Are you committed to kicking off 2013 in the best way possible? Follow along with our countdown to get a running start.
If you’ve been keeping up with our countdown, so far you’ve:
- Mentally decided to spend the month of January working the plan.
- Gathered some basic supplies to you will need.
If you want to be a part of GO! – Get Organized! – month in January but haven’t yet taken these steps, it is not too late! Just read our previous 2 blogs and catch up. The third (and final) step you need to take before January is to ready yourself for disposing of unwanted objects. Every day in January you will be sorting a different area of your home, and this will result in a pile of “stuff” you want to shed. Since piles of “stuff” don’t really make you feel organized, it will be important to get these items out of your hands as quickly as possible. Unwanted possessions will fall into 1 of 3 categories, each of which will require a different action. Your homework this week is to familiarize yourself with the 3 categories.
Dispose: These are items that are to be permanently trashed, and are no longer of value to anyone. Buzzwords here include broken, sharp, stained, expired and the like. This category is a bit more complicated than it might initially seem because not every item can go into a trash can. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is it a broken electronic? If it is, it probably needs special disposal. This category includes anything that plugs into a wall or has batteries in it. If it is a cell phone or computer, if probably has personal data stored inside it that you need to “scrub” off before getting you get rid of it. If you don’t know how to do this, you can call a local computer service store or go on the internet for help. Once your items are “clean”, they can be recycled. This is a growing business, with more and more retailers offering such a service. Many Staples stores collect cell phones, for example.
- Is it recyclable? Items such as printer cartridges, glass, metal, cardboard and the like can be recycled. The best step for recycling is to start by contacting your trash collector and asking which items they recycle. More and more towns offer mixed media recycling, special pick-up opportunities or collection sites. Staples and Costco have programs for used printer cartridges that are not only environmentally friendly but save money.
- Is it hazardous? Old paint, batteries and unused medications, for example, should not be dumped in the trash or flushed down the toilet. They need to be properly handled. Again, start with your town or trash collector to find out how to safely dispose of them.
- Is it confidential? Any paperwork which has personal information (such as Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, passwords, etc) should not go into a trash can. These need to be shredded. Household shredders are a good idea, just look for one that accommodates multiple pages at a time and is a “cross cut”.
Donate: These are items which are still in good enough condition to be used, but you no longer need or want them. Ask yourself:
- Do I want to try and sell it? There are a variety of options available for reselling items that are in good condition. If you have a garage full of items, you may want to consider a yard sale. These take a lot of effort, but can bring in a fair return, especially if you advertise in advance. If you have a few nice items, but a yard sale isn’t for you, consider Craig’s list, ebay or a consignment store. Many areas have stores which sell gently used clothing, often to benefit a charity.
- Do I want to just get rid of it? If you have a lot of items, or items that are too large for you to put into your car, consider scheduling a home pick-up. Both the Salvation Army (1-800-SATRUCK) and Vietnam Veterans of America (pickupplease.org) will pick up items at your home. If you have a small amount of items, such as a box of old clothes, there are drop-off containers in most communities that will either pass the items on to the needy or recycle the contents to benefit a charity. Goodwill and other local establishments will also take your items if you drop them off, or come and pick up larger items. If you like, ask for a tax write-off form to keep track of the items you donate so that you can deduct the appropriate amount at the end of the year.
Deliver: These are items you’ve stumbled across that belong to someone else. The casserole dish that a friend left at your house, a watch you found after your daughter’s slumber party, the fertilizer spreader you borrowed from your neighbor, etc. Tag these items with the name/location of the rightful owner and then you can load them into your car and deliver them.
If you’ve read this list, you are ready to go. If you want more information on where to donate/dispose of items, email The Seana Method at Seanagt@gmail.com. We have a resource sheet we can email you. The Seana Method wishes you a very happy holiday season, and we will “see” you in January here on The Patch with a task each day. Spread the word – and we hope you will join us!
Submitted by Seana Turner, founder and president of The Seana Method.
See the "Get Organized with Seana Turner" topics page on Patch, with blog posts for Get Organized Month.