Practical Good
Practical Good

Small, useful and easy to do tips and strategies that you can begin implementing into your daily life with great success.


Practical Good

Give Your Unused Items a Second Chance at Life

If you have items around your home or workspace that you're not using, give those items a chance at being useful elsewhere.


Dennis MartinezDennis Martinez

Last week's article on Practical Good was all about spring cleaning, which included tips on how to declutter your physical space. The article briefly touched upon ways to start the cleanup process and taking the steps needed to clear your home or workspace. However, it didn't mention what to do with the things you no longer want around, so we'll expand on that in this article.

For the most part, the majority of people want just to put things away and not have them somewhere that it would interrupt their day. While this solves the issue of not having things cluttering up your space, often it defeats the purpose of this type of cleaning. The majority of people have many items that we barely use - sometimes never using them at all - yet keep holding on to it for years. Whether it be due to sentimental value, or loss aversion, or the thought that you will use the item eventually (spoiler alert: you won't), it's often better to let go.

Letting go doesn't necessarily mean to toss it straight in the garbage, although that might be the only option for things that are no longer in a usable state. But chances are most items that you don't use are still in good shape to continue to be used. Even if they're not in a good state, there might still be value in it elsewhere. It would be wasteful to throw something away just because it isn't new or unused.

So, what options do you have? Here are a few great ways to declutter your physical space and give your unused items another chance to remain useful.

Selling is easier than you think

An excellent option for getting rid of something you don't use is to sell it. Not only will you recoup space and mental energy, but you'll also get some money and make someone happy in the process. For the most part, it's a win-win for everyone involved.

Here are a few personal tips that will help you have great experiences with selling.

Donate to help yourself and many others.

Selling is excellent to recoup some of the cost of an item that you bought. That's fine for you, but sometimes you have to think outside of yourself and onto others who might not be as lucky as you are. No matter in which community you're in, there are many people in need of essential items like clothing, bedding, or kitchen utensils. If you have some articles that might be useful for underprivileged families, please considering donating these items to a thrift shop or a charitable organization.

By donating items that are still in good condition, you'll be helping the needy in many ways. If donating to a reputable organization, you'll be giving to people who desperately need essential items like clothing and warm blankets. Some places, like thrift shops, resell your items at a low cost to people who might not qualify for charitable donations but don't have enough money to buy new things. In turn, that money is often used to help others in need. For example, Goodwill assists ex-convicts to reintegrate into the workforce by offering them jobs and training.

There are also many non-profits that are doing fantastic work in your community with a minimal budget. These organizations often need materials to accomplish their mission. If you know of any non-profit organization near you, contact them or check their website to see if they're in need of items that you might have.

Depending on your donation and where you live, you might be able to get some economic benefits out of contributions in the form of tax deductions. But that should never be the aim. We should all give with the mentality of helping our fellow man and woman in need.

Here are a few items that you should consider donating:

Recycle for the long-term health of the planet.

Selling and donating items will ensure that things in perfectly usable condition will continue to be useful. Other times you'll have items that just aren't in good shape to sell or donate. Instead of tossing it in the regular trash, look into recycling instead.

The benefits of recycling branch out in many directions. One of the main advantages is reducing the amount of waste, leading to less space taken in landfills all across the world. Also, new products will use the materials from recycled items, which in turn saves on raw materials and consumes fewer resources on the planet. It also preserves energy by needing less processing for new materials and lowers greenhouse gas emissions, which will help curb global warming and air pollution.

Recycling doesn't apply to items that are not in good condition. You might have items that are technically in great condition but are nearly impossible to sell or even donate. Old books and obsolete computer equipment are prime examples of products that no one wants to buy, and most places won't even accept for donations. There are also some items you might think would be acceptable for donation but aren't, like carpets, baby cribs, or mattresses.

Depending on where you live, you might have recycling centers nearby that will accept all types of different materials for recycling free of charge. In other places, you might need to pay for recycling services. Even if there's a few to take old equipment in for recycling, I would still strongly recommend it as you'll be helping out in the conservation of our planet and our future.

Small steps for your Practical Good

If you're ready to start letting go of those things that are no longer useful around your home or workplace, these steps will help you get on your way to a simple, clutter-free space while helping your items continue to be useful in many other ways:

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