“I didn’t know there was so much recycling!”
This is the exclamation of almost every client when we start to clear out the clutter. When clients are downsizing, the pile of recycling and other cast off material gets bigger and bigger and bigger.
It is somewhat inevitable. Living in one home for many years, sometimes decades, can lead to such a build up in clutter and unused belongings that we just basically forget about. We end up purging out a significant amount of material that can not be re-purposed, is not suitable for sale or donation and therefore ends up in either the garbage or recycling. When clearing out a space, even just to reorganize to make the space function better, clients are often surprised how much debris has collected over the years which ends up no more valuable than the garbage or recycling bin.
If you are looking at a downsizing project, I recommend that you start your project armed with information about how to get rid of what may end up being a very large pile of garbage or recycling. Some of the material can go to your regular garbage pick up or disposal although most jurisdictions now carry volume limits on the service. Check into your service provider, public or commercial to find a) volume limits b) size limits or c) alternate places where you can take the material yourself. Most of these places will have a tipping charge. In the jurisdiction where I live, this charge is $10 per 100 kg or part thereof.
If you know there is going to be huge amount of material to garbage you may want to look into a junk removal company such as 1-800-GOT JUNK. In addition, you will need to have a “staging” area where the goods heading to garbage can be put while you continue to clear out your space. For recycling, check into the requirements to sort the recycling into different elements such as metal, paper and plastic.
Open Mail over the Recycling Box
If you want to avoid the accumulation, learn to process your paper with a paper recycling box nearby. I encourage clients to literally open their mail over the recycling box or bag. Of many, if not most letters, there is very little mail left over when the recycling has been taken out for example the envelop it came in and the inserts. Discarding these items as soon as they enter the house, will help to keep the paper clutter to a minimum. It also means less paper to house and manage.
“Even precious treasures left long enough, become garbage“.
One of my favourite client quotes.