Six Things to Throw Out Now!

Hazardous waste containers

Like myself, you most likely have some or a lot of items you can throw out or recycle now.

Here is a list of six of these things.

1. Empty Boxes: So many of us hold on to boxes once we take out the items inside. And, where do we put these empty boxes? In a closet, spare room, the basement, the attic, the garage where they pile up and take up space, plus become a fire hazard. After the item is opened and you’ve used it for a month, you probably won’t be returning it. Recently, I was going through my attic attacking clothing moths that had never been a problem before, and while moving stuff around, I found an empty computer box from a computer that I no longer have! I tell my clients to recycle these types of empty boxes rather than keep them. I am guilty as charged! Time for me to put it in the recycle bin.

2. Reusable Shopping Bags: The environmentally correct thing to do these days is to use reusable shopping bags. Your local supermarket, hardware store, big box store either sell them or give them away. But, how many of these bags do we really need? And, are they cluttering up your space? I have two bags full of plastic & canvas bags from various charity’s and stores that I am taking to Good Will for a client who was willing to let go of them. She kept only about ten bags that she liked the most.

3. Magazines and Newspapers: Old magazines & newspapers! I save garden magazines and catalogs thinking I will use some of their information someday. I usually don’t do this, so periodically, I sort and recycle most of them.

4. Electronic Cords and Attachments: So many of the cables from old electronics (land lines, Smart phones, ipads, computers, etc,) we purchased in the past have been stored away in our drawers, boxes, closets because we might need them someday. Take a look, and you will probably find some that you don’t even remember what they were for!

5. Outdated Electronics: Old computers, ancient cell phones, broken paper shredders, toasters, hair dryers, you name it, pile up. Your town’s DPW usually has a dumping area for this kind of electronic stuff, or a couple of recycling days a year when they do a pick up at your home. I have an old Dell printer (doesn’t have a scan feature) that has been in my attic for a long time as backup if my newer printer breaks. I am going to put it out on the street as a Freebee, and if no one takes it, I’ll bring it to the local DPW.

6. Old paint and Hazardous Waste: Once the paint in latex paint cans has dried completely, you can throw it in your trash because it is not considered hazardous waste. But, how many empty or partially full cans of paint thinner, bug spray, cleaning products, shellac, and more… pile up because you don’t know what to do with them. Your town should have a couple days a year where you can drop off hazardous waste to the DPW grounds.

Do you have things on this list that you need to get rid of, or recycle? Let me know how you are doing with your letting go.

To learn more about how Judy can help you de-clutter your home, email her at:

ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net

Is Your Basement a Dumping Ground?

cluttered basement

Do you store lots of stuff in your basement? A basement can easily become a convenient place to put things you don’t have room for in your house or apartment.

Here are some steps to take if you are ready to remove some of the clutter and junk.

1. Take your time uncluttering the basement – Busy lifestyles call for not rushing the clean up. If you have a full schedule, give yourself a goal of a few of months to accomplish this task. Like any big organizing project, break it up into time segments; anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. If you have a good amount of free time, you may be able to accomplish this task in several weekends.

2. Group the storage items ‘like with like’. – Assign specific storage areas to keep things like cleaning supplies, craft supplies, construction tools, interior/exterior painting items, car supplies, and garden and yard tools. You may want to use shelving and/or hard clear plastic storage bins with tight lids to keep these items dry and off of the floor. Be sure to leave enough clear area around your furnace, hot water heater, washer & dryer, circuit breaker box and water valves.

3. Finished basement area – If you have a section of the basement that is refurbished and used for craft projects, kids play time, or recreation, keep this area clutter free of any unrelated items.

4. The basement de-cluttering process – Sort everything. Sort items into five piles; recycle, keep, donate, sell, and throw away. Use large heavy garbage bags or contractor bags for trash. Be merciless and throw out broken and rusted items. If anything is sentimental to you, take photos for the memories. Have recycle bins accessible, as well as boxes to put donations into. Then, put items you will be keeping into the ‘like with like’ categories, so you can easily place them in their specific storage area. If there are still boxes to unpack and sort, do that now.

Thinking of de-cluttering the basement? Take your time, follow these steps, and let me know how it goes!