Mornings with Dave & Jen

Spring cleaning?  Here’s what to toss
Spring cleaning? Here’s what to toss

Looking to do a little Spring cleaning around the house but don’t know where to start?

Here’s a list of what to toss (or sell) from SavvySugar.com:

Old magazines. Get rid of old magazines you have lying around because chances are, you aren’t going to read them again. Find places where you can donate your magazines to such as child care centers, doctor’s offices, nail salons, nursing homes, and libraries. If there’s an article that really speaks to you, scan a digital image of it and keep it in your computer. Or keep a folder of magazine clippings if you like saving magazine articles.

Receipts. Throw away receipts for items that you aren’t planning on returning, and ones that you won’t need to use come tax time. If you’re wary of throwing away receipts, you can make a digital copy of them with a basic scanner, a pricey specialized receipt scanner ($174), or a smartphone app ($2).

Clothes. Use the two-year-rule for clothes — get rid of apparel that you haven’t worn in two years. Sell them to a thrift store or donate them to the needy.

Books. Go through your bookshelf and gather together books you haven’t touched in months and ones that you aren’t planning on rereading. Be realistic and make sure you’re ruthless. If you haven’t touched it in a year, you’re most likely not going to read it again. Sell the books on Amazon, Craigslist, or eBay. You can even trade them for something else on swap.com. You can always donate them as well!

Medicine and vitamins. Take a look at your medicine closet and clear out drugs that have expired, medicine that has sat on your shelf for too long, or ones that you no longer use. First, check to see what the proper disposal methods are for the medication, and if you can’t find any, the FDA advises mixing medicine with “used coffee grounds or kitty litter” in a container or sealable bag before throwing it away to make the drugs less appealing.

Makeup and perfume. Go through your beauty cabinet and get rid of makeup that’s too old or that you don’t use. There are programs out there that let you recycle your makeup, such as MAC, which has a program that lets you exchange six empty containers for a new eyeshadow, lip gloss, or lipstick.  Check POPSUGAR Beauty for a neat list of when to throw away cosmetics.

Jewelry. Go through your jewelry and dispose of the broken costume jewelry and make plans to sell ones that you don’t wear. For fine jewelry, look up appraisers from the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers. Once you have a quoted price, shop around at auction houses, estate buyers, pawnshops, and jewelers to see if you can find a better deal.

Food. Go through your pantry and fridge and clear out items that need to be thrown out — the old, unused, and rotting. Do this weekly instead of monthly, just to make sure you don’t have any unpleasant surprises!

Some memorabilia. Many organizing experts advise to be ruthless and throw away memorabilia like cards and gifts you don’t use.  You can keep some of them by perhaps creating some sort of poster with old cards or designating a small shoe box for memorabilia. Resolve to throw away anything that can’t fit into the box.

Old or unused electronics. Have an electric piano you don’t use? Or maybe you just never got around to getting rid of your old laptop or cell phone. Sell your electronics on Gazelle.com,buymytronics.com, and nextworth.com. These sites are great because they’ll quote you a price for the item you wish to sell. You can also sell it on sites such as Craigslist and eBay.

Cash out what you can…and donate the rest…and you’ll have LOTS of room…for NEW stuff!  :-)

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