Recycling Without Hoarding?

Category Recycling
Sometimes good intentions, such as recycling, can have unintended consequences. If you find yourself keeping things that might be recyclable down the road, you may have crossed into the realm of hoarding. This is a page about recycling without hoarding.


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May 15, 2001

I guess I would qualify as a pack rat. What advice can you give me about what to keep, recycle, reuse? I have more than I can use in a lifetime. How do you decide what to keep, what to donate, what to recycle, what to send to the dump?

By Aggie


May 15, 20010 found this helpful

Get the book "Organizing from the Inside Out" by Julie Morgenstern - great book, have bought it for my friends. - I too a fellow pack rat needed to do something. Came across this book while shopping for a Christmas gift. The reason why this book works while others do not, it tells you how to do it for you, not just throw everything out. Still working on it, but have seen progress. Good luck

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May 15, 20010 found this helpful

Keep: Things you use a lot now or will use a lot in the future(such as out of season clothes) & things that you truly love & make you happy.


Donate: Any usable clothes, utensils, furniture, etc. that could be easily used by someone else or easily repaired to do so. Magazines & books could go to libraries or nursing homes.

Sell: Anything of real big value such as jewelry or antiques & collectibles.

Recycle: plastics, aluminum, steel, juice boxes & milk cartons, glass,newspaper & mixed papers such as junk mail, cardboard, computer paper, etc. that are not re-useable by others. Christmas trees can become mulch & many communities now recycle them. Some areas recycle computers, batteries, motor oil, tires, old wrecked cars, etc...Call your local waste management department to find out what your area does recycle. Look in the Yellow pages under recycling.

Yard wastes & vegetable scraps can go to compost, old bread, nuts, etc., if you can't use them as leftovers, can feed wild creatures. & any other items your community recycles.


Dump: Anything else that you don't want, you can't use, recycle, or donate & is just too toxic or grungy & broken to be used by another living soul. Most anything can be used by somebody else in someway, so if you are creative, you won't have much to send to the dump! - Alekscat the frugal feline in Richmond, VA

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May 16, 20010 found this helpful

If you have that much stuff, consider a garage sale. You can make a few bucks and get rid of some stuff at the same time. You could also take some items to a consignment shop, they sell it for you, and split the profits.

Only send to the dump things that cannot be used or recycled. If it's broken and can be recycled, then do so. If it's still good, then I'd suggest to donate it to the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, a shelter, a food bank or some other local church or charity.


You will get a two fold benefit by donating it. First, you are able to help out people who really need it. second, the place you make your donation to will most likely give you a receipt for your donation, and you can write off the amount from your taxes at the end of they year. If you plan to do this, it's a good idea to take a picture of the items you donated, so that you have some proof for the IRS (in addition to the receipt), should you ever get audited. - Anthony

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May 16, 20010 found this helpful

Pack Rat is a hard syndrome to overcome ... I know from experience!

For starters:

You might want to put yourself in the right frame of mind to get started. If you have a hard time getting rid of a lot of things at one time, try one or two things a day. Over time it adds up! Try to think of a charity, or persons that would appreciate receiving the items and "bite the bullet and GIVE IT AWAY. You will feel good about knowing your "treasures" are being put to good use.


Ms. Syd Barr
Dunkirk, MD

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