Often as the season’s change, I find myself wanting to change something in my home. If you find yourself feeling this way my advice is first to clear stuff out. I’m not a fan of continually adding things to a home without removing things. To give your home a fresh look first, you have to declutter and focus on the elements that you love. Though this may sound like a big project, here are ten areas to tackle to get you started. Let’s get started! First, create three boxes, labeled: Recycle, Sell, Donate. Have everyone in the house participate as a family project, and reward yourselves with a special treat when completed!
Find all old CD, DVD or VHS players, TVs, Cell Phones, broken electronic game consoles or toys. Best Buy will responsibly recycle your electronics, click here to view their guidelines and what they will accept. Please note they will take old tube TVs 32″ or smaller. They will take Flat Panel TVs: LCD, Plasma, LED smaller than 50″. If you recycle your cell phone, be sure to erase or wipe it of all your information by resetting it, look up how to do this for your particular phone. Click here to view recycling tips and resources from the EPA or Recycle Nation. You don’t want these things filling up our landfills releasing bad things into the environment.
Old cables and wires
While you are getting rid of broken and unused electronics, also get rid of their cords or cables. If you find a box of these, and unsure what they belong to, take them to your local Staples or Best Buy location as they will recycle them.
Old bills and paperwork
There is no need to hang onto old electric statements from your first apartment! Check with your financial adviser if you are unsure what you should keep and what you can safely recycle. Click here to read an article with some tips on this topic. Staples offers a paper shredding and recycling service to help you safely and responsibly get rid of potentially secure information on paper. To read more about this service, click here.
Near empty bottles
Look in your cabinets in your kitchen, bathroom, and garage wherever you keep your cleaning items and check if you have multiple bottles of the same thing, consolidate and recycle. Also get rid of old toiletries, makeup, hair products, or hotel samples. If they are new you may be able to donate to shelters in your area, click here to view a list of places to contact.
Unused or broken kitchen equipment
If you were given an ice cream maker or bread maker as a wedding gift and you have never used it, now is the time to liberate yourself of them! Donate to a Habitat Restore in your area or sell in your communities Facebook group.
Old towels, linens, and worn out bath mats
The quickest way to give your bathroom a new and fresh look is to add new towels and bath mat or rug. Give old towels and linens to animal shelters; they are always in need, click here to find one in your area.
Outdated clothes or clothes that don’t fit
I would recommend adding shoes and handbags to this category. If they are quality items that you haven’t used in years, consider selling to a consignment shop. There are online sites such as Rebagg where you can sell your designer bag. Get rid of those old t-shirts from high school, or old promotional shirts from past jobs and sporting events! All of these items can be dropped off at your local Goodwill location.
I know this is a challenging category, and I get it, you want to keep everything. After having raised four kids, all budding artists, the amount of artwork can be overwhelming. My suggestion, pick the best piece from a school year and create boxes or books for your kids that you can give to them as memory gifts. Create digital copies of the artwork and use online companies such as Snapfish to compile a customized journal of your child’s art. If you have sculptures or clay pieces, designate a display cabinet where you feature the best pieces from each of your children.
Wrapping paper scraps, packing material, old boxes
If you have a pile of crumpled wrapping paper or packing material from your Amazon orders, recycle it in your local paper pickup. Save what is in good shape and create a storage area for your paper and bows, so they are useful for the future. For some creative ways to store things, click here.
CDS or DVDs
Old computer programs, kid’s games, or old movies you will never watch should be given away or recycled. This plastic is a #7 you will need to confirm with your recycling center if it can handle this, if not click here to find a disc recycling center near you.
The next step, after you have cleared out the stuff no longer enjoyed or used, is to create a fresh flow to a room and decorate in such a way so that there is a focal point using colors and accessories that bring you joy. If you need help with a home redesign or a color consultation, call Debbie 610.955.8202 or email to get your project underway before the holiday season.
By Debbie Correale, founder and owner of Redesign Right, LLC. You can learn more about her at RedesignRight.com. Find her on Facebook.com/RedesignRight, Twitter @RedesignRight, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Houzz, Google+ and Instagram. (Feature Photo from Houzz: Organized Living)