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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 March 13, 2019

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

      1. Work on the small tasks.

      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

      2. Take a break from your work desk.

      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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      3. Upgrade yourself

      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

      4. Talk to a friend.

      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

      7. Read a book (or blog).

      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

      8. Have a quick nap.

      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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      9. Remember why you are doing this.

      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

      10. Find some competition.

      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

      11. Go exercise.

      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

      12. Take a good break.

      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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