Passing the Clutter Around

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Passing the Clutter Around

Cleaning your home can also lead to a massive decluttering of your house. Often after a big cleaning binge, you may find that you've accumulated a small mountain of items that you don't need anymore. If any of it is reusable, you may want to consider joining an online community called Freecycle (www.freecycle.org), which has localized chapters of members who let each other know what stuff they have hanging around that they would like to give away -- anything from kitchen appliances, bicycles, and furniture to magazines, clothing, and diapers (unused, of course!).

The Freecycle community takes place entirely online, after you sign up to be a part of an e-mail group (also called a listserv). The groups are local even though Freecycle is a nation-wide program. It's a great way to declutter the house and provide somebody else with something they need -- all without the hassle of staging your own yard sale. Plus, moving around possessions already in existence is a way to prevent more goods from being manufactured or being dumped into a landfill.

Similarly, you might look into turning other outdated items over to charitable programs such as the DAV (Disabled American Veterans), Goodwill, or the Salvation Army. There are also organizations that will take your old electronics (such as computers and cell phones), your printer cartridges, your eyeglasses, and even your sneakers and distribute them to others who need them. A simple Internet search will offer many options to help you get rid of some of these items in your home.

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