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Simply NOT Trash: A Guide to Where Unwanted Items Go after you Declutter in 2024 (Hint: Not in the Landfill)

My Guide to Responsible Disposal after you declutter!

We all face the dilemma of what to do with things we no longer need. It's easy to succumb to the throwaway culture, but I'm here to guide you toward better solutions that not only declutter your life but also contribute to a healthier planet.

Understanding the Impact:

Before we dive in, let's take a moment to understand the scale of the issue. In the United States alone, a staggering

  • 268 million tons of waste are generated each year in the US

  • the average American tossing 4.5 pounds of trash per day.

  • Multiplying those numbers by 365 days for the year, it all adds up to:

And here is glimpse of we're chucking most:

So if we've got all this in a regular basis and then we throw away a ton more when we declutter that's even more! So Let's just start with those things. Let's rethink our habits and adopt practices that align with a more mindful approach to disposal, especially when we declutter! :)

Strategies for Mindful Decluttering:

  • Donating

  • Supporting Local Initiatives

  • Recycling

  • Responsible Disposal

These are fantastic ways to help your community and find new homes for your items, that aren't going to contribute the landfill!

Donating: My first option and go-to method! Try these that also pickup!

Supporting Local Initiatives:

Supporting your community is key to creating a positive impact for less waste. There is so much to go around we could likely never buy a thing. I am a HUGE advocate for your local BUY NOTHING Facebook group. To find your local group: simply log on to Facebook, go to groups, search "Buy Nothing" and then enter in your neighborhood or town. You can only belong to one and a time and they do check so join a goon one that's active not too big but not too small. You simply gift what you don't want and wish for what you do. I will likely do an entire episode on this as I've managed to furnish 95% of my home for free, from this group. There is also a buy nothing app which I have not used but you can try that as well.

Churches, shelters, and organizations like Dress for Success are excellent places to contribute to. Additionally, let's not forget about local businesses that offer repair services – a crucial step in reducing electronic waste and promoting a circular economy which some, I've donated to- if you're in Savannah, GA- .it's called Short-Circuit on Bull Street. You can also get create with unwanted items that people can epicycle and repurpose! (or even you!) I like to call this the hunt! I'll first offer to Buy Nothing and then when I come across a crafter that uses things I keep their card to donate to them later. An example of this: I donate old journals and blank papers to woman who makes handmade journals out of them! They are so cool! (IG: @thevintagemo)

Responsible Disposal Practices:

Did you know that Staples provides a convenient option for recycling various electronics, from chargers to computers? Here is a list of everything they will take, it's a lot! I would like to mention that if something is broken, it is worth it to attempt to get it fixed. I know this is kind of futile this day and age with cost and someone that actually does repairs but personally it's a challenge I still to attempt! Legislation, is in the works for the "right to repair" bill, which advocates for accessible repair options for broken appliances.


In terms of decluttering, you may end up with lots desk papers or other things you need to dispose of that you can recycle instead of throwing away.

A few pointers because I could do a whole podcast on recycling alone:

o   No food or liquid

o   No plastic bags

o   No syrofoam

o   No mixed items (so no coffee cups with a liner)

o   No paper napkins, no papertowels, no lined cups, no recepits (Shocker on these, right?!)

o   No tires or wood

o   YES Cans, paper, cardboard, plain plastic containers like jugs

o   usually glass is ok, check your local recycling rules

But to reitify: NO Plastic bags so you cannot PUT them all in a garbage bag- they MUST be loose and if you're not sure it's probably a no so you don't wan't to contaminate the rest.

Simple Swap of the Week:

Before we conclude, here's a simple yet impactful swap for you – ditch the garbage bags in your recycling bin. Trust me, when recycling properly, you won't need them, and you'll be contributing to a more efficient recycling process.


We are on this journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle, together and none of us a perfect. This blog post serves as my guide to help you on your journey to contributing less to our landfill problem and more to a healthier planet. By incorporating these strategies into our lives, we can all play a part in reducing waste and creating a healthier, more sustainable world.

I hope you are enjoying this path to simplicity and sustainability, and so incredibly glad you're here!



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