It’s a new year and it’s time to declutter. We like to make space in our lives by making space in our homes. As upcyclers, we have a tendency to hold onto things for future use. But there comes a point where it’s just plain hoarding, and those items could be better used by someone else. The hardest part is starting, so here’s a roundup of 10 things to declutter and who you can give them to.
Most people have at least 1 or 2 (or 10!) toiletries in their bathroom that they aren’t using. Have you ever bought a shampoo and used it a couple of times only to find out that you actually don’t like it? Don’t chuck it away. Post a pic of it on social media, it might just be one of your friend’s favorites.
If you’re a sucker for the mini toiletries freebies at hotels, you probably have a pile of them. Unopened toiletries like this would be a welcome donation at a women’s shelter. Next time resist the urge to take what you don’t need.
2.) Worn out Towels and Bedding
Do you have stacks of towels and bedding but only a few that you actually use? It’s time to declutter. Animal shelters and vets would love these worn out towels and bedding for bathing and comforting the animals that they care for.
Image: Reading My Tea Leaves
3.) Spare Hangers
Dry cleaners are happy to receive metal hangers. Most facilities have a collection bin where you can donate them right inside the front door.
4.) Craft Supplies
Are you holding onto lots of craft supplies for “just in case”? Declutter your drawers and pass on what you’re not using. These supplies would be a well received at a local school’s art program or children’s daycare.
Image: The Home Edit
5.) Books and Cookbooks
Do you have lots of books and cookbooks that you never use? Donate them to a used bookstore or library, or gift them to your friends.
We suggest going through your clothing at least once a season to get rid of excess. Clothing swaps are a great idea, but if you really want to declutter, then donate them without any expectation of a return. There are lots of worthy organizations that will come pick up items, or you could drop them off at a collection bin.
Image: The Home Edit
Old eyeglasses can be donated to those in need through your local eye doctor’s office. There are also donation bins at big box stores like Walmart.
8.) Sports Equipment
Bulky sports, camping, and outdoor equipment was probably expensive. You can resell items you’re not using at consignment shops or online. If you don’t want to hassle with the resale, you can donate them at your local thrift shop.
9.) Prom dresses and Formal Wear
There are reuse programs in most cities for prom dresses and formal wear. We love this idea because it is so empowering for the recipients. This winning idea is a feel-good way to give a second life to something you likely will never wear again.
Pens and markers are such a sneaky clutter culprit. Most people think nothing of throwing a pen into the trash once its ink runs out. This plastic waste is tragic and entirely avoidable. Terracycle will upcycle your old pens for you. Or you can donate them to the Pen Guy who will turn them into art. He’s already upcycled 500,000 pens!
Finally, a friendly reminder: If you really want to declutter and reduce waste, then you need to be careful about what you bring into your home in the first place. Refuse ‘freebie’ items that you don’t actually want and be conscious about what you do buy. The next time you think you need something you can try:
- Waiting 24 hours before purchasing it
- Borrowing it from a friend – try a social media call out for what you need
- Buying it used or second hand instead