Recycle

Fall Purging Can be Fun!

I love finding a new home for the items that I no longer use. This morning, on my way to take the kids to school, I put my carefully culled boxes of outgrown (by kids) or rarely worn (by me) clothing on our curb to be picked up by the Hartsprings Foundation. This local organization (affiliated with Big Brothers/Big Sisters), circulates all over the Pioneer Valley on an ongoing basis picking up a wide array of household donations for families in need. Another great resource is the ReCenter Swap Shop at the Glendale Road transfer station on Saturdays. This is a great place to get rid of many kinds of unwanted household items that are in durable and working condition. In addition, here is a link to the Northampton MA DPW which provides information about where and when to recycling what. To follow is an interesting companion piece from Apartment Therapy about what to purge, and when.

 

25 Things to Get Rid of This Fall

Brittney Morgan, Sep 10, 2017

A "New England Meets West Coast" Style Home (Image credit: Emily Billings)

Summer's over and fall is here, and that can only mean one thing: it's time to do some major decluttering. (What, you thought that only happened in spring?). The change of seasons is the perfect time to reset by going through your home room-by-room to get rid of all the stuff you didn't use all season, not to mention all the stuff you know won't get much use by winter, either.

To help you get started, here's a list of things you can get rid of ASAP from your closet to your medicine cabinet and beyond.

Wardrobe

  • Swimsuits you didn't wear all season.
  • Summer clothes you didn't wear and the clothes you did wear, but didn't feel good about yourself in.
  • Fall and winter clothes and outerwear you don't feel your best in or don't plan to wear.
  • Sandals and other summer shoes you didn't wear all season.
  • Fall and winter shoes you don't like anymore or don't plan to wear.
  • Clothes, shoes and accessories (including sunglasses) that are damaged if you don't plan to fix them.
  • Socks that you don't have matches for.
  • Inexpensive jewelry you haven't worn in ages.

Beauty Products

  • Makeup that's expired or doesn't match your skin tone.
  • Sunscreen you've been holding onto since last summer.
  • Hair and skincare products that have expired (or that you just haven't used in who knows how long).
  • Old nail polish that's lost its original texture.
  • Your loofah (they definitely don't last as long as you think they do!)
  • Samples and travel-sized products you never use.

Sarah's Small & Stylish Brooklyn Apartment (Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Kitchen/Pantry

  • Spices you haven't replaced in a few years.
  • Foods you put in the freezer when summer started.
  • All those extra grocery bags you've set aside.
  • Food storage containers that could use a refresh or that are missing lids.
  • Appliances you haven't used since last fall.
  • Extra kitchen utensils you don't use or need.

Miscellaneous

  • Toys, clothes and shoes your kids will grow out of by next summer.
  • Worn-out beach towels.
  • Old magazines you've read through and through or never got around to all summer.
  • Over-the-counter meds or prescriptions that have expired (make sure you dispose of them properly!)
  • Old, worn-out sheets and bedding.

Feeling good? Let's get going!

Let's Get Moving

Having just gone through the process of moving house, I thought moving would be a good subject to touch upon.  We had an unusually long time period to prepare for our move - 5 months!  Most closings take place in 6-8 weeks.  Our buyers weren't in a rush, and neither were we - so we agreed to put off closing until springtime.  Since we had managed to fill our (former) 3500+ sf house, including the basement and the attic, with stuff -- it was good to have time to sort through everything. Here are the steps I would recommend in preparing for your move: 1.  Go through the entire house and decide which items you want to sell, which you want to recycle and which you want to keep.  It may be a good idea to use color coded stickers to help you remember which items are destined for which location. 2.  For the items you want to sell, I had good results with Craigs List.  I spent some time on Ebay and Craigslist researching pricing for the items before I listed them.  Be prepared to lose money on most items - resale value for furniture (aside from valuable antiques) isn't great. 3.  Check out the Northampton DPW website for a list of recycling events for items you want to get rid of - while avoiding the landfill if possible. 4.  If you have an overwhelming number of items to rid yourself of, it may be a good idea to contact a local auction house to see what they might be willing to take, and for what commission.  We worked with Kimballs Auction House. 5.  For clothing in good condition, the local consignment stores in town are a great resource.  For clothing that may have less retail value, Goodwill, Salvation Army and The Hartsprings Foundation are all great.  Hartsprings does street side pick up in many Northampton neighborhoods. 6.  Once you have found a home for all of the items you want to get rid of, it's time to start packing.  We got quotes from 3-4 local movers.  I would say that price isn't the only component to consider, I would recommend going with the company which has the best reviews. 7.  Advice on packing.... One Room At A Time!  Try to set a realistic time schedule for your self.  Perhaps one room per day? 8.  LABEL YOUR BOXES CLEARLY!  Make sure your movers put proper boxes in the proper rooms when they reach the new location - this way you avoid having to RE-move the boxes once you get there. 9.  Do a lot of deep breathing, try to get enough sleep, don't take it out on your partner when you get irritated : ) Enjoy your new home!

Spring Recycling Events

Few things make me happier than purging things we no longer use or need.  In light of that, and that fact that spring actually seems to have arrived; so I'm sure that many of you are itching to do some spring cleaning...
This information just in from my live-in, walking recycling resource:
RECYCLING EVENT this coming Saturday, April 12, from 9 until Noon at Smith Vocational High School on Locust Street sponsored by the Northampton ReUse Committee. This is the first of a series of special material recycling events coming in the Spring and Fall 2014.The materials to be collected this Saturday are: Paper Shredding Styrofoam Pellet Plastic Bags from Pellet StovesPaper ShreddingOn site secure document paper shredding will be provided by Pro-Shred of Wilbraham. Please bring only clean and dry paper. Manila folders are okay but plastic folders and page dividers are not. Shredded paper will be recycled at the event. There is a limit of two curbside recycling sized boxes.

Styrofoam Recycling

Materials that will be accepted are large pieces of white, clean and dry foam. Any paper or plastic must be removed and will not be accepted.In addition colored foam, packing peanuts and food related foam like cups, plates and trays will not be accepted.

Pellet Bags Recycling Bags must be empty, dry and relatively clean. Only bags from wood pellets will be accepted. Please stack empty bags, fold them together and place the roll inside another empty pellet bag.

The ReUse Committee is always looking for volunteers to help at these events. They usually require one to four hours of time on a Saturday morning. If you are interested in joining our corps of volunteers, please contact me at david.starr@comcast.net. The events are fun and social and require no previous experience.

Upcoming Events

April 26th - Community Tag Sale and Swap, Northampton

May 3 - Bulky Rigid Plastics and Kid's Stuff Exchange    9 till Noon at Smith Voc toys, lawn furniture, plastic play structures, plastic buckets...

For information regarding this and upcoming recycling events please contact Susan Waite, Northampton Recycling Coordinator, with any questions 413 587 1059 or swaite@northamptonma.gov.

In addition to the exciting news above.... My resources tell me that there is a drop off site in Holyoke for any unwanted paint!

paint

 

As you can see, we have a nice collection going and we are thinking it's time to purge!  And what a great idea that someone else might actually be able to use it.  A win-win situation.  Here is the information:

Latex paint can be brought to the Refuse/Recycling Drop-off Site for disposal. Paint swap is available for anyone interested in unused paint. Empty latex paint cans that are dried up can be brought to the Refuse/Recycling Center. Empty cans of oil-based paint must be disposed of during the City's hazardous waste day, which is held twice a year in the Spring, and Fall. Information concerning the City's Hazardous Waste Days is available by calling the DPW at 413-322-5645.

 

Happy Purging everyone!

 

 

 

Out with the Old, and in with the....Old!

I attended a fantastic clothing swap at a friend's house the other night.  If you have never been to, or organized, a clothing swap, you really must!  It's an excuse to get out of the house for the evening, to guiltlessly rid yourself of clothing that you never wear, and, occasionally, find some real gems to beef up your wardrobe, all while sipping a glass of wine and hanging around in your skivvies with your girlfriends - trying on clothes.  There is also something to the timing of a pre-holiday swap - it's fun to obtain some new threads (for free) during the holiday season when you are generally shopping for everyone else.  Of course, there's also the whole reduce, reuse, recycle angle which feels so much better than the post-mall vaguely guilty and empty feeling many of us have experienced.

From what I understand, there are many ways to orchestrate a clothing swap, but the ones I have been to are generally the same format.  Everyone brings a large bag of clothing along to the event, as well as food or drink to share.  We spend some time sorting clothing into categories (not by size, just by type of clothing).  Then we have at it!  The host generally has a couple of full length mirrors hanging around to allow you to make informed decisions; not to mention that you are surrounded by people who can give you an honest opinion about whether or not to toss the item in question back in the pile.  Hopefully, you have a friend with you who knows what you like and sends things your way if they happen upon them.  At the end of the night, whatever hasn't been claimed is brought by some lovely volunteer to an organization of their choosing who would benefit from nice clothes in good condition

Generally, 50-70% of what you take home, you actually make good use of! (Insert headless selfie to show the adorbs scarf and J.Jill sweater I scored on Tuesday night!)

.Photo on 11-21-13 at 3.07 PM

However, certain items tend to make the swap circuit.  I did happen to notice that a skirt I had brought to an earlier clothing swap had resurfaced this past Tuesday.  It's always funny when that happens!

I think the next great idea should involve swapping tchotchkes and other home-related items!  Stay tuned for more on that topic.  Or, invite me if you have one!

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