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Clutter Control Tips and Decluttering Ideas

Other Simple Life articles for dealing with clutter. Click the links below to read the full article:

How Does that Clutter Feel? If it's not good, then it may be time to get rid of it ....

Declutter Idea - Time Your Tasks

Clear Your Clutter - Use It or Lose It

Is That A Tax Deductible Donation?

Will a Housekeeper Simplify Your Life?

Clear the Clutter: Play the Movie Game

Use Your Zorro Circle to Clear Your Clutter

Empty the Box and Clear Clutter Like Magic

Clutter Free Forever!

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Clutter Control Center

Clutter Control Center 

Suggestions and resources for finding a good home for items you no longer use. Keep useable items and materials out of our landfills.

Welcome to Simple Life Corp's Clutter Control Center!  If you have an item that you no longer use, but you want to give it to a place that will really appreciate it instead of throwing it away, then look through these listings and suggestions. Check out our other clutter control articles on the sidebar on the left.

Use the search bar at the upper left if you have specific items to get rid of.

Scroll through the items on the page below or use the search bar on the upper left column to search this page:

Newly added: Advantagecartridge.com - this company pays you for your empty printer cartridges, new printer cartridges, cell phones, ipods, laptop computers, and other electronics. They do not accept most remanufactured printer cartridges, but see their specific lists for the ones they do accept. The company accepts most items in larger batches - 10 or more at once - so you may need to also gather these from your friends and family to have enough to sell. Alternatively, you may enjoy ordering the supplies to collect these as a fundraiser for your organization or charity.


Suggestions for finding a place to give your items:

GENERAL RECYCLING - to find a location near you that takes a specific item for recycling, visit this fantastic website, Earth911.org. Key in your item and zip code and a list of recycling locations will appear.


START WITH JUNK MAIL AND EMAIL - this .org site will help you to manage your catalog mail and stop unwanted junk mail. It also has an option to manage unwanted email.
There is a $1.00 registration fee for the junk mail management. It can be processed online or mailed in. There are multiple other resources on the site for reducing credit card offers, catalogs, and more.
The site has many resources for reducing waste and reducing your use of paper. Did you know it takes 1-1/2 cups of water to make one sheet of paper? Reduce.org


USED GREETING CARDS - send to St. Jude's Ranch, a home for abandoned and neglected children. They make new cards from the old ones. Send to:
St Jude's Card Recycling
100 St. Jude Street
Boulder City, NV 89005
St Jude's Greeting Card Recycling


OLD KEYS - Send these to Keys For Kindness and they will recycle them and donate the proceeds to the MS Society.


GENERAL HOUSEHOLD GOODS - Vietnam Veterans of America will pick up your donations - see the website for a list of items accepted - if you are in an area that they service.


EXPIRED COUPONS (and CURRENT COUPONS) - - GrocerySavingsTips.com has an article with instructions on how to send your coupons to our military service bases so that they can be distributed to military families. Military families can use coupons up to six months after the printed expiration date. They cannot use internet printed coupons or store coupons.


AIRLINE MILES - The Salvation Army - under the menu selection Ways to Give accepts airline mileage donations from United Airlines and Delta members. They use these miles to transport personnel or to provide travel to those in need of emergency medical care.


WINE CORKS -- Yemm & Hart  are asking you to send your wine corks for recycling into tiles.  Only cork!  No plastic! 


BUILDING MATERIALS, New or Used - doors and windows in good condition, fixtures, hardware, nails, carpeting, tiles, anything that can be used to build a home. Try contacting Habitat for Humanity. Our local Habitat for Humanity (an organization that restores neighborhoods and builds new home for families who would otherwise not be able to qualify for their own home) will accept most materials. The materials that cannot be used are sold periodically at fund raising sales or in their Restore store. This is a great way to keep some of the old and leftover new materials from your remodeling project from getting into the landfills!


STYROFOAM PACKAGING MATERIALS AND STYROFOAM PACKING PEANUTS The Plastic Loose Fill Council (www.loosefillpackaging.com) has lookup resources for you to find local recycling centers.

To recycle large, molded chunks of EPS used to cushion televisions, air conditioners and such, contact the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers (www.epspackaging.org). They have resources accepting both drop off and mail-in used foam packaging


SNEAKERS, TENNIS SHOES, ATHLETIC SHOES, RUNNING SHOES  Nike takes used athletic footwear and grinds them into a material (Nike Grind) to make playground surfaces, running tracks, and outdoor courts.

For shoes still in good, wearable condition, Shoe4Africa (www.shoe4africa.org),distributes them to athletes in developing countries.


WORN CLOTHING - clothing in worn or poor condition, but otherwise clean -donate to a textile recycling program. Donating old clothes keeps these textiles out of our landfills and provides useful materials for many industries.

If you live in New York: visit  GrowNYC.org for information

Goodwill Industries has a program for selling used, worn clothing to recycling centers. Your local Goodwill center likely welcomes donations of clothing that is clean but not wearable. Give your local center a call to see if they accept clothing for recycling.

If you are in the Oakland CA area, visit this web page for old clothing recycling sites: Stopwaste.org

A few cities around the country have bins for collecting worn clothing and fabric articles at their local paper/glass/metal recycling collection sites.

If your city has a rag manufacturing company, they may take donations of clean, used clothing and cloth scraps.

Also try Freecycle and CraigsList for posting if you have a large basket or box of used, worn clothing to give away. Many local residents may use these for craft projects or quilting. (Arrange to have the box at the end of your driveway, or to drop off at a safe location such as a McDonalds or a church.)


OLD CRAYONS - visit  Rebecca's Recyled Riters for information on how to send your old crayons to this company


WOMEN'S BUSINESS CLOTHING, including dresses, suits, blouses, and shoes, can be donated to Dress For Success  an organization that makes business clothing available to enable women to enter the business field when they are unable to afford the proper clothing.


If you have CANCELED POSTAGE STAMPS, especially US Commemorative, Foreign, and those with postage values of $1.00 or more, contact:

Stamp Room

Sisters of the Holy Cross

Augusta Hall-Saint Mary's

Notre Dame, IN  46556

They do not want 33 or 34 or 37 or 39 cent stamps or stamps that are heavily canceled, torn, cut or stained.  Stamps must have 1/2" on each side when it is cut from the envelope.  Ask the Sisters if your donation will be tax-deductible.  The Sisters wash and iron these stamps and sell them to brokers and collectors to help support their Ministry With the Poor.


If you have like new or new SCHOOL SUPPLIES, such as pencils, crayons, writing tablets, scissors, rulers, etc., then contact your local elementary school or local church Sunday School.  There are many children right here in the US who can't afford basic school supplies.  Think about how it feels to hold a fresh, new Crayola crayon!  


WIRE COAT HANGARS - check with your local dry cleaners.  If they do not need them, check with any church groups that maintain a charitable clothing store.  These groups are usually always in need of wire and plastic coat hangars.


SOAP, SHAMPOO, SANITARY SUPPLIES, DIAPERS - did you buy a bottle of shampoo in a brand that you never use? Or do you have a partial package of disposable diapers that your baby has outgrown? Call your local women's shelter, Faith Mission, or Salvation Army. They will probably be grateful to receive your extras.


HOUSEHOLD GOODS, FURNITURE, CLOTHING - check with your local Goodwill agency. Most Goodwill outlets no longer repair items, so in general these donations must be in good working order and with a nice, clean appearance. According to the Elkhart, Indiana Goodwill store, "Consider this - would you give this item to a friend to use?  If not, Goodwill probably doesn't want it either." Donations to Goodwill are tax deductible.  Be sure to get a receipt if your donated value is $250.00 or more.


COMPUTER SYSTEMStry Computers4Kids - their online site lists minimum requirements and has an application form you can submit for preapproval of your donation. The Cristina Foundation also accepts donations of computer equipment.

Certain Goodwill stores now have a computer recycling center. If so, they accept virtually all models and makes of computer equipment for recycling.Goodwill - computer recycling

The following recycling services may have a shipping or service charge:

Also, try the IBM site - they have a recycling program and will refurbish your old computer, if feasible, and donate it to charity.  If this occurs, they will send you a tax deductible receipt.  Go to the IBM site www.ibm.com and do a search for "recycle."

The Hewlett Packard site also has a recycling program www.hp.com/hpinfo/globalcitizenship/environment

Dell computers - go to www.dell.com and search for "recycling."

Also Computer Take-Back Campaign

Advantagecartridge.com - this company pays you for your empty printer cartridges, new printer cartridges, cell phones, ipods, laptop computers, and other electronics.

Justin Bachman, an AP Business Writer suggests in his article, "What Use is an Old PC?" that you consider using the old PC as a digital video recorder by installing a TV tuner card and recording TV programs on the hard drive.  He also suggests putting an old PC in the kitchen to use for making notes and keeping track of recipes. 


PRINTER CARTRIDGES, CELL PHONES, MP3 PLAYERS, LAPTOPS, OTHER ELECTRONICS

Advantagecartridge.com - this company pays you for your empty printer cartridges, new printer cartridges, cell phones, ipods, laptop computers, and other electronics. They do not accept most remanufactured printer cartridges, but see their specific lists for the ones they do accept. The company accepts most items in larger batches - 10 or more at once - so you may need to also gather these from your friends and family to have enough to sell. Alternatively, you may enjoy ordering the supplies from Advantagecartridge to collect these as a fundraiser for your organization or charity.


OLD RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES - try the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation  


BOOKS AND PAPERBACKS - Have a Fundraiser for Your Charity or School

GotBooks.com - this organization will place collection containers for collecting used books, DVD's, and CD's. You organize the collection drive and then GotBooks will pick up the conatiners and give you a check for the amount of books donated. This appears to be mostly available on the east coast, but check the website as they are adding more collection areas.


BOOKS AND PAPERBACKS -The Reading Tree - Distribute to underfunded libraries and schools

SurplusBooksForCharity.org - This organization collects your books with requested book collection containers and then distributes them to needy libraries and schools across the country and world. Note: I have sent an email to this company, as I am not sure if they are still operating.


BOOKS AND PAPERBACKS - ship them yourself to one of these charities:

Books for Africa - They also have a drop off box in St. Paul

Books Through Bars - These are donated to prisoners. They especially want recent textbooks, spirituality books, and certain history books.

Books to Prisoners - These are donated to prisoners. They especially want paperback dictionaries, small business guides, reference books, and certain fiction books. (all paperback)

Better World Books - See their website for a list of the best books to send. Hardcover or paperback.

BooksForSoldiers.com - also check with them if you are intersted in donating your old magazines. Some issues are popular with the soldiers. This site lets you match specific requests from the soldiers.


OLD MAGAZINES AND PAPERBACK BOOKS -

Before you throw out the old magazines, here is a link to a website that will show you how to make a wastbasket out of them. You may want to consider donating old magazines to a school group or a church sunday school group, along with the instructions. Oddly enough, the wastebasket is really cute in the photo. I haven't made one, so I can't say if it looks like a basket made from old magazines or if it looks presentable enough to be in the family room. Either way, it would be a fun project for kids. Cut Out and Keep - Magazine Waste Basket Project

Also check with local art clubs and art schools - the used magazines are great resources for their craft projects.

Post a small ad on Craigslist.org and list the magazines that you have available. Old magazines are in high demand for people who use them for crafts. If someone wants them, you can arrange to either have them on your porch for them to pick up, or you can arrange for another dropoff/pickup location.

We got a great suggestion from a reader:  Contact your local nursing home or veteran's hospital to see if they are interested in magazines.  Contact a local trucking firm to see if they have a trucker's lounge that might like to have your old paperbacks so the truckers can take them on the road to read.  Other readers have suggested used bookstores and selling your books at half.com or on eBay.

Adopt a Library has an extensive list of libraries, Indian reservations, colleges, agenies, and prisons that would like to have your used books and possibly to donate old magazines.

Here's another really good suggestion: Donate your old magazines and books to a local jail or prison.  The reader, Kim M., who has worked adult literacy programs, states that 'if they have material they enjoy, they will read more and more. Of course, that helps them obtain better job skills and self-esteem.'  She especially encourages us to donate car, sports, and other guy type reading material. - Thanks, Kim!

Prose for Cons has good resources for donating books and videos to prisons.

Jann suggests that you drop off magazines at any waiting room - dentist, doctor, ER, ICU or surgery, beauty salon.  This is a good suggestion because it's easy to just scoop up your magazines when you are headed for an appointment.  Be sure to ask the receptionist if it's okay to leave the magazines.  - Thanks, Jann!

If you have old magazines dated prior to 1960, then you may be able to sell or donate them to a store that deals in collectible magazines.  I have contacted the website www.pastpaper.com who deals in such magazines.  They indicated that they would be interested in magazines dated prior to 1960, plus later or current issues of People, Time, Newsweek, or the New Yorker.  They do not want National Geographics, American Heritage, or Horizon Magazines.  To see if they may be interested in your magazines, you can contact them at - bandh@pastpaper.com.  

If you prefer to sell your books, try www.cash4books.net. In my experience, they only buy newer books and there are many books that they do not buy. It's an easy system to work with, though, and you can key in multiple ISBN's to get an instant decision and price.


OLD TOWELS AND BLANKETS - call your local veterinarian's office or humane shelter.  They may appreciate having these as bedding for the animals or for use in bathing the animals.

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CELLULAR PHONES -

Trade them for Amazon Gift Certificates, cash, or a donation to a charity. Visit FlipSwap.com

Donate them to help protect domestic violence victims. Visit www.donateaphone.com.  You can even print a tax receipt for your tax deduction at the site.  (Thanks to Jennifer G. for this tip!)

Help our troops call home - our soldiers need cell phones - CellPhonesForSoldiers.com

Also, you may be able to sell your old cell phone to GreenPhone.com

Another donation site is: CollectiveGood.com

Advantagecartridge.com - this company pays you for your empty printer cartridges, new printer cartridges, cell phones, ipods, laptop computers, and other electronics.


 

OLD EYEGLASSES - Give to The Lions Club who will give them to individuals that cannot afford eyeglasses.  www.lionsclubs.org


FLORIST VASES AND CONTAINERS - for florist vases in like new condition, check with your local florist, especially the small, independent shops.  


MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS - Check out your local Freecycle organization. Individuals list things on the FreeCycle site that they want or need and you can list things that you would like to trade or give away (it is not a site for selling things).  Most things are for local residents to pick up or deliver. There is likely a FreeCycle group in your area.  This is a great opportunity to match your unused stuff with someone who needs exactly that item!