You've Decluttered. Here's What You Can Do With Everything You Just Let Go Of
Marie Kondo wouldn’t agree, but my favourite t-shirt is worn out and loose from a decade of use while sleeping. I kept everything my mother sewed for me when I was 16, and I still squeal in glee every time my girlfriends would gift me pre-loved things!
A boyfriend before never understood why I choose to wear his vintage Rolex from his Uni days but would stubbornly refuse receiving a new one. If you’ve ever written me a note, or gave me something you thoughtfully made, I'm pretty sure I still treasure it. I don’t cling to things, I hold on to memories. Surprisingly, apart from hoarding too many gourmet spices, my space is pretty minimalist, despite being sentimental.
It’s true, when you let go of clutter, you make more room for what sparks joy. If you’ve read Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, or seen the Netflix version of it, you must be wondering, what do I do with everything Im parting with?
I chatted with Christine Dy-Chiao, certified KonMari consultant on where we can bring all the things we’ve outgrown. Check her tips out below:
1. Thoughtful re-gifting
I was delighted to know that Christine isn’t against regifting, so long as it is done thoughtfully, (which is the essence of giving). I’m guilty of extending presents originally intended for me but find no use for. Last Christmas, I thoughtfully re-gifted cosmetics, perfumes, bags and even food items to people I know will appreciate it better. Likewise, I get a lot of recycled gifts, and some of my favorite ones are actually hand-me-downs! It’s not realistic to expect that every present be good fit, and in this time of excess, it’s a crime to buy brand new all the time.
It’s insensitive to give someone something that won't serve them, which is why in some cases, it is better to donate them. Christine gives us some of her top picks on where to exercise charity:
- Uniqlo and H&M: Accepts used clothing
- CARA Welfare Philippines: Old blankets and towels for animals waiting for adoption, cat food, dog food, and medication Advocate – (Bayer Health Care), Frontline Plus, Ivermectin (Merial), Revolution (Pfizer), Biomectin (https://www.caraphil.org/mainsite/get-involved/donate/#.XGvGV5MzYUt)
- I Support the Girls - Manila: Accepts new and used bras, new tampons and feminine care products for homeless women (e-mail: [email protected] / Viber or Telegram: ISTG-Manila Affiliate Director, Denise Fabella. Please search for “Denise Fabella” or @denisenfabella (please take note of middle initial “N”)
- Philippine Toy Library: Accepts pre-loved toys and donates it to libraries in disadvantaged areas. (56 Esteban Abada St., Loyola Heights, 1108 Quezon City)
- Childhope Foundation: 1210 Peñafrancia Street cor. San Gregorio Sreet, Paco 1007; (02) 563 224 / mobile: (0922) 882 9156
- Goodwill Industries: Will even pick up goods for donation (02) 838-7170, 837-3094
- Cibo accepts book drop-offs at any of their branches.
- Papemelroti accepts old keyboards, old glass lenses, scrabble, wine bottles, clean plastic bags (YES!), hardbound books, playing cards and the likes to any branch as long as it is addressed to Tina, with the label—FOR RECYCLING, or through www.papemelroti.com/recycling_centers.htm
- Ortigas Foundation Library accepts books which they share with identified underprivileged schools in the provinces.
- Caritas Manila: For scheduling of pick up of the items you want to donate, you may call (02) 564-0205 to 562-0020 to 25 or email at [email protected].
- UP School of Engineering: Electronic items like old cellphones, charges, monitors, radio, iPods, plugs etc. (They have an E-Waste Drive every April each year.)
If you feel that it isn’t fair to let go of expensive items for free, and don’t mind the extra effort, you can always try to sell them as pre-loved online and on-site:
- Facebook groups: Some of my favourites include Manila Expat Buy and Sell, Makati Expat Buy and Sell, Hungry Closet, Pre-loved Manila, there is practically an FB group for every category!
- Carousell: The app is like the Shopee of pre-loved items.
- Garage sale: Just remember that it is the helps and drivers that goes to garage sales so price it reasonably.
- Junk shops: Newspapers, magazines, bottles, tires, etc.
It takes imagination to turn trash to gold, nothing more. So get creative and transform what is old and worn out into something new, fun and even useful!
- Shoe box: Storage for clothes, socks, etc.
- Worn-out clothes: Rugs
- Old towels: For your fur babies to dry themselves in!
5. Return to sender
I really don’t get offended when my friends send back gifts they don’t have use (or space) for. Of course I understand not everyone will feel this way but I appreciate honesty when it comes to receiving gifts. Sometimes generosity can be misplaced and cause inconvenience so setting gentle and compassionate boundaries on what you’re willing to receive is a mature practice that we should all start being mindful of.
Weizel Gulfan is a nutrition and wellness consultant. She creates healthy recipes and wellness campaigns for health brands like Breville, Misso, Sun Life’s Go Well, Monde Nissin’s Quorn , Echo Store, Heilen Medical Wellness, Rockwell club among others.You can follow her on Instagram @weizelgulfan for healthy recipes and everyday wellness ideas.