There appears to be no doubt about it. More and more of us are downsizing as we grow older. We don’t need or want the maintenance of a large home.

The prospect of downsizing means thinking about how many of our material things we really do use. What do we do with the things we do not want to take in a move to a smaller home? Think about recycling.

Per Wikipedia: “Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into reusable materials and objects… Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and the third component of the: ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ waste hierarchy.”

 
 

Let’s apply that to downsizing.

Clearing Out Clothing

Moving to a smaller home typically means smaller closets as well. This means sorting through clothes and deciding which ones you can live without. You don’t have to be downsizing to have the need to clean out your closets.

Many of us have a regular routine of going through our closets and removing all those things that have not been used in the past year. We either gift these items to someone we know can use them, or we donate them to a second-hand shop.

Have you considered taking items you feel are not worthy of donation and cutting them up for quilt pieces? If you are not a quilter or don’t know someone is, perhaps you could use the pieces for rags.

Focusing on Furniture

When downsizing you might think that your current furniture will not have a place in the new home décor. Perhaps that is true. However, it may be that it just needs a new look via reupholstering or refinishing, or perhaps re-facing or painting. If you find that these are not options, then donation or selling are good possibilities versus disposal.

Holiday Cards

We all love receiving cards during the holidays. Many of us display the cards we receive along with our decorations. After the holidays, some of the more precious cards are saved as mementos. The remaining cards are disposed of. Rather than disposing of those cards we can re-use many of them. Typically, at least one side of the card is not written on and could be used again.

Often it is the side of the card that contains the beautiful photo on the reverse that is not written on. The front portion of the card can be used for the following year as a postcard. There are many organizations that would love to receive these cards as donations. Those organizations that ship supplies to service members are always looking for similar donations.

Downsizing Your Dishes

Once you have determined what you can/must take with you then it’s time decide what you can do with the rest. Dishes are actually very versatile items. They can be decorated and turned into nice gifts. They can serve as decorative plates, vases, coffee cups, you name it. There are so many options to choose from. There are vendors that offer these kinds of services if you are not creatively inclined.

Doing Good by Donating

I like to donate items to our local women’s shelter shops. I also donate to those organizations who provide for our service members. There are so many good causes to choose from. Did you know that there are even organizations that take old cars? They find new life through the sale of their components.

Final Thoughts

Recycling is good for so many reasons. The best reason is to help take care of our environment. Out with the old and in with the new is not always the best policy. We do not need an excuse like downsizing to recycle those things we no longer want or need.

My husband and I have been recycling for many years now. When it’s time for something we own to be disposed of we first think about how and where we can “recycle” it.

Have you started to make recycling and downsizing a part of your life? What things do you try to reduce, reuse and recycle? Have you found creative uses for older items, or an especially worthy charity to receive them? Please share in the comments.

Cheryl TherrienCheryl Therrien, aka Geek Grandma, is a self-taught technology enthusiast who enjoys writing and blogging. You can find her books on Amazon. Cheryl currently blogs at MidLife Avenue and provides product reviews on her YouTube channel.

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