In the UK if I had anything I wanted to get rid of I tended to take it to a charity shop. Sometimes I'd do a car boot sale but I didn't tend to make a lot of money. So when we moved here I was very worried because we moved a 2 bedroom house, with garage, shed and loft's worth of contents, to a 2 bedroom apartment, with a small storage room downstairs (called a 'cave' here), communal laundry room + communal garage. We have a patio at the back of our apartment and we have a large balcony but it's a very different environment and set up to the UK. I then discovered there's no charity shops easily accessible here! For me this was a bit of a disaster for donating stuff.
I did a car boot sale in the summer during which I managed to make a fair bit of money and I had an aim in mind so that was good but I still had several boxes of 'junk' left over plus it was done before I started a true minimalist declutter. There's recycling at the end of our road for glass, paper and textiles and a collection for certain food containers but that doesn't answer what to do with general 'bric a brac' that is still very useable?
I had planned a while ago to keep the stuff in boxes for 3 months in case we needed anything but last week I got fed up of looking at it (it was a jumble of boxes on our chest of drawers in our bedroom!) and asked DP if he'd help me take it to the recyling centre today to the 'Second hand shop' as it's called there.
I won't lie, it wasn't easy for either of us. As usual there were various arguments. But the outcome is good:
1. We took all the stuff.
2. DP agreed with my theory on my time, inclination and making money from our belongings.
I feel bad and told him so, that some of the stuff is virtually new. I could spend hours listing items in our local shop and on Ebay. But DP agreed that sometimes the argument 'time is money' applies. I have recently listed a filing trolley at my local supermarket because it's a larger item. But I don't plan to waste lots of time listing item after item on Ebay when I would have to continually go to the post office, it would probably cost me a fortune in postage and frankly, I don't want to. If we were really struggling for money or if DP asked me to, I would do so. I'd even do so happily. But when I'm not asked to and don't want to, I'm not going to. So certain items are being posted to family in the UK. Certain items are being kept here for family when they visit. The rest is going to recycling.
Unfortunately I forgot in the haze of sorting and arguing to take photo's of the stuff leaving our apartment. But I can assure you our car was nearly full. We had 2 suitcases plus probably about 5 boxes full, DP took a rubbish sack straight down and we had probably 2 rubbish sacks of textiles.
So where the plastic boxes are was 2 massive suitcases and several rubbish sacks of 'textiles'.
And this was piled high with 'donations'.
We then went shopping. And I made another decision. I could go completely hippy and make my own hand wash, etc. It could be great. But I would also have to listen to DP moan about it not being the same, it would take a lot of my time and frankly, I don't really have the inclination. So a while ago I bought a large bottle of shampoo & a large packet of shampoo to refill it. I had hoped to post a picture here but this link seems to be the easiest option. I also love the ideas behind The Zero Waste Home but wondered how far we could go as a family. I don't think DP would support all of the ideas and I know I would need back up and support, if I even wanted to implement half the ideas. Buttttt when we were shopping I discovered they do refill packs like the one of the shampoo for hand wash. So DP agreed immediately with me that we can manage little things as a family. The recycling centre does seem to take a lot of items so I hope to recycle more things in the future and I've already started to think through what I buy. It's a step in the right direction...