Using The Three-Pile Approach To Declutter Your House
by Daryl Simmmons
A major house cleaning and decluttering project can be made fun if you establish some goals. The three-pile approach to your project lets you clear out your house of unwanted items while helping other people and being kind to the environment. Here is how to organize your next decluttering project and feel good about getting rid of those things you really don't need.
Dividing Your Personal Items Into Three Piles
Establish staging areas in your house, driveway or backyard to hold three categories of items:
items that can be given to a thrift store, food bank or other charitable organization for people to use
items that can be taken to a recycling center and reused
items that have no other value and need to go to the landfill
Your goal is to maximize the number of items you put in the first two piles and minimize the amount of waste going into the last pile.
A dumpster rental company like Lakeshore Recycling can deliver a small bin to your home for landfill items. Some companies have bins that contain two compartments - one for trash and the other for recyclable items. The donation items in your first pile may go to multiple places so you'll need to sort that out after you've gone through your house.
You'll find something in nearly every room of your house that you can get rid of. To be completely ruthless with yourself, ask yourself with each item "Am I currently using this item?" and "If not, can I justify keeping it in the space it currently occupies?" You can free up a lot of space in your home this way and it can prevent you from stockpiling items that you may never use.
Go through cupboards and donate items to a local food bank.
Get rid of unused dinnerware including plates, cups, glasses and silverware by donating it to a thrift store.
Sort through cookware and take unwanted items to a thrift store.
Small appliances, such as toasters and blenders, can be given to a thrift store if still in working order. If not, they can be recycled for the metal and plastic in them.
Old linen can be given to a thrift store, if it's not torn or stained. Pillows are usually not accepted unless they are new.
Blankets are welcome at local shelters and thrift stores.
Most mattresses and box springs end up in the landfill but there are a few recycling facilities that will take these and disassemble them to recycle components.
Clothes are also welcome at thrift stores. Some organizations specialize in taking in clothing for children. They distribute the clothing to youth shelters, and some will send items to overseas welfare organizations.
Shoes can also be donated to charities that collect shoes for children and young adults.
Living Room and Family Room
Furniture is welcomed in thrift stores, homeless shelters and welfare houses.
Electronic devices can be donated to thrift stores.
Books and magazines can be used by shelters and welfare homes.
Games and toys are appreciated by children's services and thrift stores.
Hair dryers, curling irons and other small personal hygiene items can be given to a thrift store.
Towels and wash clothes that are in good shape can go to shelters.
Attic and Basement
Artificial Christmas trees and decorations can go to a thrift store.
Stacks of papers, cardboard boxes and packing material can go into your recycling pile.
Your home is full of items that can be used by other people or recycled. You benefit from gaining space in your house. Have fun decluttering your house this year by discovering what can be recycled or reused.