Clearing out, living green, donating stuff … click on the trusted links below for help with creating your perfect place. Thanks and make it a clear day!
FREE ACP downloads: Getting ready to downsize? Make a move? I’ve created two handy guidelines to help organize the chaos. One for sorting and one specifically for consigning your items:
WHERE TO RECYLE STUFF:
Earth 911 Local and National Fabulous directory for getting rid of everything from paint to mattresses. Just put in your item and zip code and up pops a list of locations and links to the websites. Best of all – it covers the country. Perfect for relocating to another state or helping loved ones who live out of town.
Oregon Metro Very user friendly with lots of good information for home and work regarding recycle, reuse programs. Including the terrific “FORK IT OVER” program for food establishments that share with non-profits all over the Portland area. Links to sustainable living guides and community events.
Far West Recycle Portland Area only: My pick for the best local website for information on recycle 101. Includes photos, links, easy to understand explanations for why we are working so hard to recycle ALL consumable goods. Includes maps for drop-off locations.
WHERE TO DONATE STUFF:
Community Warehouse Located in NE PDX and Tualatin, Community Warehouse is a nonprofit center that helps people set up house. They network with hundreds of agencies in the Portland Metro area and are always in need of furniture and household items. Drop off at either location … or schedule pick up for $30. Their Estate Stores are also great for finding bargains. Click on the link to find out more about store hours, what they do and don’t take and what they do with your donations. View blog post on CW.
Clothing Donations. org A service benefiting Vietnam Veterans of America, this is another nationwide hub for donating stuff including clothing. No mattresses or large furniture accepted. Free pick up.
Second Step Housing Sometimes people want to donate to a nonprofit that they know will NOT resell the items. Second Step fits that desire. Located in Vancouver, WA and in need of household goods to help keep their transitional residence homes looking fresh and cozy. Call to see if they can accept what you have to share. A great place to volunteer your time, too!
SCRAP Before you recycle that wrapping paper or toss those vintage magazines, check with SCRAP. A super cool reuse, repurpose center for education and artists; the nonprofit has been helping keep supplies out of the landfill since 1998. That’s TONS of stuff going to a better place. CHECK FIRST as their “can’t take” list changes frequently but usually accepted items include fabrics, brushes, art paints, canvas, carpet samples, collage materials. Sorry, no more photos, greeting cards or bags.
Out To Pasture Non-profit animal sanctuary just outside of Portland, OR. Always in need of igloos or wooden dog houses, straw and quality feed. Annual garage sale helps support their work and you can drop off donations of household items at their NE PDX location. Click on the link for more information.
Friends of Seasonal and Service Workers – 503.231.4826 PDX nonprofit that works specifically to ease the winter death toll in low income communities. 100% volunteer run – no website. Call to donate your winter blankets, coats and outer wear. Also in need of canned foods and hygiene products. Stop in and drop off location: 1400 E Burnside, PDX.
Freecycle This is a global membership site for getting and giving FREE stuff. Started in 2003 and still headquartered in Tucson, AZ; the concept of keeping stuff out of the landfill by re-gifting took off across the planet. Yay! Free to join. Local groups everywhere. Just put in your city and sign up.
WHERE TO SELL STUFF:
Want to get an idea of what to sell an item for? Statricks is a handy online guide that helps. Just enter the item (be as specific as possible with year, mfg, size, etc.) and up pops a price range. Estimates are just that and it can be tricky to find an exact match but it will give you at least some idea of what you can expect. Works for everything from tea sets and vacuum cleaners to used cars.
Consignment can be a could option for quality clothing, furniture, art and jewelry. Consignment Tips from A Clear Place which also includes favorite PDX dealer information.
Auction is a good way to go when dealing with estates or higher end items. I highly recommend O’Gallerie in NE PDX. Family owned and operated since the 70’s, they will do a free assessment (not appraisal) of your items either at their location or yours so you can make an informed choice on what direction to go.
HOW TO CLEAN STUFF:
EarthEasy.com This is a great information source on how to clean stuff and what to clean it with. The focus is on non-toxic, earth friendly cleaners that you can make yourself. It includes recipes for making everything from kitchen cleaners to laundry soap.
MORE ON STUFF:
Story of Stuff – The Story of Stuff website. My pick for the hottest and best work out there on the crisis of our mass consumerism. View Annie Leonard on various TV appearances or watch her amazingly simple yet powerful video. Lots of downloads and resources for how you can help change our stuff addiction. Great for teachers, groups, neighborhoods and every ONE!
WELLNESS IN YOUR SPACE:
ESSENTIAL OILS – Over the years I’ve demonstrated my affection for natural clearing tools from Mother Nature. Using essential oils not only helps keep the energy in your space clear and fresh, it improves your health of mind, body and spirit. Just a few drops used correctly can make a huge difference in your space and in your well being. Below are some suggested sources. Caution: Always buy therapeutic grade only. There are a lot of synthetic oils out there these days so know your source. Avoid anything that says fragrance or scent even if it claims to be aromatherapy. Here are my favorite tried and true, trusted sources: Click here to read one of my posts on the topic.
Available at local stores: Aura Cacia is still a decent product and easy to find at natural foods and health stores as well as some grocery chains like Fred Meyer. NOW is a less expensive brand that is ok to use for diffusers outside of the bedroom and if you don’t need medicinal results. Whole Foods is now putting their own label on oils. Again, these oils are ok to use for diffusing purposes.
BEST results: use an electric misting diffuser. Ultramist by SpaRoom diffuser is the one I use and recommend. Easy, quiet AND your oils last 5 times as long if not more. In 30 yrs., it’s the finest one I’ve ever used! I love the intermittent mist option, too. UPDATE: This diffuser is no longer available from SpaRoom but an updated model can be ordered from Vitruvi and ships free. Sephora also carries this brand. Enjoy!
Wall plug-ins are fine for travel, short periods and small spaces. Be sure to change the pads when using different oils or blends.
SAFETY ALWAYS: Avoid using candle-heated diffusers.
ENERGY ESSENCES – I’ve used vibrational essences for years in my clearing and energy work with individuals, homes and office – with amazing results. Essences act to reconnect energy circuits that have been blocked or broken on multiple levels. They can be used safely for all ages, pets and plants. No taste and no interference with other protocols. Alaskan Essences produce some of my most favorite remedies. Bach Flower Remedies are readily available in most health food stores.
INSPIRATION & TIPS:
ACP WISDOM CARDS – the deck that works for you. I designed these cards to help bring beauty and balance into your space whatever size or shape it may be. Utilizing nature is the surest way to stay clear. Original photos on the front, clear tips on the back!
Tualatin Public Library reading list from my Say YES To Less workshop. Over 15 titles plus links to resources. Reading List Tualatin Library A Clear Place Say YES To Less workshop.
Tigard Public Library reading list from my STUFF-ication workshop. Over 20 titles to choose from. Reading List Tigard Library from A Clear Place STUFF workshop.
Hoarding – here are two posts that will give you some insight and direction when dealing with hoarding issues. Find out why hoarding is very different than clutter challenges: The Reality of Hoarding; A Hoarding Perspective
Clutterers Anonymous Meetings
There are weekly meetings in the Portland area for support with clutter issues (hoarding can also be addressed here). These are free and attendance is held in confidence. Click here for details about the Thursday evening meetings in NW PDX.
Maintaining your independence and downsizing to fit your lifestyle are challenges many of us face but especially in the aging process. Read my special tips by clicking here.
Parents with Youngsters:This site offers great tips on keeping your home clear of kid clutter. Great blog sharing REAL stories from parents who are finding ways of keeping life simple and clear at home. All inspired by the Simplicity Parenting approach.