Spring Recycling

>> Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The other day, a friend was telling me how she'd joined a group online called Messies Anonymous to help her get better organized and become, well, less messy. As she was describing the qualities of a Messy Person, I realized, "Oh, my gosh! That's me!"

Case in point:

This is my bedroom closet. It's supposed to be a walk-in closet, but we can't walk into it because because of all the crap on the floor. We haven't been able to walk into it for, oh, four or five months now. Maybe longer. I forget.

You see, I have this little problem where I know something can be recycled, so I don't throw it away. But then I never recycle it. It just sits around our house for months and months, causing clutter and getting in the way. I swear I didn't have this problem before I went green. Going green has turned me into a packrat!

Spring is often thought of as the season where you throw open the shutters, dig out the cleaning supplies, and deep clean. Well I've decided that this year's spring cleaning for me needs to be all about the recycling.

In that closet pictured above, I have a phone, two laptops, two cameras, a lamp, a wheat grinder, some metal containers, a printer, and a scanner. I need to sell the laptops, put the printer on Freecycle, and see if my husband can fix the scanner. The phone, lamp, wheat grinder, and metal containers can all be recycled at my local recycling drop-off location. I'm pretty sure I can recycle cameras...must research.

In another corner of my bedroom, I have this pile of boxes that's headed for the recycling bin.

I scrounged up all this from under our sinks. The caps are headed for Aveda and the toothbrushes for Whole Food's Gimme 5 bin. To recycle the toothpaste tubes, I need to remove the top plastic part, and then it can go in my regular recycling bin. One of the reasons we use Tom's of Maine toothpaste is because it comes in an aluminum tube rather than plastic.

Last but not least, I've got this monstrous pile of clothing that must be sorted. It's all stuff we've outgrown, stained, or ripped beyond repair. Clothing with fabric I like will be cut up and saved for future sewing projects. (I have high hopes that I'll get to that some day.) The rest will be taken to Goodwill.

All right, I'm off to do some recycling.

How's your spring cleaning going?


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cpcable April 20, 2010 at 3:40 PM  


Good for you for being so productive! I have the same problem...there are little piles of "stuff" all over my house. They are things that I can't stomach throwing away, but that I don't have a clear plan for how to reuse/recycle it. I'm waiting for divine intervention, I suppose, or maybe inspiration. For me, it's helped that I bought a bunch of baskets at Goodwill and I use those to help sort the mess. It's harder for my husband to get upset about the "stuff" if it's all corralled in one (or maybe several) spot(s).

Happy spring cleaning!

DownDoggin in MN April 20, 2010 at 4:58 PM  

I'm doing pretty well on my spring cleaning at home, just don't ask me about my car, it's full of stuff to take to Goodwill...and it's been in there for over a month :)

Erin aka Conscious Shopper April 20, 2010 at 10:40 PM  

@DownDoggin in MN - Haha, that made me laugh!

abbie April 20, 2010 at 11:01 PM  

I so feel the same way about spring cleaning. It feels like opening a new chapter, and preparing to welcome a new season. I just took a pile of #2 plastic containers to the recycling center since our recycling pick up doesn't "do these". We had been "collecting" them for years. And there were a bunch. I think we need to go more often, but boy it feels good to have them gone!

Lina April 20, 2010 at 11:23 PM  

Oh man, you just described my house. We have so many laptops and computer parts and wires and old cell phones in our house, waiting to be recycled, that I feel a little crazy. And the clothes! And to make it worse, we pretty much had all of it before we moved. Which means we packed it all up and moved it to the new house. Productive! Oof. Anyway, good post, thanks :)

Zee @GreenBlossoms April 21, 2010 at 4:44 AM  

Oh dear, I can very well relate with you! Just like you, I also have this problem where I know something can be recycled, so I keep it but I never recycle it too -- it just gathers dust! I'm working on project Decluttering My Closet this month. I wanted to start with clothes since I know I can give away or swap some with my friends. I also have books and empty shoebox that need to be given away or reused, but that's another story. Thanks for sharing your story -- it's good to know I'm not the only one who's dealing with this mess. lol

Shona~ LALA dex press April 21, 2010 at 8:48 AM  

Goodwill will take rags, they actually make a lot of $$ reselling it to other companies so if you are concerned about sorting that clothing pile, let them figure put what to put in the store + what they can re-sell as scrap fabric.

I did my MAJOR purge last summer + my boyfriend is on the tail end of his. Ours consisted of laying hands hands on everything we own + contemplating it's worth in our lives. I am still talking a bag of stuff/ month to a local thrift store that often gets neglected in the donations dept. because Goodwill is so organized + so known.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper April 21, 2010 at 8:33 PM  

So glad I'm not alone with this problem. Happy recycling to everyone!

Lynn April 22, 2010 at 4:55 PM  

It's a tricky balance, I think, wanting to be good stewards of what we have and make sure anything that can be used again, is. This year I looked at my stash of crafts supplies -- most notably, little scraps of fabric -- and decided I needed to either use them or chuck them. So I've made some cute crazy quilt projects out of them. It's a good feeling. But I still have enough crafts supplies to last me a lifetime :o!

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