The Question We Had After Watching Marie Kondo’s Netflix Special
We are all about this Marie Kondo movement that’s flooding our Instagram feed! Anyone else?! Once we started the first episode, we couldn’t stop. We already loved the book and implemented some principles, but the episodes really bring it to life.
The episode with Margie, who had recently lost her husband, made us cry… on an airplane no less. True story.
Keeping things that have meaning and, as Marie describes it, “spark joy” and living with less is something we truly believe in. We want less additives in our foods. Less pesticides in our clothes. Less plastic in our oceans. Less junk in our homes. If you feel like you have too much stuff in your life and are craving order and space, definitely watch Marie Kondo’s special on Netflix! It could change everything ; )
The series did leave us with one question, “What do you do with all that stuff?”
When you get rid of something, it has to go somewhere.
The episodes do show people dropping off things at different donation locations and even one person having a yard sale, but it isn’t emphasized or clarified as to how you should really approach disposing of everything you’ve decided to let go.
Throwing it in the garbage isn’t the most sustainable option, but it’s definitely the easiest … so it got us thinking. What better options were out there? But more importantly, did any of them sound doable? Because honestly, we wouldn’t want anyone to not try the Marie Kondo method because they got overwhelmed with the “best” way to get rid of the stuff. The freedom and clarity you get with less stuff is too important!
But we loved the idea of people finding ways to get rid of their things in the most conscious way possible that works for them.
There are several different sustainable options that we’ve come up with, and we would love to hear what you’ve done if you discovered something else!
What you choose to do depends on what you feel is the best option or what is the easiest for you. Sometimes the best option may take a bit more work but don’t let that stop you from doing nothing! Any little switch is a win for the environment.
#1: Give to a SECOND HAND SHOP, BUT localize it or personalize IT
Giving items to a nationwide second-hand shop works (Goodwill, Salvation Army), but maybe you can step it up and give to a local second-hand shop or a shop that gives to a cause you’re passionate about.
#2: GIVE TO A WOMEN’S SHELTER OR HOMELESS SHELTER
Check with a local women’s shelter or homeless shelter to see if they are in need of any of the items you’re trying to get rid of. While these items may not bring you joy, they absolutely could bring joy to someone else! Women and children leaving a domestic violence situation sometimes leave everything behind and are in need of a lot of basics. As they’re transitioning out of a shelter, large donations (such as furniture donations) can be especially useful!
#3: Bring your more “well-worn” items to an animal shelter
If you have old towels or blankets, give these to a local animal shelter! The bottoms of animal cages are often cold and these can be comforting to an animal. Plus, animals aren’t picky if your blanket has a couple stains or holes in it. Animal shelters are usually in need of any sort of pet supplies, cleaning supplies, and plastic bags but call your local shelter to see what they need!
#4: Look around for a place to donate books
There are plenty of places to drop off your books. If they’re in good condition, local libraries, shelters, and even coffee shops might accept them! You can also send them to Better World Books. You can also see if your local library will accept used books or send them to an online used book store like Better World Books for you. If you haven’t heard of them before, they’re also a great place to buy used books of all kinds!
#5: Sell your stuff
Selling your belongings is a great way to get rid of your belongings, make a little extra cash, and make sure they’re actually going to be used!
Plato’s Closet. They will accept some clothes, shoes, and accessories. You can bring your belongings in and the worker will go through the clothes, telling you what they’ll accept and what they won’t. You can get shopping credit or cash and the rest they give back to you.
ThredUp. You can request a free kit from ThredUp. They’ll send you a bag that you can fill up with women’s and children’s clothes and return back to them for cash or credit. What they don’t accept they can either send back or they will responsibly recycle it!
Social media. Post pictures of what you’re trying to sell on your Instagram stories or join local yard sale Facebook groups.
Host a “Shop Your Sale” night. If you have A LOT you’re trying to get rid of, then invite a few friends over and let them go through your closet or house. Fun fact: Jessica Honegger, founder of Noonday Collection, did this when she was trying to raise money to bring her son Jack home from Uganda!
#6: Recycle them
Some things, like the multiple shoe boxes stuffed into the back of your closet, are easy to put into the recycling bin. Other things are a little harder! Here are few options we’ve discovered:
Shoes https://www.nike.com/us/en_us/retail/?features=Reuse-A-Shoe+Collection+Bin or https://www.asics.com/us/en-us/ico?awc=7984_1547839125_50f26ee0f5a447afc4868fe2756f8776&utm_source=awin&utm_medium=affiliates
Dental Hygiene Products https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades/colgate
#7: Use your stuff
Um, what? Doesn’t that go against everything we just said? Not quite. We want to remind you that the most sustainable thing you can do is use the stuff you already own. If you want to transition into a zero-waste or plastic-free lifestyle, we totally applaud you! A popular question is “Do I use up my disposables?” Your paper towels, plastic containers, all sorts of items that don’t match your current lifestyle. There are convincing arguments on both sides, including using them up. They are already on this earth and ultimately we believe the only thing worse than single-use is zero-use.
Save some of your paper plates for a day when your dishwasher is broken and you don’t have the time or energy to wash the dishes.
Save a back-up bottle of conditioner in case you run out before you get new shampoo.
If you have things that are brand-new or unopened, you can donate those disposables too!
#7: Repurpose your items
Turn an old sweater into a pair of mittens. Turn old t-shirts into a quilt or cut them up to use for cleaning rags or sew them into jewelry pouches. Get creative with your upcycling!
We are all different and in all the suggestions above, some will some easy to you and others will sound hard! Don’t focus on what you can’t do, focus on what you can … and celebrate your decisions to put time and effort into creating order and space in your life!
Who’s ready to go spark some joy?!