Monday, April 15, 2019

Things to Declutter This Month

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Happy tax day.  Well, maybe not happy per say, but it's here.  I have a few ideas for things you might want to declutter this month:

Old tax documents.  There's a limit on how long you need to keep that crap so now that we're into a new year, feel free to declutter the old stuff.  You only have to keep the last 3 years.  I do mine online and they store my old documents, I don't print or personally hold on to anything.

Stuff you've been saving for a garage sale.  It's time to commit.  Either schedule the garage/yard sale and tell people about it so you have to follow through, or declutter your stuff.  Don't just leave it sitting month after month, convincing yourself you're saving it for a garage sale that will never come.  Side note - is it a garage sale or a yard sale to you?  It's garage sale here in Chicago.

Broken and rusted gardening tools.  I don't personally garden but I know plenty of people who do and love it.  If you're going to embrace your garden this year, don't make life more difficult by carting around broken or rusted gardening tools.  If they can't be repaired, or you're not inclined to, declutter them.

Broken umbrellas.  They say April showers bring May flowers, but we actually get a lot of rain in March here.  If your umbrellas have already taken a beating, let them go.  Broken umbrellas are just not worth the frustration and won't keep you dry anyway.

Outdoor equipment you won't use.  Like lawn chairs, beach balls, picnic baskets.  The weather might be nice enough that you're actually starting to use these things, but at the very least you're pulling them out of storage.  Don't keep anything you won't use this season, like broken chairs or beach balls that don't inflate anymore.

Mismatched hangers.  If you got rid of the excess in your closet last month, go ahead and get rid of all the extra hangers, especially the mismatched wire ones you got from the dry cleaner (those can go back to said dry cleaner.)  Invest in a set of flocked hangers, if you haven't already.

Plastics bags.  Make this the summer of no single use plastic!  Your plastic bags can be the first to go.  Invest in reusable ones you love and make the effort to declutter the plastic ones.  You can return them to the grocery store or hang them at a dog park for owners to pick up after pets.  But don't keep using and collecting them in a never ending cycle.  Make the switch and end the demand for these wasteful things.

Takeout menus and plastic silverware.  If you even still have paper take out menus, you don't need them.  Everything is online.  Recycle them.  And stop collecting plastic utensils.  Use up what you have or donate them, and then stop acquiring any more.  When you do order something, ask that they don't give you these items - ask for no plastic and no menus and to please use paper bags.

Hard to recycle items.  It's Earth month, like I mentioned already (clearly, from my anti-plastic stance in this post) but that means you can finally responsibly recycle hard to recycle items because they're making it easy this month with drop off centers everywhere.  Normally you need to go out of your way to find a donation center that will accept things like light bulbs, paint, or dead batteries, but now you'll find drives all over your area to take these things off your hands in a way that doesn't end with them in a landfill.  Take advantage.

What do you need to declutter this month?

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