Declutter & Organize: 10 Things to Toss

Declutter & organize: 10 things to tossWhen preparing your home for sale, it is important to stage your home as a clean, organized living space that another individual or family can picture themselves in. One way to do this is to declutter and organize your home. To get you started, here are 10 things to toss out, compliments of Style at Home and My Domaine.

  1. Outdated technology – TVs, DVD and video players, old cell phones, chargers, etc. Check with your local recycling station to see how and where to best dispose of these items. In King County (Washington), visit the county’s e-cycle website. {Bonus tip: If you are tossing computers or cell phones, be sure to restore the device to factory settings or destroy the storage component, so no one can steal your personal information.}
  2. Old files. Whether personal or from your home office, scan needed documents and shred the originals, except for items like birth certificates and Social Security cards where you will need to hang onto the original.
  3. Bedding and mattresses. Mattresses are only good for about 10 years. If yours is older, replace it. Check pillows, sheets, towels and blankets to see which ones are ready to toss or donate.
  4. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and fire extinguishers. Replace these items periodically (check manufacturer’s recommendations for life span) with newer models to ensure your safety equipment will work when you need it.
  5. Medicines and vitamins. Dispose of outdated medicines and vitamins safely. Check to see if your town has a prescription take-back day, or visit for ways to safely dispose of these items.
  6. Make-up, nail polish and beauty products. Throw away old and outdated make-up, nail polish, lotions, perfumes, and other beauty products.
  7. Chipped or broken items. We know you really did plan to have the chipped handle of Grandma’s teapot and the upstairs vacuum repaired, but you couldn’t find the time. Toss them all. If you haven’t needed them yet, you don’t need tjem now.
  8. Extra furniture, chairs, rugs and drapes. Extra furniture, etc. has a way of collecting in our spare rooms, basements and garages, because you just never know when you might need them. These items are collecting dust and taking up space. Get rid of them. If they are in good condition, you can turn your clutter into cash by selling them on Craigslist, or donate them to a local nonprofit for a possible tax deduction.
  9. Unused gifts. Aunt Gladys had the best of intentions when she gave you the frog-shaped flower pot, but that was three years ago and you haven’t used it or regifted it yet. Toss it or donate it.
  10. If you haven’t read the Better Homes and Gardens issue from October 2012, you probably aren’t going to. Recycle it and anything that isn’t for the current year.

Parting with once-prized possessions can be difficult, but it will help your home to look its best and make your packing and moving easier.

Marti Reeder, Realtor, Managing Broker