January: Purge Uneeded Items

Posted by Cate Stone on

It’s the first month of our Low Waste Challenge and we’re starting off the year by purging any unneeded items. As Marie Kondo says “Does it bring you joy? If you answer yes, you keep the item. If you hesitate or say no, you donate it or throw it out.” We’ll be focusing on the donate suggestion and avoiding throwing things out as much as we can.

You may be wondering “What does getting rid of all my unused stuff have to do with me being low waste?” Great question! 

According to the LA Times, the average American household has 300,000 items in it today. Yikes! That’s a lot of “stuff” that’s just sitting in our houses. Most of this stuff isn’t getting used regularly and is just taking up valuable space in your home. Better yet, someone could be using these items or they could be upcycled for better use! 

Within our Low Waste Challenge we’ll be taking a deeper look into the items that we do own and how our choices impact our Earth and those around us. Owning a multitude of things that you no longer use isn’t good for you or the planet, so let’s work together to change it! 

Gather your Unneeded Items

Here are some things that you can look around your house to purge from your stash:

  • Clothing
  • Shoes 
  • Bags
  • Home decor 
  • Kitchenware
  • Books
  • CDs/DVDs  
  • Toys and Games
  • Art supplies
  • Linens
  • Towels 
  • Unused Hygiene Essentials 
  • Even furniture! 

This is not an exhaustive list, of course, but it will hopefully jog your memory about a few things you’ve had lying around that you could (and should) part with. Reducing our footprint can be as simple as donating items we no longer have a use for. 

If you stumble on an item that is too dirty, no longer usable, or broken there are a few things that we recommend you try. 

  • Sewing or fixing the item - Whether you plan to use it or donate it, try repairing the item so that it can gain a second life.
  • Reusing or upcycling it - If you find clothes that are too tattered to wear anymore, you can use them as cleaning rags to give them more use. 
  • Proper disposal - If you find an item that is no longer usable (not even for fixing or upcycling) then please ensure that you are disposing of the item correctly. This can be as easy as a simple Google search to get your answer. 


Now here’s the most important part: Donate these items to a local homeless/women’s shelter. This way you’re directly benefiting not only people who need it, but they’re also right in your own community. If you’re not sure where to find your local shelters you can search on the Homeless Shelter Directory. Through this website you can see all of your local shelters listed with contact information. We would advise that you contact them to see what items they’re in need of. 

Donating to large corporations such as Goodwill lines the pockets of wealthy CEOs. Think about it, they’re getting all of their merchandise for free to then sell for a profit. They do not do any local community outreach or assistance. The only perk they offer is the convenience of a quick drop off spot. We are going to do everything we can to benefit those around us, even if it means a little extra work for ourselves! 

We are so excited to see how you’re doing with your Low Waste Challenge in the first month! Show us everything you donate! Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest @StoneSoapery and use the hashtag #LowWasteChallenge. 

Have you joined our Low Waste Challenge? Check out our original post about it here


Don’t forget to sign up for our Low Waste Newsletter and get our two free checklists to stay up to date on our Low Waste Challenge!


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