De-cluttering your life can help more people in more places than you realize.

Do you find your parents are trying to give you more and more things as they downsize or redecorate their homes? If you’re like me you’re already covered up with your own stuff and your kids’ stuff and end up donating their thoughtful hand-me-downs. Have you ever wondered, “where do my donations go?”  Your donations may end up across the country or on the other side of the world and go to people and places eager to reuse what you and I think of as used up. Secondhand:  Travels in the New Global Garage Sale by Adam Minter is a thought-provoking book that takes a timely look at the global second and sometimes third lives of products as diverse as sweatshirts, mattresses, televisions, toys, and car seats.

In Secondhand, Adam Minter delves into the vast, multibillion-dollar industry that resells used stuff around the world. He follows the trail of unwanted objects from the closets, garages, and storage units of Middle America to epic used-goods markets in Canada, Mexico, Japan, Ghana, India, Malaysia, and beyond. Secondhand takes the reader through the often painful and sometimes heartbreaking process of cleaning out a lifetime’s worth of possessions and shows us that used stuff still has a place in our world that values the new and the shiny. These donations entertain us, make fortunes, fulfill needs, and transform the way the world works and people live. So toss those race tee shirts, souvenir coffee mugs, and brick-a-brac into your reusable bags and drop them off for their new adventures.

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