Is your house about to burst at the seams with all the stuff you've gained from the holidays? Do you feel compelled to just toss everything in the trash just to get it out of the way? Here are some tips to help bring sanity to your household and declutter for the new year:
Get those old holiday decorations out of your house. As you're putting away decorations, are there items in your boxes that you haven't used in a few years? Take out unused holiday decor and recycle or donate them. That way you can free up more room in your attic or storage room to allow your decor to grow next year. As for trees, wreaths and wrapping paper, check out our holiday recycling guide to properly dispose of those items.
Are the holiday goodies overflowing out of your kitchen? Your best bet is to take them into work and share them with your coworkers, or share them with your service providers such as your mechanic, hairdresser or lawn care personnel. (Your waistline will thank you!) As for any extra canned and packaged food that was bought during the holidays, it's best to give it away now to a local food pantry. And any leftovers you plan to eat should be frozen now so they don't go to waste.
What about all those holiday gifts? Make way for them by donating old unused toys or electronics. If you have kids, find the local swap group in your neighborhood or school. If there are items you think may be worth some money, consider putting them up on Craigslist. Or donate them to lower-income nursery schools or shelters in your area. Make sure you give any items you plan to sell or donate a good wipe down or wash.
If you got a new smartphone, music player or even a laptop, you might be able to get some money from your old electronic devices. Best Buy has a trade-in program that will give you a gift card for the value of the item, and they also will accept items with no monetary value for recycling. Since the landfill ban on electronics was instituted last summer in North Carolina, most retailers who sell electronics are required to have a recycling program of some sort. Check with your nearest store to see what recycling options are available. You can also check out our list of electronic recycling resources on The Green Scene home page to dispose of items mentioned above as well as other electronics.