10 Ways to Declutter and Get Rid of Junk (And None of Them is a Yard Sale)
Sometimes the hardest part about cleaning and decluttering is figuring out what to do with all that stuff. You can throw your garbage out or haul it to a landfill, but what do you do with all the stuff that isn’t quite garbage that you don’t want or need anymore. You know, what I am talking about. That spare toaster your ex-girlfriend left behind. The ten years of Ugly Christmas Sweaters from your Mom. The boxes of year books and old college textbooks stacked in the closet.
Shall I go on, or are you already shaking at horror think about everything packed away in your closet? OK, I’ll stop, I’ll stop. Go to to your happy place and take a breath.
There are quite a few ways to get rid of unwanted stuff, clutter, and junk you don’t need without throwing it in the trash.
1. Charitable Donation … This one is the most tried and true ways to get rid of old stuff, particularly old clothes. Most charities run thrift shops and donation centers that take in clothes, furniture, and some appliances. Depending on the charity they also may have a pick up service. And of course you can use your donation as a tax write-off.
2. Thrift Shops … Your neighborhood thrift shop most likely has a “wanted items” list, clothes and collectibles are often in high demand, but many second hand store also look for more mundane items like dishes and toys in good condition. You could even make a few dollars by turning your used clothes over to a consignment shop for resale.
3. Re-Gifting … There is no shame in passing along the stuff you don’t need to friends or neighbors who do need it.
A little story to illustrate the point. By a series of odd circumstances I acquired two microwaves. No one needs two microwaves in their lives. I was about to haul the cheaper of the two microwaves down to a Goodwill when my neighbor asked me if I was getting rid of a new microwave? She didn’t even have to ask before I blurted out, “Do you want it? It’s brand new.”
A small act of kindness that began life as an unwanted, extra microwave. My neighbor got a new microwave at a time she she needed it, and I got rid of an extra microwave and earned a bit of karma. Don’t think of it as pawning off your unwanted stuff, think of it as paying it forward.
4. Donate Your Old Books … There are many specialty organizations that collect old books and then redistribute them to kids, adult learning centers, and community centers. Children’s books are particularly in demand so this is a great way to get rid of books your grown children have left behind.
5. Reuse Old Cups and Jars … One of my favorite uses for old whisky and scotch bottles is to repurpose them as change jars. Old coffee cups can make for great pen caddies. I’ve even converted wine bottles and fancy beer bottles into candle holders. And the glass bottles you can’t reuse should go into the recycle bin or to your local recycling center.
6. Trade-In Your Small Electronics … I used to have a box of old cellphones in a shoe box. That was before the “smartphone revolution”. Now I have a box full of old gadgets, USB Cables, e-readers, a couple smartphones, and a tablet in two shoe boxes in two closets.
Luckily for gadget addicts like myself most major companies (Amazon, Apple) offer a trade-in programs for your old electronics. And in return for responsibly disposing of your electronics through a recycle program you’ll be rewarded with a cash (or a gift card) in most cases.
7. Repurpose Your Plastic Bottles … Ever need to put an extra quart of oil in your car and found yourself without a funnel? Slice the bottom off a soda bottle and POW! insta-funnel. You can cut down a bleach bottle and turn it into a kitty litter scoop. You can take the bottom of a bleach bottle and use it as a drip pan. Just be careful when reusing plastic bottles … never use a modified plastic bottle to as a dish for pet food. Chemicals in plastic bottles can leech into pet food and seriously harm your pet.
8. Need Garbage Bags? Use a Plastic Shopping Bag … Plastic shopping bags make for great garbage bags, especially for small wastebaskets. This cuts down on garbages in the landfill and ultimately cuts down on plastic bags in the landfill.
9. Haul Your Appliances and Furniture to a Scrap Dealer … If getting rid of a large appliance, like an oven, is high on your priority list you can haul it to a scrap dealer or metal recycler. You can also haul your furniture to a recycling center that deals in wood and wood byproducts.
10. Call a junk removal service like Green Clean Junk Removal. We’ll haul away just about any type of junk or clutter at affordable rates. We recycle between 40% and 60% of the unwanted items we collect via charitable organizations, thrift shops, and recycling centers. When you can do it yourself, Green Clean Junk Removal is there to do it for you.