Got Junk? Get Organized!

Got Junk? Get Organized!
  • Opening Intro -

    As the seasons change, you will be putting away the old stuff and bringing out new items, perhaps things you stored months ago when temperatures first began to change.


In the spring, you bring out the grill, hang the bird feeder and take out the lawn mower. In the fall, you put those same items away. With each seasonal shift you may discover that your possessions are on the rise or at least your storage area has less room than it had last season. The culprit here is junk including the following items that you can either toss, sell or give away:

1. Paper products. Newspapers, magazines and grocery bags have a way of gathering in piles without much purpose. Unless you use these items to line the bottom of a bird cage, likely you’re just taking up room. Send it all to recycling, keeping a minimal amount on hand for other purposes.

2. Boxes, cartons and containers. You moved into your home more than a year ago and have saved nearly every box from that move. Unless you plan to move again within the year, then these boxes can be broken down and recycled. Where there are boxes there are also containers. Perhaps empty plastic containers that once held kitty litter, coffee, vegetable oil and even soft drinks. You won’t need these any longer, so recycle your plastics as well.

3. Kitchen appliances. You had dreams of converting your basement into a wet bar, but your old stove and refrigerator are sitting below the ground with no further use anticipated. At this point you need to fish or cut bait, completing your project or getting real and sending those appliances to the landfill. If they’re still working, contact Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill or the Salvation Army to find if there is home for these items.

4. Old clothes. You’ve put last season’s clothes away and have brought out this season’s fashion musts. You’ve also discovered that a handful of items you will no longer wear and everything your kids wear last year no longer fits. Take your old clothes including the bags you have stashed in the attic crawl space and donate what is good, tossing the rest. Get a receipt for your donation of good clothes to your nonprofit group.

5. Books. I know, I know. You’re a book collector and you simply cannot part with your copy of Homer’s Iliad, your collection of Dickens novels or J.R.R. Tolkien works. You may own an e-reader, but your favorite way to read is with the pages between your fingers. You don’t need to scrub your library, but if you have books in boxes that are packed away in storage, send these on to allow others to read them.

Getting Organized

Have we named everything or just the most popular items? One way to distinguish between what you want and what you should toss is to assign a place for where each item should “live” or occupy your home. If it does not fit, then you must quit holding on to it. Recycle some items, toss others or make a donation to a friend, neighbor or to a charity.

See AlsoGarage Storage Ideas to Help You Declutter



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About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".