But when you’re finished cleaning out your closet, what do you do with all that stuff?
“I recommend that people have a good exit strategy for things like that,” says professional organizer Kate Bosch.
Bosch says setting up a donation bag or bin near the door will prevent clutter from accumulating.
“If you don’t have it set up that you know how you’re going to get it out of your house, it just accumulates and you go, ‘Oh yeah, there’s that pile of donations, I don’t know what to do with it,’” explains Bosch.
Some local communities like Easton are trying to make donating old clothing, shoes and household items as easy as taking out the trash.
“It’s been an ongoing problem for many communities in Massachusetts,” says Easton Director of Public Works David Field.
Field says his team finds items that should be donated stuffed in the trash every day. So last month, the town of Easton partnered with curbside clothing recycling company Simple Recycling and distributed pink donation bags to Easton residents.
“Any type of clothing, shoes, even household items – kitchen items, things like that – anything that will fit inside the bag is appropriate,” explains Field.
Put it out on recycling day and Simple Recycling will take care of the rest.
Even if your town doesn’t offer Simple Recycling, Bosch says you can still donate your clothing from the comfort of home.
“Salvation Army, Savers, Big Brothers Big Sisters, all of those – Goodwill – have ways you can schedule them to pick up,” says Bosch.
For appliances, Bosch says “I know that refrigerators – National Grid often has incentives – they’ll even pay you.”
She says you can make a few bucks listing furniture on sites like Facebook marketplace.
If you just want the furniture gone, you can pay for that convenience.
“Even 1-800 Got Junk, which people think of it as a dumpster company, they take the stuff and they donate it,” says Bosch. “If it’s reusable, they’ll bring it to their donation connections.”
Bosch says many people also hold on to expired medication for way too long. Most local police stations have medication drop boxes to make disposal easy.
Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation offers a helpful disposal and donation guide.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has also compiled a similar guide.