I caught the netflix series Tidying Up with Marie as well and while I have benefited from Marie Kondo’s way of sorting our possessions and understanding our own lifestyle in the process, I noticed some very real problems we would face immediately if we were to declutter in this manner.
One of them is how we can organise the items we’re keeping. It is partially solved by the solutions that she did provide. I will be writing about solutions that worked well for my family as I go along and here are those I’ve already written about, some of them are due for an update soon:
- How to optimise storage in the Study Room
- Solutions for my trickiest storage problems
- My laundry room
- My Laundry System | No more laundry sitting on the sofa
- Wardrobe organization | How to prevent the leaning tower of clothes
- Managing Receipts, Manuals and Warranties
The greater problem, in my opinion, is:
What do we do with the items we’re not keeping, particularly for those of us in Singapore?
Do you want to get rid of them quickly or would you like to do so meaningfully?
Sell, Donate or Recycle?
Personally, I make the decision rather quickly.
Sell – Items that were costly and which I do not wish to donate.
Donate – Items that would make a difference for a cause I want to support
Recycle – Items that are not useable, because the basic principle of selling or donation is to provide things which are of use to others. Hence anything mouldy, stained, torn belongs automatically to this group.
Where do I Sell, Donate or Recycle in Singapore?
I did some detailed research to ascertain how I would like to handle possessions I no longer need. I do understand the rationale behind why we thank these possessions we’re not keeping but, I personally feel better if I channelled them to a meaningful cause – it helps me manage feelings of guilt towards the wastage.
My problem with information available online is that multiple organisations accept common things like clothing and shoes, so which one do I pick? On the other hand, there isn’t a whole lot of information on where I could give away uncommon things like food, pet and medical items. Surprisingly, I also found a number of options where we could sell possessions we no longer need.
Since I already did that research, I created the spreadsheet below so that others like me can obtain quick information on organisations, the cause they support as well as what they do with the donation by filtering according to the type of items we are handling.
Below is the spreadsheet and here are a list of things to note:
- Donate only things that are in good or reasonable condition for use.
- Links of organisations I have included lead directly to the site with donation information, if available, so that you can check out any further details.
- Items collectable by each organization is updated to the best of my ability. I’ll be in touch with each organization listed here to directly verify information provided and request for corrections if needed.
If you’re feeling exhausted from decluttering ( I get it – I’m not judging), you can simply filter by “Almost Everything”, and just head over to donate. But please note that none of the organisations accepts everything and anything. So don’t deposit everything at one location.
If you would like to give meaningfully, you can understand the cause that each organization supports at a glance according to your item type and also what they do with your donation.
When do I donate? Does it make a difference to when I could plan my decluttering?
This relates only to donation. If you noticed, many organisations received a lot of donations over the holiday season and have currently closed all donation activity due to space constrains.
Although Marie Kondo has good reasons to recommend a sequence in decluttering certain categories of items, I think it would be practical to plan the decluttering schedule better in our own context, unless you have space to store items for donation at a later date or don’t mind the clutter of living with boxes of items to be donated.
I love to refer to this calendar by Secondhand Guru to find out about collection drives (and other eco-activities).
Donee Organisations by Area
To take it a step further, I’ve included information on the areas which these organisations are located in, so that all of us can plan our drop off route for whatever we’ve chosen to do.
Since I’ve started this, I am going to maintain it, for my own sake and for the sake of anyone who needs the information. I’ve enabled access to the spreadsheet for everyone and anyone but to keep it clean, I reserve editing rights. Hence, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if:
- you spot something I need to correct
- you want me to add your organization to the sheet
- information needs to be updated
- you have any suggestions
I’ll make time to update the spreadsheet and hopefully it helps us all. Take a deep breathe and good luck with the decluttering!
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