Tips to Help You Dispose of Unwanted Clutter

Declutter is the new buzz word today. If it doesn’t pay rent, kick it to the curb!

With that in mind, here are 15 household categories to consider getting rid of and how to get rid of them. Always call ahead to see what the program policy is. See individual blogs listed below for more detail.





CLOTHES/SHOES/LINENS

Donating these items to charities, women’s shelters or children’s programs is a nice way to get rid of your unwanted clothes, shoes or linens. And BTW, animal shelters appreciate any old linens or blankets. If it just is not usable, then TOSS IT☺.



1. Unread Books:

This topic is addressed in our blog “ How to Downsize a Book Collection for A Move


2. Periodicals:

Personally, my mom keeps a lot of old magazines because she loves to journal and collage, so I recognize that to some people their old periodicals are more important than to others. But I also know she buys these magazines at the Friends of the Library for $1 for a stack of 4 or 5 magazines. My point is magazines are easily attainable and unless you have a collector’s magazine the likes of those $14 Life or the Rolling Stone magazine that has the latest spread on an artist who has passed, then I say TOSS IT☺.


3. EXPIRED MEDICINE:

This topic is addressed in our blog: “Downsizing Your Bathroom Items Before a Move.


4. PLASTIC CONTAINER:

Plastic containers include old plant containers as well as the collection of Tupperware, both namesake and plastic containers kept from sour cream, butter or the likes. For the most part your collection of plastic containers is most likely a mishmash of bottoms with no tops or visa versa. Unless the plastic container is specifically being used in the present, I suggest you merely TOSS IT☺. The topic of plastic waste disposal could fill a few libraries, I’m sure. But I am assuming you have your regular household –type plastics. GOOD IDEA HERE ' I would say to sort them in the trash area under Recycle bin.


5. DISHES, POTS & PANS, UTENSILS AND SMALL KITCHEN APPLIANCES

Utensils (sometimes called gadgets). Shoot yea! Goodwill or other thrift stores are the way to go for donating these everyday items.


6. FOOD/HERBS & SPICES:

· Food:

If you find that you have an abundance of canned goods as well as unopened oils, crackers or other pantry items, consider donating them to a local food bank or homeless kitchen. [i] Taste of Home website lists 20 Things That Your Food Bank Needs The Most.

This article also states there is no need to donate the following, so take them with you or TOSS IT☺:

  • junk food

  • items with glass or cellophane packaging, which can be broken in transit

  • things that need can openers or special equipment (pop-top cans–whether for veggies, meat or fruit–are a plus)

· Herbs/Spices:

Most people don’t consistently check the dates on their herbs and spices. Why not get rid of all your out-of –date herbs and spices before your kitchens is packed for a move. For those of you out there who have an abundance of herbs and spices that are still usable and unopened, they are also welcome in homeless kitchens or else shelters and food banks.

7. ARTS AND CRAFT SUPPLIES:

Getting rid of your art supplies is a tough one. But I’m talking about all those projects you started but never finished. You may have supplies related to each of those projects that would be appreciated at a children’s program.


8. TOILETRIES:

For more information on Toiletries, please refer to our blog Sorting Through Your Bathroom Items for A Move.”


9. FURNITURE:

If you have gently used furniture, you may consider donating it to Habitat for Humanity or else a Thrift store. Make certain you collect your donation receipt for tax purposes.

Mattresses are tricky since most donation facilities won’t take them out of fear of bed bugs and the like. In order to dispose of them, some places as that you cover them in plastic just to throw them out. There are some professional mattress removal services that charge a minimal price to remove. One such place in the Central Florida area is The Mustard seed. https://mustardseedfla.org/services/mattress-recycling/


10. FLOOR COVERINGS:

Indoor/outdoor carpet, throw rugs and kitchen and outdoor mats are all under this category. Check with animal shelters for information on disposal of large carpet items. Otherwise, you can TOSS IT☺ if you can contain it within your trash bin or else wait for designated days for curbside pick up on this item.


11. OLD TECHNOLOGY:

Our homes are full of out dated technology, now known as “technotrash”. This term refers to “ . . . a relatively new waste stream which includes all the spent supplies and obsolete accessories associated with your computer.

This waste includes all those computer-related materials which you no longer need and have stuffed away in drawers, closets, and boxes in your office, storage room, attic, or in your garage. Old computers and printers, CD’s, hard drives, Zip disks, floppy disks, obsolete cell phones, rechargeable batteries, empty printer cartridges, and all the cables, cords, chips or boards that came with this once important equipment – this is all technotrash. We all have this stuff, but most of us just don’t know how to properly dispose of it.”[ii]

I was able to locate the following places that will recycle old technology. Orlando Recycles: http://www.orlandorecycles.com/

  • Earth 911: https://earth911.com/ (will tell you where to recycle in our area by giving them your zip code)

  • E-cycling Central: http://ecyclingcentral.com/ The Electronics Industry Alliance (EIA), a national trade organization that includes the full spectrum of U.S. electronics product manufacturers, maintains a listing of organizations nationwide that accept donations of electronics products.[iii]


12. VHS/CASSETTES, 8 TRACKS, SOME DVDS, OUT-DATED VIDEO GAMES:

Come on guys. We all know that most of these items have gone the way of trolley cars. My mom had 10 banker boxes filled with recorded VHS movies and 2 more boxes of factory VHS that my husband and boys just hauled out for annual trash day. She was so glad to have the space these took in her downsized dwelling. Although it is rumored there are those who collect them, I feel that would be like searching for a needle in a haystack. Better to just: TOSS IT☺.


13. CLEANING PRODUCTS /SOLVENTS/PAINT:

Cleaning products that are not water-soluble, along with solvents and paints should be disposed of properly. Unless these products are unopened, they are probably of no worth to anyone else. More so if they are out-of-date. Simply call the waste products agency in your area for instructions on the correct way to dispose of your particular item. In lieu of that, call the product manufacturer listed on the product itself.


14. BRIC-A-BRAC:

How in the world do we make sense of bric-a-brac?

I know I had a gorgeous silver-painted tea set given to me. I loved it and the person who gifted it to me. But one day it no longer had a place in my space. I gifted it to a Children’s Playhouse for use in plays. I picture it in a Beauty and the Beast play or some sort. Perhaps you have some such items for this purpose.

Read about tips for disposing of bric-a-brac in blog “The Great Bric-A-Brac Purge


15. EXERCISE/SPORTS EQUIPMENT:

Check with local community service centers, senior centers or high schools for donating exercise or sports equipment. But if you have been hoarding broken equipment, then it’s best to call professional recycle service, since just merely tossing them into the city dump can and adding pollutions from the electronics or plastics attached to them.


Load Up - Nationwide Junk Removal service is a place that can address you recycle needs. https://goloadup.com/what-we-take/exercise-equipment/home-gym-removal/

GOOD IDEA HERE ' Be careful to not get caught up in the storage unit trap when downsizing. A storage unit may be a good idea for a short-term solution, but the idea is to actually TOSS IT☺.


Just in case I have missed anything, refer to the web article put out by Consumer Reports called Get Rid of Practically Anything ( https://www.consumerreports.org/home-garden/get-rid-of-practically-anything/).

[i] Russell, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth Russell. “20 Items Your Food Bank Always Needs (and a Few They Don't).” Taste of Home, Taste of Home, 3 July 2018, www.tasteofhome.com/article/20-items-your-food-bank-needs-the-most/.


[ii] “Frequently Asked Questions.” GreenDisk [FAQ], www.greendisk.com/gdsite/faq.aspx#What_exactly_is_technotrash_.


[iii] “Electronics Waste.” Florida Department of Environmental Protection, floridadep.gov/waste/permitting-compliance-assistance/content/electronics-waste.

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