August 25, 2023
School supplies don’t last forever. Pens and paint dry out. Rulers get broken. See what needs to be disposed of and take note of what you can use again this year such as binders, pencil cases, and lunch boxes.
Children get bigger in the blink of an eye. So, if you have kids, summer is a great time to go through their wardrobes and see what they can no longer fit into. Can another sibling wear it? What about giving it to a friend? Clothing in good condition can be donated to your local thrift shop. Then evaluate what you need for back-to-school season.
If your employer has gone to a hybrid model or you work exclusively from home now—you may have professional clothing from your pre-pandemic life. So while you shouldn’t declutter everything, you probably don’t need ten different winter wool skirts or suits anymore. These things can take up a lot of space in the closet that you could be using for more business casual looks. Throw out things that are stained, ripped, or no longer wearable, or donate clothing in good condition.
Most of us order a lot more online these days. If you’ve been saving those shipping boxes in the closet or garage for returns you never made, now is the time to get rid of them. Todd Lamson, director of franchise operations at The Junkluggers, tells me, “Avoid a surplus stockpile of cardboard boxes from your online shopping this past summer that may be taking up prime storage space.”
Cardboard boxes can also attract bugs and pests, so decluttering them is a matter of cleanliness as well.
While it’s always a good idea to keep an older smartphone or computer on hand in case something happens to your current one, a ten-year-old desktop probably isn't useful and you don’t really need that old flip phone taking up valuable storage space. “With kids going back to school and holiday shopping in full swing, you will need extra room in closets and storage space throughout your home. I suggest removing any unused or outdated electronic items in your office,” Lamson says.
Just be sure to erase the data and recycle your old batteries. Old phones can also be donated to domestic violence shelters. You may want to call a nearby shelter for more information on local programs.
Garages tend to become a dumping ground for every miscellaneous item you don't want to keep in the house. So, take an hour or two and declutter the garage before it gets too cold or too hot to do, explains Lamson. “This can include getting rid of unused sports equipment, old appliances, toys the kids have outgrown, and old or broken holiday decor you won’t be using during the upcoming holiday season.
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