Have I mentioned how much I HATE PACKING!?
Don't get me wrong, I'm really excited about moving into my own little house but bloody hell... Just when I think I've finally whittled my belongings down to a sleek, manageable amount I look at the growing pile of boxes and struggle to understand how 10 of those are just books! And, I've weeded my collection TWICE this past year! [sigh]
I consider the pile of boxes that I've packed so far and wonder how I would feel if all of them suddenly disappeared or exploded or were mysteriously lost during the move... Aside from photo albums and some really lovely, unique things that I've bought over the years or that I inherited from my mom & dad, I honestly think it might be a refreshing (albeit drastic) way to strip my possessions down to basics. Very Zen. Very William Morris.
Back to reality: the purging and packing continues. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate clutter and the mindless consumerism that drives our lust for pretty, new toys (even when I like said pretty, new toys - hey I'm not made of sackcloth & ashes!). I've actually managed to throw out very little in recent years. I donate clothing and housewares to organizations such as Goodwill, Value Village, and other local "resale" organizations - many of which are run by charitable organizations. (Besides, vintage/retro clothing and home decor have become so trendy in recent years it's almost ridiculous!)
Most of my donated books that aren't passed along to friends, go to the local public library where they are added to the collection or sold at the hugely popular annual fund-raising book sale. Now that I'm moving I've been selling some furniture via a "digital yard sale" (i.e. an e-mail to everyone I know in the local area code!) as well as on kijiji. Other sites such as Craig's List and FreeCycle offer similar services.
When I move into my house and maybe decide to do a bit of renovating/re-decorating, I'll probably donate salvageable materials to Habitat for Humanity's ReStore outlet. It keeps perfectly good materials out of landfill, reduces the demand for natural resources, and provides employment and funds for that organization's valuable international work.
Don't just recycle - re-think, refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, and then recycle what ever's left over. (OK, time to get off my little soapbox and get back to packing!)