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I Just Want to Throw It Out!

Welcome to our first blog post as we launch our new and improved Maple and Main Realty website!  We thought we would start with a topic which is near and dear to our hearts.  Namely, when it is time to start decluttering our homes - where do the unwanted items go?  In this age of repurposing, recycling and reducing our carbon footprint, many of us don't want to throw something out and have it wind up in the landfill, when it can be made use of somewhere else.  On the other hand, many of us don't have the time or energy to give it that much thought.  It's much easier to hire someone to haul everything away to who knows where, or to rent a dumpster and have someone pick it up when it's full.  With a bit of forethought, however, it is possible to organize your unwanted items and get rid of them responsibly.

I am married to a recycling and environmental fascist...I mean expert.  What this means is that my basement is a staging area for all manner of detritus: cans, bottles, paper, plastic, rigid plastic, metal, paint cans, styrofoam, old electronics, old prescriptions, old toys, etc.  In addition to being passionate about how and where things are gotten rid of, my husband prefers to handle all of this himself.  No Pedal People for us, unfortunately.  Thankfully, I don't spend much time in the basement so I can pretend that my basement isn't, in fact, a dumping ground.  The good news is that I am always well aware of special recycling events as they approach.  Metals, rigid plastics, toys, electronics, prescription medications, etc.  Between these events, and the Hartsprings Foundation which regularly picks up our unwanted clothing, household goods, etc -- I am able to slowly chip away at the copious amounts of belongings we have managed to accrue (that we don't actually need or use).  With a small amount of planning and organization -- setting large boxes in the basement clearly labeled with their contents -- we are all set to purge for these special recycling events when they occur.

If weeding through your belongings seems daunting, you can always turn to your realtor for some recommendations.  Here at Maple and Main Realty we have a large number of professionals to whom we refer our seller and buyer clients.  In addition to helping you prioritize about what to do to ready your house to sell, we can put you in touch with professionals who will do the work with or for you.  For many of us, spending $50 or so per hour to hire a professional organizer, is money very well spent.

For anyone who would like a little recycling 101, please read on....

Northampton Transfer Station:

Paper which tears, cardboard, non-greasy pizza boxes, clean cardboard egg cartons are all recyclable.

All food scraps, including greasy pizza boxes, are compostable.

Latex paint, dried out with kitty litter can be thrown out at the transfer station.

Metal paint cans with 1/8" or less dried paint at the bottom can be thrown out.

Metal appliances which are > or = 50% metal can be thrown out at the Transfer Station.

Northampton Police Station:

Prescription Meds can be dropped off at the Northampton Police Station  year-round

Seasonal Recycling Events:

- Rigid Plastics

- Electronics

- Toys

- Rags

Other resources:

The Hartsprings Foundation

The Goodwill 

Salvation Army


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  1. Heidi on

    Great information! As a professional organizer with 20+ experience, I, too, am a wealth of information, as well as providing actual hands on help for anyone who struggles with the oftentimes challenging task of getting the decluttering and setting up of systems done! Thanks