By Faith Chanda
De-cluttering isn’t a new concept, but Mari Kondo‘s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has got everybody wandering around their homes thinking about what does and doesn’t “spark joy”. With the average condo square footage being much smaller in Singapore than our home countries, a good purge at least every year isn’t such a bad idea. But what to do with all the ‘stuff’ that no longer sparks joy?
The first option most people turn to is re-selling. The green movement to reduce, reuse and recycle has given rise to a wealth of internet pages dedicated to selling items you no longer want, including Carousell, Gumtree, Craig’s List and Facebook’s many buy/sell/ trade pages, as well as its Marketplace. When posting items, make sure to include a detailed description, where the pick-up point is located, or areas you are willing to meet, measurements, where appropriate, and information on any defects. Many folks are still willing to forgive a small defect, but they won’t be happy if the seller isn’t up front about it. Research pricing by checking online stores for the original price and check other preloved sales sites for the same item to see what price others are listing at. You won’t make a ton of money, but it might be enough to soothe the packrat in you who hates getting rid of anything.
Along with the sales platforms, there are sharing and blessing groups, where all items are free.
- Pass It On allows people to post unwanted, but useful items to benefit anyone with limited means, www.passiton.org.sg
- You can take up a stand at Singapore Really Really Free Market which happens a couple of times each year and experience the joy of giving your stuff away directly to people who’ve come to shop. www.facebook.com/srrfm
Other pages for free-cycling include:
- Singapore Moms Preloved and Blessing Group
- Blessing Items for Low Income Families!
- 3R Recycle, Sharing Is Caring
- FREE loved FURNITURE (Singapore)
My favorite option of all is donating. There are so many great causes and organizations in Singapore that would love to have your pre-loved items, but it takes a bit of digging to turn up which in-kind donations would be most helpful to them.
Before you load up a truck full, be sure to contact any group you’re planning to donate to. Some require only certain items within broad categories and it’s always a good idea to confirm they still need the items you’re letting go because busy charities on limited budgets don’t always get around to updating their websites in a timely manner.
Click here for active organizations and the types of items they have a need for at the time of writing
Change Your Habits
And if all that purging has got you re-thinking your life choices, well, there are a few organizations for that, too. The ‘Zero Waste’ movement is based on the idea that if you try hard enough, it is possible to live your life without creating any waste at all. This means being very careful about everything you use, because when you’re done with it, it has to go somewhere besides the trash bin.
For tips on how to cut down on your waste, check out these groups:
- Zero Waste SG
- Journey to Zero Waste Life in Singapore
- Zero Waste Parenting Singapore
Once you’ve de-cluttered, sold, blessed and donated, you just might find that not only do you end up with a tidy, clean home, but your mind and heart are feeling a bit lighter and brighter as well.