Marie Kondo’s book “The life-changing magic of tidying up” seems to be making a huge impact all over the world! Everybody is konmarying their homes (I love that newly invented verb *lol*) and THE question will eventually rise: where to with all of my konmaried things?
Of course you could just toss it all into the trash and life goes on. But I’m no fan of doing so, specially with things that are still in good to excellent condition. I am very lucky that where I live I have so many different possibilities to discard my konmaried stuff. With the Brockis all over the place (it’s like a charity shop) and not living in the middle of nowhere many doors open as to what you could do with your things that need a new home. I’m aware that to most of you some of the sites I’ve been using online to give my stuff away are unknown, but I’m still going to mention it all to you so you have a rough idea of what I’m talking about or, maybe even find / create something similar around where you live. Here’s what I’ve been doing with my stuff:
Did you receive a gift that just wasn’t your cup of tea? But you know someone who would like it? Then re-gift that at the next occasion. Why not? I’m sure all of us have done that and I don’t see it as something negative. Instead of keeping that item unused reminding you that you ought to use it while you know it does not spark joy, pass it on to spark joy to someone else. I love Marie Kondo’s approach that the main purpose of a gift is to show you that someone cares about you and make you happy right that moment. When the moment is gone, and if the gift doesn’t suit you, the purpose of the gift is already done and it’s just time to let go. We should not be plagued with a bad conscience if we don’t keep something we were given to. Try that – it’s very rewarding!
The other day I just read an idea of Lilla Rogers where she suggests to put those unwanted things in a bag and hang it on your doorknob. That way, every time a friend comes over to visit he/she could go through the things and maybe find something handy to use 🙂 I like that approach, lovely idea! It reminded me of a small bookshelf I had in my last appartment with books I was willing to pass on, whereas I asked every visitor to have a look at it before leaving. Some books found new owners like that, which was great!
With some of the things I ask myself if maybe by altering a little something it would spark joy again or I could use it as something else. It also helps you be more creative with things. I like the thought of upcycling something and level it to another purpose. Read more about it in this post here.
3.) Flea markets and garage sales
Some of my friends go to flea markets every once in a while to sell their things. I love flea markets and I plan to have a look at more here in town. I know of some that take place nearby but if you want to have a stall you’ll have to be quick with reserving and get up quite early in the morning to bring your things there. As I don’t have a car only the thought makes me feel very sleepy and lazy 😉 But I’d love to try that one day together with someone, I don’t think I’ll ever do that on my own. As a kid I used to go with a friend and we’d stay there all afternoon trading and selling (my mum still jokes about the fact that I’d get home with more stuff than I left because I was willing to take everybody’s left overs *lol*). It used to be good fun! Gee, I really should try that again…
Garage sales are not very usual here in Switzerland. I love the idea and remember bringing it up as a teenager. But my dreams got crashed when my parents explained that here in Switzerland you were supposed to get a permit (you’re supposed to get a permit for EVERYTHING…) and it wasn’t just opening up your garage and selling things, so finally I let go of that as well… Lazy me…
4.) Sell online
Many of the items that needed a new home were in a pretty good shape. I’ve been using several platforms where I could sell those items online. I’m sure you know e-bay or amazon. I haven’t tried those but more local places like exsila (sells most of the things for either money or credit, very easy to use), ricardo (like e-bay) or OLX (very easy to use as well – like an online market place). I’d always check with rebuy or momox before if they would pay me anything for my books, CD’s or DVD’s. Depending on what you want to get rid of, they pay a pretty good price for some of the media and at least that’s a wee little bit of extra cash (I’ve made about 55 € cash after purging our books and some DVD’s). They are both German sites but as the German border is not too far from where I live, I can send the goods there every once in a while. Facebook also offers a whole lot of market places (maybe even locally around the area where you live?) where you can sell your goods online. The other day, I sold loads of clothes to a girl and made 100 francs of cash 🙂
5.) Trade online
This is something I’ve been constantly doing before my Konmari time – trade clothes on the internet. There is quite a good platform for that in Germany (same as in Switzerland but the Swiss one is nearly deserted and not much is happening there) called Kleiderkorb. You can also sell your clothes there but usually I’d end up trading (which wasn’t doing my amount of clothes much good but hey, it made me happy 🙂 ). There’s just something to second hand clothes – many times I walk around the shops and don’t find anything that I really like. That platform opened doors to clothes of places I had no idea of and styles that were different or unique. Nowadays, nearly every day I’m wearing something that I traded on that platform 🙂 I’ve made many beautiful acquaintances there as well and often, when I wear something particular, I like remembering the person I traded with, some good talks about anything and nothing and it’s just more personal and nice than buying something in a 2nd hand store where most of the time you don’t know anything about where the clothing came from. The happiness which you can share with the unknown person across Europe is mutual since both of you found a new home for something you once liked as well.
6.) Give away to friends / strangers
I often also just post my things on facebook and ask around my friends if someone might be interested in something. Sometimes, it just feels better to know where your stuff ends up being, and that it’s making someone you know happy, than somehow donating it and wondering where it ended up being. I’m not sure why it is that it just feels a wee bit better like this. I’ve met up with friends I haven’t seen in a while to give them books or other things. If I know a piece of clothing or book has the particular style of a person I know, I ask right away. I take a picture and send it with the comment “would that maybe be something for you?”. I’m not forcing anyone to take anything. It’s fine if they can’t use it, and they are all honest. Many times they’ve been very happy, some even thrilled that I thought of them and gave them a particular item which then made them very, very happy. That made me even happier 🙂
There’s a platform in Switzerland on facebook I’ve found as well which I really like, where you give away things to strangers. You post pictures of whatever needs a new home and you can either send it all on your own credit or the person that get’s the thing pays for the postage. The group is very nice, I’ve met a few nice ladies in there and also was given some very sweet things as well. After some big purging of things I’ve even also made some sort of themed packages, for example a parcel with things that do you good before you go to sleep (sleep tea, pajamas, a book, a DVD, facial creams etc…) and have been giving them to mums that were having a hard time (that was my request back then). I’ve been giving away so many parcels and the replies I’ve gotten were so touching – several ladies told me they had tears in their eyes when they saw all the things they got from me in the parcel. One lady stated she’s never gotten so much, not even for Christmas. So, to know that I could make those ladies happy made much more happy and filled my heart with pure joy ❤ .
7.) Organised and artsy sort of give-away
Many creative people have set up places where you can exchange or donate things, mostly media. Bookcrossing is a common possibility to pass on your read books. You can search for set bookcrossing corners on their web page or set up a new one in your area. I’ve also seen many “bring one, take one” corners in several places of the city where you can exchange books, DVD’s, CD’s or such, or also even just bring some media for others to take along. It usually works quite well and is hardly taken advantage of. It has happened to me that, for example, I’ve come across such a place, browsed through the books and found something I’ve been wanting to read for ages. I asked the person in the shop if it was ok to bring something another day, and it was absolutely fine. I was so grateful that next time I passed the place I brought five books and didn’t take anything in return. It fills you with joy to pass on and find nice stuff on the shelves as well. I mean, like, really nice stuff! Many books or DVD’s given there would be some I would devour immediately had I not done so before already 😉 So the sight of them and the knowledge that someone else will be taking them home and read the books in awe fills me with even more joy 😉
8.) Donate: Charity shops and other
There are some Brockis / charity shops that take pretty much everything here in Zürich. That’s great 😉 I mean, I would never donate something that is yucky or broken, I don’t do that. But I’ve been asked in wonder a few times by Me Man why I would even bother to bring that to the Brocki. When he first went to that particular Brocki with me he agreed that they really take anything. I mean, if you can still use it, why not bring it there? There is a whole load of people going there every day and if you see something a day and go back for it a few days later – be sure that it’s not going to be there anymore. They constantly get new things and people constantly hoard stuff out of there, so it’ll sure be all gone in a bit which is good. They also sell things for a very good price and many people who can’t afford much go there to buy, so I’m pleased to bring good things there as well. I even collect all of our plastic bags we get at the shops and bring them there for them to re-use – I could not put a plastic bag in the trash if it’s only been used once, that would just plainly break my heart…
Fellow blogger Marie also had a great idea (thank you so much for letting me share this here!) of what to do with books: you could donate them to your local library to re-use, or for their book-sale. That will support them with money to be able to buy new books for the community – what a great idea! ❤
9.) Put it out on the street
I’m very lucky that here in Zürich you can pretty much put anything out the front door on the street and most of the times it’s gone within a few hours 🙂 I never caught someone taking something, maybe it’s a bunch of leprechauns roaming the streets unseen taking everything back to their end of the rainbow, who knows? But it’s just great to know that it made someone happy 🙂 You just have to make sure to check the weather forecast before you put anything outside – a friend of mine was happy to donate a box of books when heavy showers started to come down the skies… Now she’s got a box full of soaked books in her cellar and doesn’t know what to do with it 😀 I’ve found several boxes of soaked books around town, which is really a shame (I mean, books…!!! ❤ ). But it’s great fun to see what Zürich people put out on the streets – you could literally furnish a new apartment with the things found there.
10.) Trash / recycle
Finally yes, if nothing else works, the items are very yucky looking and you would never want to get it as a gift yourself – then its purpose is truly over here and you can discard it in the trash or recycling bin 😉
I hope these suggestions might give you some ideas as to how to find a new home for your discarded things 🙂 Which one does appeal most to you? Is there another way you discard your things that I haven’t mentioned here already? Make sure to let me know 🙂