I have been going through our things the past few weeks. As I mentioned before, I have been trying to filter things into piles of: keep, sell, give away, or throw away. As I am a pack rat, it has been a long process that I am not quite done with.
The keep pile hasn't really been started. Most of what will be kept will stay in the house for now. Most of what I have been doing the last few weeks is to get the house ready to sell. It has been my experience that houses with some furniture are more attractive than houses that are completely empty. So for now many of the big pieces will remain in the house, but we need to get over half of our stuff out to make it look less cluttered and more appealing.
The sell pile is going to be addressed this weekend. We will be having a garage sale to try and get some money for the things we don't wish to keep or store. There are some larger items like a fridge and washer/dryer that may not go over the weekend, so I will be posting some of the stuff on Craigslist next week. Any money we make will likely go into some final touches on the house.
The three boxes of books kind of fall in between the sell and giveaway piles. I think I netted about $10, so it paid for the gas I suppose.
As to the giveaway pile, we have made a large donation of J's clothes and I will be going through my closets tomorrow. For other things besides clothing that fall between the sell and throwaway piles, I will be placing on the local freecycle site. This is a community of folks that post things of varying value that they no longer need, and don't want to needlessly end up in a landfill. Everything is free. I placed a posting for the old screen door we took of the front of the house, and within an hour I had four people willing to take it. Things that don't end up going in the garage sale or Craigslist will hopefully find a new home through freecycle.
I have been trying to find other ways to recycle some of the clutter we have accumulated. Of course the 90 gallon recycling bin has been overflowing for the last month or two. I have been dropping off all the plastic bags at Home Depot to be turned into decking. I have also found that the local UPS store will take in any styrofoam - both packing peanuts and larger shipping pieces. Trying to do my part to keep from adding to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
I have only made one trip to the dump so far. I didn't even go over the minimum charge as the metal I had (downspouts, curtain rods, etc) was recycled for free. There will probably be an additional trip, but hopefully I can keep most of the stuff out of the landfill.
I think I will be embracing a more minimalist life in the future.