You've De-Cluttered Now
What to Recycle and
Where to Recycle It

Once you've cleaned and organized your home, chances are you'll end up with a lot of stuff to get rid of. There are many places to recycle old items. Here are some suggestions:

  • Take paper, aluminum, and recyclable plastics to a recycling facility
  • Clothing and household items can be donated to charity or given away to individuals
  • Broken electronics and empty toner cartridges may need to be taken to a separate facility
  • Avoid putting give away items in closets or basements; get rid of items quickly
  • Avoid second-guessing your give away piles; if you haven't used it recently, you likely won't

Now congratulate yourself, you've accomplished a lot by finally going through your home and packaging up all of the items that you need to get rid of. You've got bags and boxes of stuff ready and waiting. The question remains, what to do with it all? Here are some great ideas for knowing what to recycle and where to recycle it after you've completed the task of organizing your home and separating out unnecessary items. Remember, your home isn't officially de-cluttered until all those items are gone, so make sure you take steps to get them out the door as soon as possible.

Okay, first, what to recycle? Let's start with the obvious, if you've done a thorough job of de-cluttering, then you've probably cleared out a good deal of paperwork, along with old newspapers, magazines, and other recyclable paper products. If you don't have curbside recycling service to your home, you will need to take these paper products, along with aluminum cans, cardboard, clean glass, and in some cases, plastics, to your nearest recycling center. In some cases, you get paid to recycle. In other cases, your reward is simply to get rid of the junk that was filling up your home. While it may be tempting to simply throw these items in the trash, chances are you've accumulated quite a lot. Why deal with the expense of additional bags of garbage? Besides, you'll feel good knowing that you've saved these items from a landfill.

Next items when looking at what to recycle are probably that large pile or piles of usable items like clothing and household goods. These can easily be donated to your local thrift store or charity. However, beware of simply stashing the packaged goods in a closet or a basement, where they'll soon be forgotten. You should also avoid the temptation to look through the bags and change your mind. If it ended up in the give away pile, it almost certainly belongs there. If you haven't used an item for months, chances are pretty slim that you'll start now.

In addition to taking items to a thrift store, you can also give them away for free to an individual or family. Craigslist and Freecycle are two popular online hubs where you can post items for giveaway. The disadvantage of this method is that you'll have to wait for someone to show up and take away your stuff, and you probably won't be able to get rid of it all in one fell swoop.

When it comes to old electronics, functioning items can also be donated to charity. But what if you need to know where to recycle old electronics? Items like computer monitors, printers, fax machines, and toner cartridges generally require special disposal to avoid contaminating the environment. Some office supply stores will accept old toner cartridges for recycling. You can also check with your city's waste management office for information on special recycling centers for electronics. The same goes for household toxins like used motor oil, paints, and solvents.

Recycling is not only great for getting rid of clutter, it's also a great way to give back to the community and to protect the environment. For more information on what to recycle and where to recycle it, visit the following websites: and

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