Must be Spring…or the clutter here at home just reached critical mass and I can no longer pretend not to notice it.  It’s definitely time to move some things on to lighten my load.

1st and favorite stop:  Goodwill. There’s a donation drop-off spot just blocks away and about once a month, I take a bag of clothes over there on my way to the cafe to meet a friend for coffee. My thinking is that the good stuff I no longer need will find a new owner who will love it too. I have scored some great finds at thrift stores myself: a wetsuit for my son, a trail-a-bike, the purse I am currently using, the hand-knitted afghan now covering my cat-shredded armchair…

2nd stop: Donate books I’ve read to The Friends of the Public Library used book store. I love to give my favorite things to my favorite places to shop, apparently. This spring, I am going to have my son go through his collection of childrens’ books and select some to donate to a used book sale that his school is organizing. Again, it’s a win-win. We move on some books to make room for the new favorites that he will be bringing home from the sale.

3rd favorite stop: Home pick-up! I’ve been stuck with some cans of spray paint, shellac, bug spray and other items we will never use again but can’t dispose of without making a trip to the dump where they have a household hazardous waste drop-off. I was planning such a trip when I discovered that in San Francisco, we have free home pick-up of such materials!  In fact, is a great source for disposing of any sort of material that should not end up in the landfill. I was very pleased to call Recology and schedule an appointment with a garbage truck. I love San Francisco!

4th favorite stop is another local perk although it is available in many other places besides San Francisco. Freecycle! SFfreecycle is a yahoogroup where I can offer or even request free items. Unlike my craigslist donation attempts, with Freecycle there’s a minimum of fuss as a grateful, local person is generally happy to come by and relieve me of my PVC piping, miscellaneous stretcher bars, the binding machine I thought I wanted …

I discovered years ago that moving on the old is part of my own process for making room for new projects. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately and feel much lighter and ready to start something for it.

What do you do before you start something new? How do you lighten your load?