Think Before You Trash


Think donate BEFORE you toss {}

I recently cleaned out my children’s craft closet.  It was a daunting task.  It had not bee touched in who knows how long and we hadn’t seen the floor in quite some time.

Yes there actually is a floor in there, somewhere.

I was determined to recycle, reuse or donate as much as possible.

I started pulling everything out of the closet and of course, made even more of a mess at the start.  What I noticed was that there were certain categories of things.  Most of which my children had outgrown, but still usable.

stickers – > DONATE
foam stickers -> DONATE
little craft items -> DONATE
coloring books that were hardly touched -> DONATE
paper, empty boxes to be recycled -> RECYCLE
beads and other jewelry making supplies – >KEEP
old fabric scraps -> RECYCLE

So I got organized.  I got some boxes, recycling bin, and a trash barrel.  And I labeled them – well in my head.  



Some of this would be donated and some kept.  I tried to organize the each pile so that I could donate like items together – ensuring that the person who unpacked this donation would be able to figure out what it was and not think I was giving them trash!  Anything we were keeping I would be able to figure out the best way to store it in the closet so this didn’t happen again…. well,not for a while at least.

It took me a couple of days, but I did it!



This is what I took out of the closet (there was more recycling).  The left most pile was taken to Savers.  The fabric recycling pile was taken to the clothing donation bins around town.  They can reuse this fabric as rags or in stuffing things like furniture.  Recycling – into our curbside recycling bin.  The trash is only about a quarter of the total amount of stuff!

This did take me a bit longer than if I have just trashed everything, but honestly not that much longer.  And I felt so much better about it.  

One thing I learned, there is such a thing as too many foam stickers!  Definitely need to think before I buy any more craft items.

The Results:



The shelves still need a little straightening, but you can now see the floor!  In case you were wondering, yes that bin on the right was there in the Before pic!

Even though I did this project about a month ago, I was prompted to post it now because of Reduce Footprints challenge this week:

This week, before tossing anything out, consider alternate uses. For example, could the item be composted or used for another purpose? Could the item be given away and used by someone else? And here’s a “biggie”: could we avoid the item in the first place thereby eliminating the need to toss it out? The idea is to think before tossing anything and end up with less trash at the end of the week.

Is this something you think about? How do you reduce your waste?  

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One Response to Think Before You Trash

  1. Edward October 1, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    My wife and I assign several bins inside the house to sort things to donate, give and throw away. We want to make sure that we get rid of things that we do not make use of.

    Another way to do it is to do monthly purging activities. When we tried it since February, we got rid of a lot of stuff in our house and it has been easier to maintain and clean.

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