Last week my kids and I returned from a parade at their school. Teachers waved, we honked and chatted/yelled from 10 or more feet away. We all teared up, it had been the first time most of them had been in the car since school had closed due to the pandemic a few weeks earlier. As we drove home, we passed our local donation center. What we saw left us sad, disappointed, and upset. Yet I wonder if people genuinely don't know this is WRONG.
We need to talk.
Some (most?) of you are decluttering or spring cleaning.
Each year, I host the yearly (ongoing) 40 BAGS IN 40 DAYS decluttering challenge. This year we started Feb 26 and end the Saturday before Easter, so we're right in the thick of it. Staying home for a long period of time seems like the perfect time to go through things, declutter, and analyze your consumption habits.
I snapped the above picture last week, twelve days after our donation center had been shut down. Piles and bags everywhere.
We've had rain and wind. These items were fresh.
Don’t dump your donations if your donation center is closed. The same way you wouldn’t leave bags of literal garbage on the sidewalk for someone else to pick up for you.
Your items become garbage and donation center employees don't have the proper equipment to handle the now-garbage, maybe contaminated items.
I know it's a challenge to let things pile up, in fact one of the big things I advocate is getting items out of the house as soon as possible. It's not possible right now, and you need to change things up.
Here's what you can do in the meantime.
- Set your items aside.
- Get creative: repair, recycle.
- If you don’t have any place to store items, WAIT to declutter later.
- Analyze and reduce your consumption habits.
- Cancel subscriptions.
- If you need to go through something, go through files, old electronics, your email inbox, your photos, organize a drawer.
- Play a board game.
- Call or FaceTime family.
- Read a book.
- Go outside.
- Here's a post with suggestions of non-physical items you can declutter.
This isn’t right. We are better than this.
Don’t leave your potentially contaminated mess to become trash for someone else to clean up.