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10 Things to Do With Spring Cleaning Junk

10 Things to Do With Spring Cleaning Junk

With springtime starting up, a lot of people will begin spring cleaning. For those of us who only do major cleaning a few times a year, we’re bound to come across tons of “junk” that we don’t need but don’t know what to do with it. Don’t worry, I have you covered—I’ll show you 10 things you can do with common junk we come across when spring cleaning.

1: Recycle Electronics

Did you find an old DVD player, a drawer full of batteries, a broken laptop, or even a fax machine while spring cleaning? A lot of people make the mistake of throwing their old electronics in the trash, but not only is this wasteful, but 17 states have actually placed a ban on throwing away electronics in landfills. It’s not that they want you to keep your old computer monitor forever, but many o these gadgets contain hazardous materials that can seep into groundwater.

Instead of harming the environment with toxic chemicals, take your old gear to a local electronics recycling center. Finding a place to recycle electronics is actually pretty easy, so there’s no excuse for shoving your broken hard drives and computers into a black trash bag and throwing them out at night. Some options you have are:

2: Sell Things on eBay

Why not make some money with your old junk? I’ve been a seller on eBay for years (Top Rated Seller status!) and it’s a pretty good way to make money by selling things you don’t use or need. Electronics (working and broken ones), clothes, nick-knacks, old dishware, toys, and even the weird stuff you keep locked in a closet for nobody to find can all be sold on eBay.

With eBay, you can sell 50 items via free listings every month, and with their new system for calculating fees, it’s pretty easy to figure out exactly how much money you can make from each sale. Here’s a pretty handy eBay fee calculator that I use to get an idea of how much I’ll make from each sale. You may even find that you have enough junk to start up an eBay store as a side business. Here’s a video that shows exactly how the things that you would think are useless can actually make money on eBay.

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3: Repurpose

Waste not, want not. For the resourceful readers out there, you may be able to salvage and repurpose some of the items you come across while cleaning. The great thing about repurposing is that it’s fun and resourceful. DIY projects are extremely popular right now, and I’m always shocked at how creative the designers on HGTV get when they upcycle old wood, furniture, or other items just laying around. Etsy is filled with items that have been repurposed.

book shelves
    Shelf made from books- Jonny Valiant

    You can look at Pinterest or this list to get ideas on how to repurpose some common items you have around the house.

    4: Donate

    An oldie but a goody: donating your clothes, old toys, or other items you don’t use frees up some space for you and helps someone in need. There are plenty of non-profit organizations that will not only accept your donations, but some will even come and pick them up from your house to save you a trip. Browse the Salvation Army website to find a location near you to donate.

    You may also have seen donation boxes around your town. The ones where I live are usually in shopping centers, but you can find them all over. Another option you have is to donate to a local thrift store: when thrift stores resell donated items, they donate a portion of the money to charities. Some donations are even tax deductible, so be sure to get receipts for donations if you plan on claiming them on your tax return.

    5: Use It

    There is no law stating that you have to get rid of the old things you find when spring cleaning. We tend to associate a great spring clean-out with throwing things away, but I’ve definitely had an occasion or two where I found old things that I forgot about but could still use.

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    When cleaning, I suggest making a pile of the stuff that you think you might use. Just keep those items separate from everything you know you’re going to get rid of. Once you’re done cleaning, go through all of the items you set aside and keep anything you will use. The reason I recommend doing it this way is because you might find that after you’re done cleaning, you have a new use for old things. For example, you might have come across some old shelving that you were considering throwing out. After cleaning, you might need them for books, decorations, or pictures.

    Only keep items that you will have an immediate need for, however. Immediate need means that you will use it within a couple weeks, otherwise you’ll end up keeping it in the closet until the next time you clean.

    6: Throw it away

    Anything from tip #5 that you won’t have an immediate need for can be thrown away, assuming you’re not going to do anything else with it. There are certain items that you won’t have any use for at all and don’t have any value. For instance, those old shoes that have been completely worn out. Some people think that ripped and shredded clothes and shoes can be donated, but most charitable organizations do not accept broken, ripped, and well… crappy items.

    If you know that the item is completely unusable and is able to be disposed of safely, throw it away.

    7: Re-gift!

    While few people admit it, everyone will re-gift something at some point. Why spend money buying your cousin’s, wife’s, sister’s children a gift when there’s a perfectly good bobble head in the back of your closet? Re-gifting is no longer looked down upon as much as it once was. In fact, National Re-gift Day is December 19th.

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    When it comes to re-gifting, try to use some discretion and follow re-gifting etiquette. Don’t give someone an old CD that is open and nobody would want, and never re-gift something to the person that originally gave you the gift. Stick to new items that haven’t been used whenever possible—nobody wants your old boxers. Some popular items that you can re-gift are:

    • Baby clothes
    • Old electronics
    • Movies
    • Giftcards
    • Books
    • Wine and alcohol
    • Candles
    • Picture Frames

    8: Avoid Holding On

    Some of the items you come across during spring cleaning will have some sentimental value, however, it’s important not to let your feelings get in the way of getting rid of old junk. Items like a scarf that belonged to your grandma (who has since passed on) are fine to keep, but holding on to old nick-knacks that you like can really take up a lot of space.

    At a certain point in time, you have to depart from the past and move forward. Keep the items that are invaluable, but start giving some serious consideration to getting rid of the junk you can do without. If you haven’t used or looked at something in months, you probably don’t need it.

    9: Share it Online (Blog, Social Media)

    Something fun you can do with old items is to share it via social media or on a blog. For instance, maybe you came across some vintage clothing you had from years ago or an old Atari console. Tweet about it, post a picture on your Facebook page, or pin it on Pinterest. Your friends might get a kick out of it.

    If you blog, make a post about some of your odd finds, or write a post about nostalgia you got from some of the things you found in your closet.

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    10: Give Away

    I once gave away a box of stuff that I didn’t want anymore via an internet forum. I just made a thread offering to give away a secret box to whoever had post #100 in the thread. It’s fun for the recipient to go through the items because they get the excitement of being surprised. The box I sent had a game, a battery pack for an X-Box 360 controller, and some other random items. After he received the box, he posted pics of it in the thread.

    You don’t necessarily have to do the exact same thing I did, but giving away your items to people is a nice gesture. It’s similar to donating except you’re giving the stuff directly to the end user. They might pass along some of the items to someone else and start a chain of giving.

    Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a pain: use any of the tips here to add a twist to your cleaning and dealing with the junk you come across. Do you have anything cool and creative you do with your old junk?

    Green Clean Your Home

    green clean your house

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      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

        Why You Need a Vision

        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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        How to Create Your Life Vision

        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

        What Do You Want?

        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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        Some tips to guide you:

        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
        • Give yourself permission to dream.
        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

        Some questions to start your exploration:

        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
        • What qualities would you like to develop?
        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
        • What would you most like to accomplish?
        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

        A few prompts to get you started:

        • What will you have accomplished already?
        • How will you feel about yourself?
        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
        • What does your ideal day look like?
        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
        • What would you be doing?
        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
        • How are you dressed?
        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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        Plan Backwards

        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
        • What important actions would you have had to take?
        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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