From Earth Day, April 22, 2008 to Canada Day, July 1, 2008, I aimed to remove at least 35 things from my home each week.
The things were as small as hair accessories no longer being used, as large as an appliance or piece of furniture. They ranged from 35 different items one week, and 35 identical items the next. What they all shared is that they no longer served a purpose or filled a function in our home.
I’m realising more and more that, living in apartments, our space is at a premium, and the items we choose to keep around us need to actually have a purpose and a place. Right now, we live in a 2bedroom basement apartment, but we’re considering a 1bedroom in a high-rise sometime in the next 6 months. I hate moving, so this project will make both our current life and our future move more pleasant and liveable.
Throughout the 10 weeks of The Great Unclutter, I sought to regift, rehome, reuse or recycle items as much as possible. I did recognize, however, that some items are just destined for the trash. Other people with more time, patience, or “green” status than I may disagree with this, but I needed to have the option available.
At the end of this, my goal was to move a minimum 350 items out of our home – in reality, I moved about 300 items. I’m continuing to think critically about the items we own and buy, and trying to move on items that don’t serve a purpose or have a place in our home. You can read all about the ten week project and my ongoing battle against clutter in the posts categorised “The Great Unclutter.”
Here are some of the resources I’ve been using along the way:
Medication Returns Program – a recycling program for everything from vitamins to prescriptions. This is a Canadian program, and most major pharmacies participate. I take my old puffers back to Shopper’s Drug Mart when I go to get a refill.
City of Vancouver Recycling program – between weekly curbside pickup and the occasional weekend trip to the Recycling Depot in South Van, this has helped us recycle loads of old papers, magazines, cans, and other miscellaneous items.
World AIDS Day – This is an annual event on December 1st, but I don’t need multiple rolls of red ribbon any longer. The ribbons are getting more use in the craft cupboard at Brownies, instead!
Canada Revenue Agency GST Credit – a great income helper for low earners in Canada. You need to file taxes yearly to receive this credit.
IKEA – IKEA is a declutterer’s friend and enemy. Lots of great storage solutions, but it’s also a source of a lot of useless items. Getting our bedframe here has made a big difference in our bedroom – we have under-bed storage space now, as well as having a better looking room overall.
The Big Brothers Renew Crew – these guys take your used clothing and sell it to thrift stores. Your clothes get recycled, and a worthy charity gets money! Everybody wins!