Guest Blog By : Sara Campana, Owner of 1 Touch Organizing
Congrats! You’ve made the decision to start letting go of some of your belongings as you begin decluttering and downsizing! The next question is…where does it all go? Living in the Fox Cities comes with many benefits, one of which is the many resources available for residents looking to pass on their belongings to others who can benefit from them. Donating, recycling, upcycling and disposal are all possibilities for passing on items you no longer have use for or don’t want to make space for as you transition into your next stage of life. A summary of these options and more can be found under the information tab at 1 Touch Organizing (www.1touchorganizing.com), but here are just a few options when it comes to letting go.
DONATING – Don’t forget to keep those donation slips to use as tax write offs!
Goodwill – There are many different Goodwill locations throughout the Fox Cities and they accept nearly all variety of clothing, household items, books, furniture and toys.
St. Vincent de Paul – St. Vinny’s takes appointments for the pick up furniture and household items. Be sure to call well in advance as they are often booked fairly far out. Items for donation must be located on the ground level of your home and drivers have the right to refuse any items.
Habitat Restore – Furniture, doors, windows, flooring, appliances, home repair items, lawn supplies, etc – if it’s in good condition Habitat Restore is available to pick it up for donation.
Rawhide – Accepts car donations, boats, trailers, RVs, motorcycles, jet skis, snowmobiles and buses.
Hazardous Waste: Disposing of hazardous waste and chemicals in the proper fashion is essential to the safety of our local groundwater. The Outagamie Recycling and Waste facility is available to dispose of a wide variety of items from May through October. You can find a complete list of accepted hazardous waste materials and the days and times available for drop off at their website. If you need to dispose of items during their off season the Brown County Waste facility accepts hazardous materials year round on select days of the week. Winnebago County also accepts hazardous materials on select days and their schedule can be found here.
Prescription Drugs: Another safety risk for our drinking water that requires proper disposal are prescription medications. Pill bottles should be emptied into a seal-able plastic ziplock bag and the bottles themselves can be recycled. The bags of medication can be brought to your local police department where collection sites have been set up to make it simple for community members to safely dispose of these items. Liquids, creams and powders should be disposed of in their original containers at these collection sites. For more information, please view this comprehensive list of medication recycling sites and items accepted.
Electronics: Watch for electronics disposal events in your community to save money on disposing of your electronics. Best Buy will take your extra cords and small electronics like printers, monitors, gaming equipment, etc for free. For larger electronic items like box TVs, refrigerators, microwaves, etc local businesses like Resource Solutions are available to come pick up your items or you can drop them off yourselves. Pricing varies depending on the item requiring disposal.
Paper/Cardboard/Glass/Cans – If you have a surplus of recycling materials like paper, cardboard, cans, glass, etc they can be brought to any local waste facilities at no charge. Just let the attendant at the gate know that you will only be disposing of recycling materials and they can direct you where to go.
Plastic Bags/Plastic Film – Nearly all grocery stores (Walmart, Festival, Pick ‘n Save, Meijers) have collection boxes onsite for you to return plastic bags and film to. Another option would be to give bags to a family member or friend with a dog or drop them off at a local dog park.
Wire Hangers – Many dry cleaners will accept wire hangers that are in good condition to be reused in their business.
Upcycling simply means to donate an item to someone who wishes to repair it or reuse it in a way that adds value to it. For instance, turning an old wooden ladder into a bookshelf or blanket holder, using vintage suitcases as an end table or turning an old colander into a hanging basket. There are Facebook pages and Craigslist pages available to post your free items on, but make sure you feel safe having someone come to your home to pick items up.
If all of these options feel overwhelming, it may be beneficial to bring in a Professional Organizer to assist you in dispersing things to their proper places. An organizer can also help you assess the space you will be relocating to, develop a layout of the furniture that makes the most sense to utilize in your new space and coordinate the numerous details involved in a move including changing utilities, setting up donation pick ups or shipping special items to family and friends across the country. Contact Sara Campana of 1 Touch Organizing at 920-257-3262 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can help you get started on the path to downsizing and decluttering your home!