On December 14 2012, I saw this headline at the news-stand. Yes, my name is Sandy, and I know the headline referred to Hurricane Sandy. Still, it made me think — my trash could take years to haul away too. That’s when I knew I had to take more radical action to get through all the boxes of “stuff” that still litter my house and my life.
That’s when I decided to start this blog.
Garage (the beginning)
My first hoarder-blog project starts in the garage. I haven’t opened the utility closet in years. Well, maybe I did crack the door open far enough to lean in and swish away some of the spider webs, see if there was anything I could easily do about the accumulation of stuff, and quickly close the door again.
The closet was full, so for the last few years I’ve stacked my paint cans on the floor outside the closet – paint from the past that I didn’t know what to do with, new paint that was the wrong color and couldn’t be used, paint I’d used and wanted to keep for touch-ups – all of it’s there, a rainbow history of the rooms of this house.
First task, sort out that paint. I label and store what I need to keep for touch-ups. Now what? I check earth911.org for paint recycling and find that even empty paint cans may be accepted at recycling centers as scrap metal. But, if there’s paint involved, it’s considered hazardous waste and should not be discarded in the trash. Here’s what I’m working on now:
If paint is usable, find someone who wants it.
- Friends who are painters
- Local paint collection drives that deliver the cans of paint for recycling or responsible disposal
- Recycling centers that accept paint. I look on Earth911 but find my local paint recycling company charges to take donations. I’m frugal enough that I want to donate for free, so I’m still doing my research.
- Or, new thought – find something else in the house that needs painting and use it myself
If it’s not usable, use a ‘paint hardener’ or kitty litter to dry the paint and make it acceptable to my trash company.
Next project: get into that utility closet.