The Garage post struck a nerve with a lot of you. And it was a good lesson for me in two respects:
1. I need to be more specific when I say we got rid of something as to where it went. “To the Dumpster” will no longer be used as a metaphor.
2. We can be more mindful of what we are sending to trash and more vigilant in trying to find things other homes. I get impatient and want stuff gone, but I need to make sure I breathe and first think about where else stuff can go besides the trash. But I am also balancing that with the need for progress and some quick wins. The dumpster will not always be here. It’s here for one more week and presents the opportunity to get a lot of stuff out of our house. Is this the best environmental move? No. Is this a move forward for decluttering? Yes.
It’s a Marathon
You don’t start out at full speed doing anything. If you decide to run a marathon and you’ve barely walked around the block, you won’t be able to make it 26.2 miles on Day 1. Same with us. I’m sure we’ll anger a lot of people because we aren’t doing what they have deemed to be enough. But you know what? Right now we’re trying to make it to mile marker 1.
If everyone who decided to run a marathon was told by others on their first training day that they weren’t running fast enough or with perfect form, they’d be like, “No shit, Sherlock. Thanks for stating the obvious.” If instead, the ones who had already conquered running a marathon gave them helpful advice based on their personal experience, they’d be like, “Awesome, thanks!”
Thanks to Those With Helpful Suggestions
You guys have taught me about Freecycle, which I am now using at your recommendation. We are recycling and donating what we can. We have also listed items for sale on CraigsList and Ebay. We have placed things on the curb that other people have picked up. (I just haven’t blogged about all of it yet.)
Unfortunately, right now the rest is going to the landfill. And I feel bad about it. It’s a great lesson in awareness. Which will be here for a lot longer than one week.
A year ago, I thought we were doing great by recycling anything at all. We haven’t always recycled. Then I discovered Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson and realized we can do more. But then I had back surgery and I was just trying to survive the surgery and focus on my rehabilitation, which is still ongoing. When I came home from the hospital I was taking about 50 pills a day and couldn’t walk without a walker or bathe myself. No lie. No exaggeration. My point being, I’m not completely healed from that. And working part-time and taking on this huge project is a lot. Does that mean I shouldn’t start? No.
I don’t have all of this figured out. I’m still learning. I thought we were doing pretty well, actually, in the donate/recycle department, but I acknowledge that we can do better. But it will take some time.
I’m telling you right now we aren’t perfect. Things will go the landfill that could have found another home. But, we’re making an effort to use other avenues first.
By the way, Katie S., we pulled the old kitchen and bathroom cabinets and listed them on Freecycle. So thank you for the suggestion.