Spring Cleaning: Do You Have a Disposal Plan?

Spring is the best time to get a fresh start, especially in your closets and cupboards! But what are you going to do with all of that stuff you don’t want or need any longer?

Seeing piles of things that you are uncertain about can cause stress and make your projects feel unfinished. I always recommend that you start your spring cleaning projects with a disposal plan.

Here are some categories for disposal:

  • TRASH AND RECYCLING: What day does your garbage pickup happen? Do they take bulky items? Give a quick call to your waste disposal company or city office if you don’t know. If you need some things hauled away, many Goodwill® agencies around the country have partnered with our friends at College Hunks Hauling, who, for a fee, will pick up your items and take them to the dump, to be recycled if possible and to Goodwill for donation—all in one truck with minimal effort on your part! They will even come inside to move things around and bring them into the truck outside.
  • GIVE TO SOMEONE ELSE: Sometimes there are items you don’t want to toss or even donate, because they belong to someone else and need returning or they are very special and you want to keep them in your family. For example, maybe you have a lot of baby or maternity clothing that you promised to a sister-in-law. As you are organizing this spring, make sure you place these items in your car right away or make a plan for someone to come and get them. Call or text that person now before the items sit in your garage for too long! And you can give the person a deadline on the decision or pickup time, after which you will donate the items.
  • HAZARDOUS WASTE: If you are cleaning out your garage, you may run into chemicals—like lawn fertilizers, paint, batteries or pesticides—that are dangerous to throw in your normal garbage can. You can check Earth911.com for the hazardous waste disposal locations in your area. It also provides information about many specific items that can or cannot be recycled.

One big note of caution: Don’t get bogged down in perfectionism with your disposal plan! If you are the type of person who wants to find the “perfect home” for every item, you are going to slow yourself down to a grinding halt. Having one place to donate, such as Goodwill, is a better solution for quickly clearing your clutter.

And if you are planning to give a lot of items to your adult children or grandchildren, be considerate of whether they truly want the items or if you are just wishing they would take them. Remember that your treasure might be someone else’s clutter! If your relatives hesitate or hedge, it might be a clue that you should donate those items to Goodwill instead, so they can go toward finding jobs for people in your community and providing other job-related services.

Spring forward into a fresh start by helping others!