"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." – Margaret Atwood
Hellooo spring! Goodbye snow shovels, winter coats & boots…and tuque head. Warmer temperatures and sunshine have energized me. I am starting to think about spring cleaning. Ugh.
We are not hoarders and yet somehow this year our little storage room has become a dumping ground. There are boxes we moved from Toronto five years ago and never unpacked. Hockey, ski and other sports equipment our kids have outgrown that we keep for friends and family to use. When company comes and I’m running around doing the frantic clean I usually find myself holding a paper mache volcano or a 4 ft replica of the Eiffel Tower. What to do…what to do….ahh toss it in the storage room! Today I opened the door, and the vacuum and a ski fell out on my foot. Enough. Time to de-clutter and simplify in an earth friendly way…
There is an exciting program called the Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES) to help Ontarians dispose of unwanted electronic devices and divert electronic waste from landfills. Plug in your postal code and the type of material or item and find the closest OES approved, no-for-profit collection depots. They also recover valuable resources like precious and base metals. An example of this was that the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic medals contained recycled metal from recycled electronic waste.
According to the OES nearly 78% of Ontarian households have at least 1 electronic device they aren’t using or isn’t working. Some of the 44 acceptable items include audio and video players, cameras, cell phones, computers, copiers, monitors, pagers, printers, radios, speakers, telephones, answering machine and televisions. We have a boom box from the 80’s buried in that storage and it needs to go to OES heaven.
Perhaps your stuff is too valuable to toss and you would like to recoup some money. Online classifieds are one option like Kijiji or Craigslist. This year my neighbours are thinking spring clean too and plan a street garage sale in May. (If you are interested in raising funds for your favourite charity, you might consider donating the profits.) Other options include donating unwanted items to the Salvation Army (Sally Ann), Goodwill or Canadian Diabetes Clothesline. The Canadian Diabetes will come to pick up your donations too.
If you are planning a renovation, think about contacting Habitat for Humanity, Restores. They accept kitchen, bathrooms cabinets, tubs, sinks and different building materials in excellent condition. For a small fee they will come and remove them too.
Another neat idea I have been reading about is bartering. Websites like Freecycle, Swapstyle and Swaptree are a few examples. You can get rid of things you no longer need/use or want in exchange for something you really want in return. I do not plan to barter our storage room stuff…but it sounds interesting.
Well…that is pretty much all of my spring clean get-rid-of-junk ideas. Do you have suggestions or a favourite organization for recycling/donating unwanted items? This weekend
I am we are going to tackle the storage room and put some of the ideas to use.