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Can I Laugh On Your Shoulder?

Feb 27, 2019

The Marie Kondo craze has swept the nation with her new show on Netflix, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. A good purge can be cathartic, but what will become of your things that don't "spark joy?"  Give your clean-up a purpose, and consider how you'll develop new habits amidst your clutter-free lifestyle.

Things You Don't Want To Miss:

Who Is Marie Kondo? 

  • 00:00 - Okay, most of you are familiar with Marie Kondo. Perhaps you've even tried tidying up, but in case you've missed the craze, Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizational consultant. She's got her own show on Netflix, and she helps people to declutter their homes while sparking joy in their lives along the way. She wrote a New York Times Best Seller, and she's even appeared on Ellen.

A Few Statistics On Your Clothes.

  • 2:23 - According to the EPA, Greenpeace, The New York Times, and a few other resources, more than 15 million tons of used textile waste is generated each year in the United States. In other words, we throw away a lot of clothes in this country. However, only 2.62 million tons were recycled, and 3.14 million tons were combusted for energy recovery. The rest was shipped off to the landfill. An even crazier statistic, the average American throws away approximately 80 pounds of used clothes each year. Synthetic clothing takes multiple lifetimes to decompose, but you could reduce your carbon footprint by recycling your clothes.

We Need To Steward Our Resources.  

  • 4:55 - Look, I'm not your average John Lennon hippie of the tree hugging variety, but I believe it's important to take care of our planet. As a Christian, I believe we need to cherish the things God has given us. He's directed us to steward our time, our wealth, and our resources.

When Your Clothes Don't Spark Joy... 

  • 6:04 - The KonMari method would have us dispose of any clothes that don't spark joy in our lives, but this generates a problem. Of course it's a good idea to tidy up your home, but you need to consider where you're tossing your undesirables. Statistics show ninety percent of the time, you're tossing your clothes in the trash or shipping them off to Goodwill. After that, it's "out of sight, out of mind," and all the while, thrift shops and landfills are beginning to overflow. Instead of haphazardly dumping our old Beanie Babies and grandma's scratchy old sweater, we should carefully consider how we choose to retire those items.

What Should We Do With Our Stuff? 

  • 7:28 - We've broken your stuff down into a few categories. Let's start with your clothes. I'm of the opinion when you toss your old clothes, you shouldn't immediately head out to the thrift shop. If an item is still in decent condition, sell it, or consign it first. Use services like thredUP, Poshmark, Relovv, And We Evolve, Schoola, and SilkRoll. You could also check out local buy-sell pages on websites like Facebook. People who buy your clothes will value them more, and they will give your clothing a longer lifespan. In other words, selling your clothes helps them to avoid rotting in a dump somewhere.

Your Donations Are Being Dumped. 

  • 10:05 - In 2017, I went on my third trip to Kenya, and I got to visit the Dandora Dump. It's the largest landfill in East Africa, and it's basically a sea of waste. In that waste site, there were hundreds if not thousands of people scavenging. It's a well-known fact the majority of the clothing we "donate" gets shipped off to developing countries, and these countries get overwhelmed. There's nothing wrong with donating your clothes, but it's far more effective to try to sell them first.

Donate With A Purpose. 

  • 12:02 - If you can't sell your clothes, donate them to a specific organization that can use your clothes. These organizations can make sure your items don't go to waste.

What To Do When You Can't Sell Or Donate. 

  • 14:24 - If you have items you can't sell or donate, recycle them. Almost one hundred percent of textiles can be recycled. Turn your old t-shirts into quilts, dish rags, car-washing rags, napkins, and other useful items. Take your textiles to the textile recycling center. Yes, those exist. Here in Durham, you can drop your old clothes off at drop centers around town.

What To Do With Old Furniture And Home Goods. 

  • 15:51- Of course, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are great options for your old furniture. However, Habitat For Humanity is a great, overlooked resource. In several cities, they even have a store where they will resell your items. There's also an online shop called Chairish where you can buy and sell used pieces. Even if your furniture no longer sparks joy for you, it could spark joy for someone else.

Paper Is Recyclable. 

  • 17:53 - Obviously, any type of old paper is recyclable. Don't throw it in the trash. Recycle it. Donate your old books to local schools and libraries, and if you have memorabilia, you might be able to donate it to a local museum. There's even an option for your random stuff. In Durham, we have a shop called The Scrap Exchange. They'll put your old knick knacks to good use.

Change Your Habits. 

  • 20:35 - Once you've finally disposed of your old stuff, change your buying habits. Don't just purge for the sake of purging. Otherwise, you'll accumulate more stuff. When you consider buying something, ask yourself whether it's really worth the purchase. This might sound like a simple thought process, but it's an important one. Don't leave Target wondering where your $100 went. Rid yourself of impulse purchases, and steward your resources. Be intentional about your purchases, and you will begin to spark joy in your life.

A Memorable Moment:

"As a Christian, I feel a very strong calling to be a good steward of the thing God has given us, and if God has given us this planet to take care of, then we need to be good stewards of those resources." - Molly Stillman

To visit the Business With Purpose website, click the link: