I wanted to say “hatred of stuff”, but that sounds a little too violent. I cleaned out the storage sheds of all the last landlord’s junk and it wasn’t pretty. It took all day last Sunday, and then I tried to have a yard sale on Monday, but it being memorial day and all, everyone was either bbq-ing or out of town, or at least didn’t want my junk! I made a total of $23, $20 of it on a reasonably good condition futon. That will pay the $20 disposal/recycling fee (for freon inspection and removal) for the non-working mini-fridge. I have already loaded 2 trunk loads of bags of clothes, bedding, etc in the back of Gil’s car for donation. Someone from freecycle took some shelves, others have expressed interest in the washer and dryer (which may or may not work), a heavy table, and more shelves. The two mattress/boxsprings were rejected and pronounced junk. I would have slept on them, but prefer a futon. I have low standards. They have now been rained on for 2 days, so they will go to the dump, as probably will a floor lamp (switch doesn’t work) and the sink/vanity I removed from the bathroom. These items are all too poor condition/old for the ReStore or other places to take, and freecyclers have not bit. A small electric stove (also can’t verify if it works) is on craigslist, but probably will have to be recycled.
This makes me very, very sad. I hate the burden of stuff, the money outlay to get it, the work of maintaining it, the sadness and effort and money (again) of disposal. Some things are better than others. Most of my futon and natural fiber clothing can go in the compost if/when it is unusable. I can burn wood items (and may go to the effort to remove the wood frame of the boxsprings and burn in the fire pit or donate to someone who actually heats a home with wood). The firepit outputs CO2 for just a bit of enjoyment, but I can use the ashes on my apple trees and cook over the fire, so not all waste. The metal appliances can be recycled, but it is a pain and requires a vehicle or paying someone to haul off.
I do acquire plenty of stuff. I did just buy a rack and waterproof panniers for my bike. The panniers had been returned by someone, so used and a deal. I should get years of service, and I can stop ruining my back with heavy pack loads on my bike. Or I can ruin my back and still put more stuff on my bike. Still – someday that metal rack will have to be biked to the recycle pile, and probably long before that the plastic panniers will rip beyond all repair and end up in the dump. Still less trash than even one seat in a car, I guess. But this unnecessary, yet fairly unavoidable, flowthrough of bulky, non-recyclable material depresses me. The prevalence of plastic, the specialized, hard to repair, hard to componentize, hard to re-purpose parts strains my creativity in turning one thing into another, truly useful object.
If anyone has any suggestions of what to do with my junk before I do haul it to the dump, let me know! And give me your inspiring examples of how you successfully keep packaging, old appliances, and other annoying trash out of your life!