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Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Vox Pop: Converting clutter from trash to treasure

Quick way to dispose of lots of stuff? | Ask MetaFilter

Wow, talk about good timing.

I've noticed in comments on this week's clutter posts that there's a lot of interest from you all in the away part of "throw away" -- people seem to have a lot of ideas on the most interesting, charitable, creative, and environmentally-responsible routes for converting your own trash into someone else's treasure.

So far we (and that AskMe thread) have covered:

  • Recycling
  • Goodwill (and similar charities)
  • 1-800-GOT-JUNK (and similar services)
  • Craigslist (and other classified avenues)
  • eBay (and other online sales ideas)
  • Freecycle
  • Putting it on the street with a "Free" sign

What's your creative solution? Let's try to avoid names of specific businesses and charities except inasmuch as they offer a truly creative and non-obvious solution to reuse or recycling. What's the most interesting way you've cleared your crap while doing some good? Have you got any suggestions that are clever and convenient?

Ayse's picture

We like to use something...

We like to use something we call the "free garage sale": there's one bookshelf in our house that is not great for storing books because of its location, so the top four shelves are a constant display of stuff we're getting rid of (not junk, but things we think other people would like). Yeah, it violates the Get It Out NOW thing, but it's kind of handy: every time we have a party we fill the area up and then the guests clear it out, so it's not as constant and horrific as it might be.

Needless to say, this only works because we've got the clutter thing down to a more manageable level. (Our method of choice for bulk removal was the combination 15-yd Dumpster and packed-car charity run. Much of our "clutter" was construction debris.)




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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