Many people today are seeking to simplify their lives by getting rid of stuff they don’t need. All too often an entire room or garage will become a crowded catchall for any number of dusty boxes, appliances, and trinkets. Tossing those old, unused, or broken items can feel like a weight has been lifted. It also makes space for things you actually want — or just more room to move around — and makes your next spring cleaning deep-dive or big move that much easier.
Back in the 1990s, no home entertainment center was complete without an enormous selection of videotapes. Then it was folder after folder of DVDs. Today, there are tools available to digitize your video library, preserving both films and home movies for years to come — without taking up valuable space in your house. Some novelty shops or pawn stores will even purchase your old movies, putting some money back in your pocket.
Speaking of VHS tapes, what about the devices you used to play those and other old media? CD players, VCRs, and alarm clocks are a few examples of electronics that you probably don’t need anymore. Within just a few decades, mobile devices have evolved to perform the functions of these household relics. Toss obsolete electronics to make some extra room in your house. Look for a place to recycle old electronics safely or retailers who will offer trade-in rebates for more valuable items.
Get rid of clothing you no longer want. Check the pockets for forgotten items and loose change, and donate the clothes to your local Goodwill center. Donating not only feels good, but it’s also tax-deductible. Be sure to keep any receipts of your donation to increase your refund at the end of the year.
It may be time to ask yourself how often you actually use that old egg beater, blender, or toaster oven. Chances are you have more than a few appliances like these that you could do without. It’s also worth noting that many old appliances do not have the same energy efficiency as today’s modern counterparts, so getting rid of these items could save you money long-term. If you do decide to keep some dated appliances, check the cords and connections to make sure they aren't safety hazards.
While there’s nothing wrong with having a few extra blankets, towels, or sheets ready for guests, these items can take up a good deal of storage space in the home. Consider donating extra towels or linens, and cut the rattier ones into cleaning cloths. As a general rule, you don't need more than 2 sets of linens for each bed in your house.
The garage or utility shed can easily become overwhelmed with various tools, fasteners, and other hardware. Toss out old or corroded tools, and separate metals for easier recycling later. Additional materials worth tossing include lumber, insulation, and paint cans. If you're getting rid of any chemicals, be sure to follow safety guidelines for disposal.
Even collapsed, empty boxes can take up a lot of space in a house. If you recently relocated or you keep all your new appliance packaging, chances are you have a number of unused boxes laying around. Break them down and recycle them, or use a few to store heirlooms in the attic. Uncoated cardboard can also be shredded and mixed into the compost for your garden.
It can be hard to part with items that drive fond memories of your kids when they were little — or of your own youth. However, if your little one has become an adult, he or she will probably be okay with you getting rid of some old toys. Consider donating toys to gift drives around the holidays or regift them to loved ones. If you're having a hard time letting go, consider taking pictures of the items and recording the nostalgic details for posterity. Hold on to a few of the most cherished keepsakes to pass onto the grandkids.
Have you been holding on to chipped mugs or worry your shelf might collapse under the weight of all those extra plates? It may be worth it to hold a garage sale to get rid of unwanted kitchenware and dishes. Be sure to separate your finer glassware, china, and cutlery from less expensive items. Whatever is left over can be donated to a thrift store for someone else to use.
It can be frustrating to trade out batteries in a remote control only to discover the replacement batteries are also dead. Collect old batteries, test them all, and toss the dead ones in a bin for disposal at the end of the month. Alkaline batteries can be throw in the trash, while re-chargeable batteries should be taken to a recycling center. If you still need batteries for odds and ends around the home, this is a great time to note what sizes you're short on and pop them on the shopping list.
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