Wasted Guilt


I​ had an email come in thanking me for the post on Decluttering Guilt and mentioning another guilt about decluttering – the waste. What if the charity shops are full and if no one wants your clutter? What if something is unusable, broken or unfixable? What if it actually has to be thrown out and ends up in a landfill?

W​hile it is ideal that we would find someone appreciative and in need of our used goods (See list below of where to send items), sometimes you have clutter that no one needs or wants. And keeping them in your own home instead of disposing them is not helpful.

I​s it making your life better by having that clutter that no one wants? Do you ever throw other things out?

M​ost things now have a smaller lifespan and aren’t made to last. Eventually they all need to be tossed. Even things you give to charity will one day be unusable. All the things will eventually end up as trash.

A​fter you die, someone will take that stuff you couldn’t part with and throw it out, if it can’t be given away.

W​e say to ourselves, “It’s such a waste.” And it is. So it’s time to dispose of the waste. Your home is not a place to store clutter and garbage.

F​orgive yourself for past overbuying or neglect of items. Most of us are more attuned and buying more mindfully.

You can’t change the past, but i​n the future, we will buy less, make less environmental impact, buy things with less packaging, buy used, etc. But, at the moment you have something that needs to go into the garbage. And that little bit of garbage makes much less impact than the airplanes flying overhead, factories, and corporations.

I​f you can, pick up what needs to be thrown out right now and toss it.

If you have lots of environmental guilt, make a donation to an environmental cause.

T​owels – vet, shelters, clinic

B​ras – Free the Girls

B​ooks – Bookswa

C​lothes for recycling – For Days / https://www.charitynavigator.org/search/ / https://dressforsuccess.org/get-involved/donation-drives/

E​lectronics – Best Buy

E​yeglasses – Lions Clu

C​ell Phones – various

L​uggage/tote bags – local Buy Nothing Group. Or, try Nextdoor, Freecycle, and Facebook Marketplace. – foster care organizations

S​chool Supplies – your local school or church

S​hoes – Soles4Shoes

S​tuffed Animals – Stuffed Animals for Emergencies

V​arious – www.decluttr.com , givebackbox.shop


  • Jo@JoSimplyWill says:

    Your post is spot on as always Beth. Last year my siblings and I cleared out our parents’ home of 50 years. We all took some things that we could use and that had sentimental value. A lot went to the op shop, and a lot was beyond salvage and went into a skip. I wrote about it quite a bit on my blog, including a post entitled ‘What a person’s life comes down to’ because that was what really struck me about the exercise.

    Personally, I’m an under-buyer, I like a neat and orderly home, and don’t have clutter or hold on to stuff that is just rubbish. Even so I still have a lot of stuff! Many items that have meaning to me will have no meaning to whoever cleans my home out, and I accept that they will be passed on.

    It is a big problem that some people continue to buy more and more when their homes are already filled with junk and clutter. Getting to the source of this is the real challenge.

  • Beth Dargis says:

    Thanks so much Jo. Great insights!

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