Spring is here, bringing longer days and warmer weather, illuminating all those dark corners of your home, inspiring spring cleaning! An age old tradition in many cultures, spring cleaning is the time to do a deep clean, purging your closets and corners of items no longer getting used. Among the most popular items to sort through are the following:
1. Clothes and Shoes
Chances are, if you haven’t worn something in the last year, you probably won’t. Clothes and shoes can pile up, taking up unnecessary closet, attic/garage/basement space. Thankfully, there are a plethora of places to take your old clothes and shoes - from consignment shops (Kid to Kid, Re-Threads, and Darling just to name a few) to thrift shops that support your favorite local nonprofits (like JABA’s Twice is Nice or CASPCA’s Rummage) as well as programs for earn you discounts for buying new shoes (Ragged Mountain’s Shoes for the Shoeless).
2. Towels and Sheets
Worn out sheets and towels can accumulate in the linen closet, but can be repurposed into a multitude of useful items. Whether they find themselves thrown into the trunk of your car for an easy picnic ‘blanket’, cut up in smaller sizes to be used as rags or donated to a local animal shelter, it’s easy for them to find new life, outside of your linen closet.
3. Old Beauty Products and Makeup
Lotions, shampoo and conditions and makeup can go bad, so check their smells and expiration dates while tossing the ones that are no longer good.
4. Dishes (and that plastic ware that mysteriously piles up)
It happens to the best of us - all those plastic take out containers and other plasticware pile up in your cabinets until one day you open the door and the contents explode at you. Sort through, recycling what you can. Some of those containers can probably be used to help organize other areas of your home, but some are just at the end of their life cycle. Oh, and all those coffee cups - just get rid of the ones that are cluttering your cabinets.
5. Takeout menus, Coupons, Magazines…..
You know, those piles of paper all over the place? Just shove them in the recycling bin. Although, if it’s a pile of your child’s school papers, sort through it before shoving it - just to be sure you’re not missing out some really important field trip notice.
7. Old Electronics
So you got a new gadget. Or your old one just stopped working. Don’t hang onto them - donate outdated but still working electronics (there are any number of local non profits that will gladly take your older working computers and printers) while broken items can go to recycling centers (Best Buy & Crutchfield both offer that service here locally) that will take them apart to keep their toxic parts out of landfills. Whatever you do, don’t toss your electronics into the garbage can, as they can leak toxins into the ground!
8. Movies and CD’s
Donate or repurpose old DVD’s, CD’s and even VHS tapes, although sadly, sometimes they do end up in landfills. Old discs can be used to create distractions in the garden from deer and other wildlife.
9. Games and Puzzles (sometimes with missing pieces)
You put the puzzle together, now what? Or you just don’t play the game anymore. Time to send it it onto a new life - schools, libraries, senior centers and various shelters sometimes take donations of gently used games and puzzles, check to see if they have interest. If your item is missing pieces, check to see if replacement pieces are available - if not, it’s probably best to just toss it rather than frustrate the next player.
10. Outgrown Children’s items
It can be hard to part with some of those treasured pieces, but chances are, many of them can find new life serving another child. While some children’s items, like car seats, are not recommended to be handed down, many other items can easily be handed down or consigned or donated so that another child can enjoy them. And for those items you just can’t part with? Decide how much room you want to allow for them and properly store them in boxes or plastic bins so that they are ready to be handed down to the next generation when the time comes.