“Buy Nothing” Groups Changed My Life

Decluttering with a purpose

Ellie Daforge

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Photo by RoseBox رز باکس on Unsplash

I like having a home free of clutter. But despite my best intentions, clutter finds its way in.

People know that I try to keep my possessions minimal, and despite (or maybe because of) that, people are always trying to give stuff to me. And on top of that, two family members moved in the past year, and they gave us anything they couldn’t sell in a tag sale.

In the past, I would box up unwanted housewares and give them to a local charity that resells them. But then I read that donation centers throw out a lot of junk and were overwhelmed with sorting items in the pandemic. In line with this, my local charity also stopped taking a lot of housewares.

I don’t donate items that are clearly broken, but reading those articles did give me pause. Was it worth donating my stuff if it was just bound for a trash can?

I first heard about Buy Nothing groups a few years ago, but it wasn’t until I read an article here on Medium that I decided to try it. The idea is simple: give items directly to people who need them, in your local community.

During the pandemic, the idea of a “porch pickup” took off: leaving an item outside your home for someone to pick up. That way, there isn’t a chance of spreading airborne germs. There’s…

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Ellie Daforge

Article writer, aspiring YA novelist & health scientist.