Three Steps To Clearing Your Clutter After Cleaning

Three Steps To Clearing Your Clutter After Cleaning

When cleaning the attic, de-cluttering the garage, or emptying the storage locker, you may find yourself thinking "what should I do with all of this stuff?" While tossing your extra belongings in the trash bin is one option, it may not be your best bet. After all, some of the items may still have value. Plus, with an increased concern for going green you may be reluctant to dump more junk in the local landfill.

Fortunately, there is a better way. Just follow these three steps:

1. Take four plastic storage tubs and mark them with the words "sell," "donate," "recycle," and "trash."
2. Identify those items that you no longer want, need or use.
3. Separate the items into each bin.

Separating your items may sound hard, but it can be easy if you have a plan. Just follow the bins.

The Sell Bin
Your sale bin should only contain those items that still have value and that you'll be able to sell quickly. Except for collectibles, you should only plan to sell items that are in gently-used or like-new condition. Good candidates for sale include name brand or designer clothing, working electronics, housewares, video games, DVDs, CDs, musical instruments, and books.

To sell your items, visit your local second hand sale stores. Look for consignment shops, antique stores, or pawn shops in your area. Many items can also be sold on e-Bay, Amazon or Craigslist. If the items aren't sold in thirty days, it's time to re-label the bin to "donate."

The Donate Bin
Items that are usable but for which there is no readily available sales market should be donated. Check with local charities in your area, such as homeless shelters or social service agencies. Let them know what you have and see if they accept donations for those items. Don't just drop your junk on their doorstep. If they can't use it, all you've done is move trash from your house to theirs.

The Recycle Bin
Plan to recycle any items that can be broken down and converted for future use. Think newspaper, cardboard, plastic and glass. Your community may also offer recycling for copper, aluminum and tin. Check your local city or town for information on what items are acceptable for recycling.

The Trash Bin
This bin is easy. Anything that didn't go into the first three bins ends up here. If it's gross, broken beyond repair, or smells bad, it's time to send it to the garbage heap. Remember, however, environmental controls may require special disposal of some items such as oil, gasoline, paint, cleaning products or pharmaceuticals.

Cleaning your storage areas can be time consuming. So don't make the mistake of dragging all the clutter back inside when you're done. Instead, make a plan on how to get rid of it and then stick with the plan.

Photo: © Dejan Ristovski – iStockphoto

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Dated: May 7th 2014
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