Tag Archives: recycling


And on the 5th Day, She Recycled Bras

I had drafted a post about days 4-8 of my 15 day decluttering challenge (getting rid of 7 things per day) but  you probably don’t need or want to know exactly what I gave away. Suffice it to say that it was frighteningly easy to find 7 things to donate, sell or give away for every day of the exercise, and I liked it so much that I’m still trying to purge every day. Some things I learned:

  • You can opt out of credit card and insurance offers in the mail by going to OptOutPrescreen.com. 
  • You can donate gently used bras and even clean underwear to organizations like AmVetsThe Bra Recyclers recycle bras and distribute them to women in need around the world. Women’s shelters also frequently have use for bras.
  • DMAChoice.org has a list of direct mail companies and how to contact them for removal from mailing lists.
  • Go to YellowPagesOptOut.com to opt out of receiving the phone book.
  • You can get good resale value on recognized labels on eBay. I have a lot of items from Anthropologie, Free People, J. Crew and Barneys New York in my closet, and have made over $300 in the past 30 days selling items that are still in good, wearable condition. It’s also a good, disciplined way to manage my closet — using the funds I get from selling my old clothes, I can buy new ones — fewer in number as a sort of self-regulated replenishment.
  • Converse recycles old sneakers at its stores, any brand, and makes them into soft surfaces for use on playgrounds.

Judging my the number of fancy, lacy bras in my drawer, at some point I must have anticipated becoming a burlesque dancer before veering slightly left into the world of venture-backed commerce. In any case, many of these gems were barely, if at all, worn, and had excellent resale value on eBay. One recently sold for over $20 after waiting patiently in my drawer to see the light of day. Somewhere, a burlesque dancer is happy with her bargain.


De-cluttering Challenge! Days 2-3 + Sold App

sold App
Image courtesy of Sold

Still doing the 15-day de-cluttering challenge: For 15 days, you get rid of 7 things per day by recycling, selling, giving it away, or, as a last resort, disposing of it.

I have a few items that I wanted to sell, and thought it might be a good time to try out the Sold iPhone app. It’s supposed to optimize the price that you get for, say, a 1-year-old iPod. You take pictures of your item and describe it; Sold scans the internet for like items to suggest a price for you. If you like the price, Sold will post it for you on sites like Amazon and eBay, and when you have a buyer, it sends you a prepaid, pre-labeled box with bubble wrap included so all you have to do is plop it in and ship.

I tried it with one of my kids’ pairs of Joe’s Jeans. Snapped pic, wrote description. Sold went trolling for a price…and came back to me the next day saying that it couldn’t find consistent demand for it online.

Their blog has some guidelines on what sells on Sold. I suspect that electronics with very specific specs tend to do well — the type of thing that a bot has no trouble identifying. So when I have something that I think might fit the bill, I’ll try again.

But for now, I’ve listed eight items on eBay…so far. I won’t count them in my daily count til they’re sold, but I have bids on 6 of them so far!

Here’s my challenge list so far:

Day 1 – 6 tops, 3 skirts, 1 dress
Day 2 – 27 books, sent to my kids’ school for their used book fair
Day 3 – 2  tops, 1 kids’ leotard, 2 pairs socks, recycled a box of old business cards, 2 books

How’s your challenge going so far?



De-cluttering Challenge! Day 1

I’ve been reading Bea Johnson’s Zero Waste Home and feeling a little guilty about all the packaged waste I create. Meat? Wrapped in plastic. Cereal? In a box. Bea’s been able to get her family’s annual trash production to one quart per year! That’s about as much as I produce in a minute.

So while I’m not yet prepared to go foraging for Spanish moss in lieu of toilet paper and the electric deer from Christmas is still going strong on my balcony, I am on a mission to de-clutter and simplify my life (she said as she ordered yet another compulsive item from Anthropologie). I got this idea from my good friend Danielle at Cozycakes Cottage who has a bazillion followers so she must be doing something right: she is participating in a month-long de-cluttering challenge from another blogger.

Now, I happen to be a person who develops emotional attachments to pens (they have souls), so I’m cutting myself some slack: I’m going to do a half-month challenge, and invite you to do the same. For 15 days, you get rid of 7 things per day by recycling, selling, giving it away, or, as a last resort, disposing of it.

I’ve begun.

It’s addictive.

And I’m realizing what a gluttonous lifestyle I lead, in a home full of things that could be enjoyed by someone else.

So here we go:

Day 1: I gave away 10 items of clothing — 6 tops, 3 skirts and a dress to my cousin Renee and her daughter Amy. All gently used, cute items that I never wear that look completely adorbs on them.

Are you in? Let me know what you’re giving away today!