Here is the NUMBER ONE piece of advice for summer 2019 – if you want to help your parents or friends and relatives this summer – help them de-clutter books, magazines and encyclopedias! Oh, my gracious we have clients that are highly educated, well-traveled and sophisticated…and they have books and more books and then stacks of magazines and shelves encyclopedias! (We personally LOVE books & reading so understand collecting lots & lots of books & periodicals!) The challenge many of our clients face when it is time to de-clutter or move – what to do with all of the hundreds of books, stacks of magazines and multiple sets of encyclopedias?!

On the Simplified Lives website www.SimplifiedLives.com you will find a RESOURCES section – there one will find book donation ideas for Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Suggestions for Getting Started:

  1. Get small boxes with handles to gather books & magazines for donation. We suggest two options:
    a. Boxes from your local liquor store – with handles; they are free and sturdy and using small boxes makes it easier to move when full of books & magazines.
    b. Boxes from U-Haul – size “small” because they have handles. These boxes are about $1 each and you can buy a whole stack for $25. These are not the same as “book boxes” which are a little bigger, sturdier but “book boxes” used during a move do not have handles; the handles are really the key to making many trips for donation.
  2. Find a local book donation location.
    a. Many libraries take books all year and have lovely book sales in the summer. Book donation bins are also located in general locations that are pretty visible – or call the local library to find out where to donate books.
    b. Don’t tackle an entire room in one day – we suggest working for a couple of hours each day; our best suggestion is 10 boxes per day! That is a manageable daily number and those 10 boxes can be moved into a garage or covered porch to get ready for the trip for donation.
    c. Please do not pack up dozens and dozens of boxes of books – and then leave them for the home owner to “deal with”. These things are heavy! To be most helpful – get all boxes to a donation location!
  3. What to do with encyclopedias and National Geographic magazines??
    a. Encyclopedias may not be donated to libraries or book sales and most libraries do not take National Geographic magazine (those may have to be recycled).

If living in RI go to http://atoz.rirrc.org/ to select the item you want to recycle and then the town you live in. The site will give you details on what each town can and cannot recycle, and what to do with the items.

If living in MA go to https://www.mass.gov/info-details/how-where-to-recycle to select the best way to recycle books and other items.

In CT visit https://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2714&q=324896&deepNav_GID=1645 to what can be recycled and how to properly dispose of encyclopedias and books.

By Valerie Achorn

Valerie Achorn, M.P.A., President of Simplified Lives has many years of experience managing moves for clients around the country. Holding a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (M.P.A.) from Harvard University, Valerie brings a broad management background and savvy networking skills to Simplified Lives.