Ep 132 | Where does all the stuff go? with Secondhand author Adam Minter

May 12th, 2020 · 42 mins 56 secs

About this Episode

Downsizing. Decluttering. Discarding. After you’ve decided what sparks joy and donated the things that don’t serve you - what happens to all the stuff after it’s been KonMari’d?

Guest Adam Minter is a columnist and author based in Malaysia. For nearly two decades, his journalism has focused on waste, recycling, stuff - and the hidden global world that it inhabits. His first book, 'Junkyard Planet,' was a best-selling dive into the recycling bin. His new book, 'Secondhand' is a global journey into what happens to our stuff after we no longer want it.

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In this episode, you’ll enjoy:

  • The personal experience that sparked Adam's interest in figuring out what happens to the things when they go through the donation door that spanned 12 countries

  • The number of items that on average thrift store sells off the shelves

  • The items that are highest and lowest demand and most exported for second use

  • Why used clothing traders prefer Canadian clothing

  • What to do with antiquated media formats and electronics

  • How Goodwill employees sort and price items based on the quality of the goods

  • What happens to undergarments and socks

  • Three unexpected items that Goodwill turns away

  • The storage locker industry and the true cost of rentals

  • The impact of Adam's research on his family

Adam's favorite productivity tip:
"Buy better. Buy more durable."

What sparks joy for Adam:
"My son."

"If you're a thrift store the last thing you want to do is toss something into a landfill or an incinerator"
"Some of us are spending more money to store our stuff than to store ourselves."
"There is more storage locker space in the U.S. alone than the square footage of Palm Springs, California. "
"Buy better. Buy more durable."

You can find Karin Socci at The Serene Home
You can find Kristyn Ivey at For the Love of Tidy