Keep, Reuse, or Recycle? What To Do With Clutter
Stuff – we all have it. It accumulates in our closets, drawers, garages, and attics – things we never use, yet just can’t seem to get rid of. Do we really need to hang on to all of this stuff? If clutter is causing you claustrophobia, take this quiz to help decide what needs to stay and what should go.
Does this item have a purpose? If it’s practical or beautifies your surroundings, it’s probably a keeper. But if you have a similar item that serves the same purpose in a better way, it’s time for it to go.
When is the last time you used this item? We all have those items we think we may need someday. However, if it’s been over a year since you’ve last used it, chances are, you never will. Get rid of it.
Do you own multiples of the same item? Really, how many hand mixers do you need? Keep your favorite, and let the others go.
Does this item have sentimental meaning? If so, maybe you should keep it. But for the overly sentimental types, you must draw the line on what keepsakes to hang on to. You can always take photographs of those hard-to-store items to keep as memories.
Do I enjoy this item? If the item makes you happy, then by all means, keep it! If it doesn’t, it’s gone.
Once you’ve decided what to discard, what should you do with these items without simply transferring the clutter to the local landfill? The answer – look for ways the items may be reused or recycled!
Magazines and newspapers – Your child’s school or daycare may be glad to accept your old magazines for craft projects. Save a few newspapers for gift wrapping and cushioning postal packages, then deposit the rest into the compost or recycling bin.
Clothing – Children’s clothing is always in demand – check with your friends to see if they can use your kids’ “hand-me-downs.” Donate your excess wardrobe to a local charity, or sell them at a consignment shop. Worn, torn, and otherwise unusable clothing may be repurposed for quilt-making, kitchen aprons, or cleaning rags.
Toys and games – Your children’s grandparents may like a few toys to keep on hand for when the grandchildren visit. Donate games to the local recreation center or children’s home.
Baby items – Consider giving gently used baby items to an unwed mother’s home or safe house.
Furniture – That old couch with the rip in the upholstery could be just want a college student needs to furnish his apartment. Folks with refinishing skills may be delighted to take that scratched up dining room table off your hands.
Old appliances – A handyman friend may be able to fix and then resell that old refrigerator or washing machine, extending the life of the item.
Miscellaneous “junk” – Have a garage sale. You’d be surprised what people will buy. After all, one person’s trash is indeed another person’s treasure!