let us know your ideas on how to declutter with maximum impact!