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Aging parents and the stuff their kids don’t want

Aging parents and the stuff their kids don’t want

A recent article in the New York Times about aging parents with an abundance of stuff resonated because Resourceful PDX has thoughtful consumption at its core. It offers tools and ideas for reducing waste, and specifically, how to act and where to find resources. 

The article explains that the volume of unwanted keepsakes and family heirlooms is poised to grow — along with the number of conversations about what to do with them – because of our aging population.

Resourceful PDX is about making simple changes to help you save money, support your community, conserve natural resources and enjoy more time with friends and family.

There are many online groups and local organizations that offer Portland-area residents simple ways to move useful materials through the community and into the hands of others who need them. Here are just a few:

·         Buy Nothing Project

·         Freecycle

·         Nextdoor

·         Paying it Forward Store

·         PDX Free Store

·         Rooster

Check out the Curbsider Blog for more options for sharing your unwanted or unneeded household goods.

Also, Metro has compiled a helpful list of charitable organizations to contact for pick up or drop off of your usable items. These range from local organization like Free Geek and The ARC of Multnomah County to national organizations like Goodwill and Salvation Army.

Read a previous Resourceful PDX post about Community Warehouse, your local furniture bank. Items that are needed the most include linens, kitchen and household goods and furniture. The Estate Store at Community Warehouse offers collectibles and antiques for purchase to help further furnish homes for local families and will gladly accept your donations.

Unusable bulky items
After sorting out all of your reusable items and finding them new homes, your garbage and recycling company can remove large, unusable items for an extra charge. Call your company a week in advance and they will give you a cost estimate. For a reasonable charge, they will pick up appliances, furniture and other big items. For curbside pickup, set bulky items at your curb on the day your garbage and recycling company has agreed to pick them up. 

Large items abandoned in your neighborhood? Contact the Metro Regional Illegal Dumping (RID) Patrol or call 503-234-3000.


4 Tips to help make moving easier

4 Tips to help make moving easier

There's no getting around it – moving takes time and work. By planning ahead, tapping into local resources and using a checklist, you can move with fewer headaches!

Here are some general moving tips to get ahead of what might be a stressful time for you and those around you.

1. Take stock of your stuff

Before you begin packing, set aside any items you no longer want. Depending on how much you want to get rid of, you may want to have a garage sale, offer items to your friends and neighbors, or donate them. If you have paint, chemicals, cleaners or other hazardous materials, take them to one of Metro’s Household Hazardous Waste Facilities. Online resources, such as Craig’s List and Freecycle, allow you to sell or giveaway stuff that others may want.

2. Create a checklist

Make a checklist of everything that must be packaged and moved out, even if that list is very small. As you pack, you’ll get the satisfaction of crossing those items off your list.

3. Find used boxes and supplies for everything on your checklist

Don’t forget to use your bags, suitcases or other empty containers to save resources and space! Borrow used boxes from others or collect them from stores. Save newspapers to pack your belongings. There are also companies that rent out boxes and crates, such as Alien Box.

4. Move yourself, with help

If you know someone who has access to a truck or van, and are willing to help you move, take them up on the offer. Local car rental companies or Zipcar also offer rentals of larger vehicles. Or move by bike and turn the drudgery of moving into a “stuff” parade with a built-in housewarming party!

Save money on kids' clothes

Save money on kids' clothes

Kids grow fast! Finding gently used clothes at secondhand stores and clothing swaps is a great way to save money and help teach kids about the value of resourceful living. As kids move through clothes from growing up, playing hard, or the inevitable lost-and-found bin, parents need affordable options and tips for saving money on kids’ clothing.

Some of Portland's used children's clothing stores and resale shops are filled with great quality, and sometimes never worn, clothes and shoes for all ages. They allow parents to buy the right size clothes for the right season for their ever growing kids. When you’re done with those clothes, you can sell them back at some of these same shops so another family can use them.

Swapping clothes with friends and neighbors is another option, especially connecting with those who have kids older than yours, where a cycle of hand-me-downs can happen. 

Local resources such as sewing classes, cobblers and tailors can help you repair, rather than retire, garments with small tears, missing buttons and broken zippers. Visit a Portland-area Repair Café for free assistance on mending and fixing clothes.

Metro Parent maintains a comprehensive list of consignment shops in and around Portland. Look for coupons for many of these shops in your print or mobile Chinook Book.