The Cost Of Decluttering Your Home

Decluttering LoadIt wasn’t how I envisioned my Saturday playing out.

After completing my early morning eight mile run, I asked Vonnie what was on her agenda for the day. She suggested we do some much needed cleaning, but first she wanted my help in repotting some plants. After doing one, I started looking for a hand garden shovel that would make the task easier. My search led me to the small shed on the side of our garage.

I opened the door of the shed and stared at the cluttered contents, knowing the small shovel was likely buried in a box under a pile of junk. It was while I was emptying the contents of that shed looking for that small garden shovel that my Saturday objective switched from repotting plants and cleaning to creating a large pile of things that we had wanted to throw away for quite some time.

After a few hours of work, objects were gathered from all corners of our house to be loaded into our van and disposed of. Looking at that pile in the middle of my garage floor, I saw old and useless computer equipment, partially full pails of expired paint, a disassembled broken grill, a worn out inflatable water slide and several other items that wouldn’t fit in our normal trash bin used for weekly garbage disposal. My job was to assemble the pile while Vonnie worked the phone to figure out where the items were going, and how much it was going to cost us.

Electronics:

Best Buy, a large electronics retailer, has a recycling program that will take up to three items per household off your hands for FREE. We stopped there first and dropped off two old computers and a monitor. We had more equipment but we honored the three item limit. Although they didn’t take our names or addresses, so I suspect we could have brought in the remaining equipment on a different day.

Hazardous Waste:

Raise your hand if you’ve ever buried an empty paint can deep in a garbage bag and sent it out with your household trash. Yeah, I’m guilty too, but in this case we had several one and five gallon buckets which pushed us down the path of disposing them correctly. We also had a large box of insect killer sprays, weed killers and other outdated chemical products.  We dropped them all off at our County’s hazardous waste center for FREE. I believe the logic here is that they would rather take the waste for free and dispose of it properly than have people just throw it away and have it end up in a landfill.

Recycling Center:

They do take paper, aluminum, and glass for recycling, but they also take large trash objects. The rest of the items left in our van were separated into separate dumpsters designating whether it could be burned in the incinerator or not. They took it all for $25. They also took the rest of our outdated computer equipment for 30 cents a pound.

We got rid of a van load of junk that was simply taking up space in our home, and by taking advantage of some free programs it cost us under $35.

Have you ever had similar items in your home that you wanted to get rid of, but just didn’t know how?  How did you do it?

About Travis

14 Responses to “The Cost Of Decluttering Your Home”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. I had a similar experience when we moved a few years ago. How did we accumulate so much hazardous waste?!? I resolved not to repeat those habits in our new home, but I think I’m fighting a losing battle. :-)

    • Travis says:

      I hear ya, Kurt. For a family that has been consciously trying to sell everything we can that we no longer use, and buy only the amount of a product that we actually need….I couldn’t believe I gathered such a large load of crap. Although in my defense I used the grill heavily year round for 10 years, and the inflatable water slide was something that some neighbors that were moving across the country gave to use. :) There’s always room for improvement though!

  2. dojo says:

    We need to do something like this in our apartment. It’s true there’s less junk here (we don’t have the space to store too much), but we can surely make some more room by throwing away un-needed stuff.

    • Travis says:

      I always LOVE checking out the spaces I just cleared out. It makes me feel good to know that I’m making efficient use of my space. I like it a whole lot better though when we get some money in return – like having a garage sale….but not everything can be sold, right? thanks for sharing your thoughts, Dojo!

  3. I wonder if these resources exist in NYC. They must. I’m definitely guilty of shoving everything in the trash. More out of ignorance than anything else though.

    • Travis says:

      I would hope so, Stefanie….it’s usually a county service, so check it out. I’d be interested in knowing if they do in fact exist. I know what you mean (stuffing everything in the trash)….but we did have some things that just wouldn’t fit too so if we didn’t have the drop off trash area I honestly don’t know how we would have gotten rid of it. Great to have you stop by!

  4. Mackenzie says:

    I didn’t know Best Buy had that electronics recycling program! Good to know :)

    • Travis says:

      I don’t know why they don’t publicize it more – the only way I knew about it was because I was returning an item a few months ago and saw someone bring in an old TV and asked some questions. Right place at the right time, huh? Great to hear from you MacKenzie!

  5. This reminds me that I really need to sort through all the junk in my house and get rid of things I don’t even use!

    • Travis says:

      We do it a couple of times a year (Spring and Fall), Lisa – but this one was special….these are the items that we’ve looked at for a couple of years and always said to ourselves, “One day we need to figure out how to get rid of this stuff!” :)

  6. It feels so great to get rid of so much stuff like that, doesn’t it? Before we moved we made those same trips to the hazardous waste center and the junk yard. Gotta love that “detoxing” feeling. :-)

    • Travis says:

      It sure does, Laurie- especially when it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to do it. You know what will fell the best though? When we do one of our twice a year purges and can’t find *anything* that we need to get rid of. :)

  7. Moni says:

    Hi everyone – I recommend http://www.365lessthings.com if you’re keen to declutter. Colleen the blog host is away for a couple more weeks but she has preloaded a couple of posts per week. Usually it is a really chatty blog full of lots of good advice and has a big following with the daily mini-missions.

    Aside from that……………..check out this website:
    http://thestuffstop.com/

    I live in New Zealand so its not really any use to me but it is “A FREE nationwide community resource website that provides information to match up your unwanted stuff with local charities, ministries and companies that connect it with people in need. Information is also provided that will enable you to recycle or dispose of your unwanted stuff in a green way rather than having it end up in a landfill”

    I loved the idea of this site.

    Of course, there is always freecycle.com for stuff that is too good to dump but not really worth the effort of trying to sell.

    • Travis says:

      Thanks for the pointer, Moni – those are great resources if the items may be of use to someone. In my case – at least this time – the items were (as far as I could tell) of no value to anyone. So to the trash they went. Although you know what they say about one man’s trash……. ;) Thanks for stopping by!

Leave a Comment...

*