Discard Responsibly

It’s spring and a prime time to get rid of the clutter and excess in  your home.

We all want it to just “go away” as quickly as possible but let’s think about how we go about it.

Books are sometimes very hard to let go but if you have made up your mind that it is time to let others enjoy some of your books while you enjoy some decluttered space, here are some places they can go.

  • Salvation Army
  • Used book stores
  • Local library
  • Local thrift shops
  • Books for Soldiers, Books through Bars, Books for Africa
  • Goodwill
One important thing about donating your books is to make certain that your old books do not contain mold or harbor unpleasant odors. If you put your tainted book into a pile with others, it will contaminate the whole pile.
Old electronics take up a bunch of space and we are often afraid of getting rid of it or we think it will take a lot of effort to do it responsibly. If it is a computer, you will want to back up your data and completely wipe the system. An easy way is to pull the hard drive and just physically destroy it. If it is a working computer (with a new hard drive) you can donate it. Otherwise recycle it during recycling events or check locally for places to drop off toxic materials. Recycling events will take almost all electronics. Some stores like Best Buy will take old electronics. Cords can be donated. Phones can be donated (after you wipe your personal data).
The important thing is that electronics should not just be dumped in the trash or dumpster.
If you are clearing out your medicine cabinet, read the packaging on the medicine for how best to dispose of it. You can throw some medicines in the trash if they are first placed in kitty litter or coffee grounds and then sealed in a bag. I prefer to put all medicines in a sealed bag and look for a community disposal program.
The important thing is to not flush drugs down the toilet because they will end up in our water system.
As you clear out your pantry of old food, you may find some that you want to donate to a food bank. Do not donate food that is beyond the expiration date or that is in dented or rusted cans. If you decide to dump the old food but recycle the cans and jars, be very careful those cans and jars are clean. Throwing in a can with food still stuck in it can ruin an entire batch of recycling. 
Enjoy your clear space but think before you toss.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

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