Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Getting rid of the excess

...unfortunately I don't mean the fat that I'm likely gaining with the delicious cheap food that Don has to offer all the time (btw this is meant all in total jest...though I'm noticing that I'm mentioning it a lot...so maybe not :P).

What making a clean and organized apartment has caused me to realize is that I needed to get rid of stuff. As the movers in Helsinki were packing up my goods I realized there were things there I never remembered having - a bunch of shoe organizers I had shipped but then realized I couldn't use so they got put into storage, a clothing rack (also unused for the same purpose), about 1/3 of my closet that was either totally worn out, didn't fit anymore, or should really be not worn anymore (for the sake of common public decency, if anything - that's also a joke), random electronics that I can't use (like the printer that takes my American-sized paper or the old DVD drive for my tower that I replaced for Christmas), and finally, furniture that I'm not longer using/have no use for.

Anyway, with all of this stuff piling up and my not needing it anymore, I needed to figure out a way to get it out of my apartment and into the appropriate places (I'm not one for filling up landfills, after all).

So, where to put all of these things? Or rather, what to do with all of these things? And how quickly could I do them?

Unwanted household items and furniture
Upon some internet research my mom and I found out that London does indeed have Craigslist, just like the States. So as soon as I found this out, we took some pictures and boom, my unwanted furniture and random household items (shoe organizers, clothing rack, etc) were listed. Within a day or so of me listing them I was also given the advice via DP Steve that I should list them on gumtree.com, where people look for rental listings as well as other things (apparently). Good thing too because within 24 hours of my posting there half of my things sold (there were only 4 things listed but I'll take anything that makes space in my apartment and puts money in my pocket). Thanks DP Steve!

The last resort, should these things not sell is to donate them to a charity, but that will take a little more research. There is a children's charity literally right across the street from my apartment, so I'm hoping that should things go down this route I'll be able to donate things there.

Clothes, shoes, handbags, and accessories
What to do with all of that unwanted clothing though? Turns out you can sell it by the pound (weight). I have an appointment tomorrow morning (which my parents will awesomely take care of while I'm at work) to sell it to someone who will give me cash for my unwanted clothes, handbags, shoes, accessories, etc by the weight. They apparently sell these clothes to third world countries (to places in Africa and other places) for a lesser price and so recycle them while making profit. Yes I do realize there are better options for this, but it's better than letting the clothes end up in a landfill and I'd rather have an African child have my clothing than some person buying it in a thrift shop. I dunno this somehow seems more appropriate to me.

The one catch for this is there is a minimum weight: about 40pounds or two bags-worth of clothing. Lucky for me, I have that minimum. Yes, that kind of "cleaning out the closet." I'm looking forward to getting rid of a lot of stuff. My only problem? Not having the right kind of clothes to wear anymore. Case in point: no sweater that matched this morning. Sometimes I might have to go cold until I buy the right solution again. Oye.

We have the appointment with this place.

Addition since this post was written - you can also recycle your old clothes (like tshirts) and (shock!) surprisingly your old underwear (like old panties and bras) to Intimissi, a great underwear company. So while cleaning our your old stuff you can acquire new stuff at a discount. Here are the details on that amazing initiative. Unfortunately I found out too late to save my old stuff for them and ended up spending a nice amount replacing some of the stuff I threw out, but next time, next time. So green!

Ewaste recycling
And finally, what to do with all of the electronics that I don't want or use anymore. Admittedly my company usually takes care of this about once or twice a year, but I'm not sure if the site here does it (all of the sites I've been to so far do it, but I don't want to bet on it and in the meantime hold onto things that I don't want). So we researched where the nearest recycling centers are that take electronic waste and we're taking them to them sometime this week. Or rather, my parents are (again, I'm very thankful they are here to help me, it is a godsend).

And so when all of this is done, I will have only the relevant stuff left in my house. It will be glorious. I don't think I've ever been this organized before. I look forward to it.

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