declutter http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10676/all en-US How I Make $800 on Month on eBay Selling Used Clothes http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-make-800-on-month-on-ebay-selling-used-clothes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-i-make-800-on-month-on-ebay-selling-used-clothes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-181129866.jpg" alt="Woman making $800 a month by selling clothes on eBay" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I graduated from college and started my first job, I was on a strict budget. I was always looking for ways to make extra cash and save money. I built my work wardrobe entirely from thrift store finds. It was while I was thrifting that I stumbled across one of my most lucrative side gigs: reselling clothes on eBay.</p> <h2>How I got my start</h2> <p>I love NYDJ jeans. They're the only jeans that fit me off the rack without tailoring. But they cost about $120 brand-new, which was way outside my budget. I would peruse the thrift store aisles, hoping to find a pair in my size.</p> <p>One day I did find a pair, but they were three sizes too small. But at just $4, they were too good of a deal to pass up. I bought them, thinking one of my friends would want them. But on a whim, I decided to check how much they go for on eBay. A used pair often goes for $30 or $40. I sold that first pair within a week and pocketed $25, after fees.</p> <p>It got me thinking about other things I could sell online. Within a few weeks, I was selling about 20 items a week and pocketing $800 a month in profits.</p> <h2>Building this hobby into a business</h2> <p>At first, I started very small. I bought just a few items at a time to sell and had very little in terms of supplies. I mostly relied on free priority shipping envelopes from the post office and printed shipping labels at the library. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-fine-to-fabulous-7-ways-to-improve-your-ebay-business?ref=seealso" target="_blank">From Fine to Fabulous: 7 Ways to Improve Your eBay Business</a>)</p> <p>But once I had made several hundred dollars from this, I started taking it more seriously and reinvested in my business. I added the following tools and supplies to support the expansion.</p> <h3>Bulk vinyl envelopes for shipping</h3> <p>By switching to the vinyl envelopes and the scale, I could ship for much less money.</p> <h3>A dress form</h3> <p>The dress form made my clothes look better in photographs and helped make them more appealing to buyers.</p> <h3>Professional business cards</h3> <p>I also researched the competition, and ordered business cards with my eBay store name on them.</p> <h3>HTML templates</h3> <p>Another thing I noticed was that other sellers weren't just typing in the item description like I was. They had polished templates. I had zero HTML experience, but I found free eBay store templates, and I learned enough in order to customize them. It made my store look much more professional, and buyers were more comfortable buying from me.</p> <h3>Better photos</h3> <p>Other sellers also removed the backgrounds in their photos to highlight the items better. I mimicked that approach with a site that does the work for you, and I saw an increase in my selling prices.</p> <h2>Focusing on eBay best-sellers</h2> <p>Just about anything sells on eBay. But if you're looking to start your own store, it's a good idea to pick a niche you know well. By focusing on a specific customer type, you can build up your clientele and get repeat customers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-can-resell-on-ebay-that-make-the-most-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Things You Can Resell on eBay That Make the Most Money</a>)</p> <p>I've helped new sellers get started on eBay, and one of the most common problems that comes up is when a seller is tempted to sell things outside their niche. You might stumble across a set of china or sports equipment that just looks expensive. But unless you know a lot about that kind of item, you have no idea if it's junk or a treasure. And buying inventory without knowing if it will turn a profit can be a costly mistake.</p> <p>My niche was women's clothing, particularly workwear. I specialized in jackets, suits, dresses, and cardigans. I'd look for name brands and quality fabrics &mdash; cashmere, angora, and lamb's wool &mdash; and items in excellent condition. I'd check out thrift stores, estate sales, flea markets, and clothing swaps.</p> <p>If I thought an item looked to be high-quality but didn't recognize the brand, I'd search for it on eBay. Under &quot;filters,&quot; you can search for sold listings. The results would let me know if the item would sell for enough money to make it worthwhile; with eBay's fees, I aimed to sell items for at least four times what I paid for it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-always-buy-and-sell-on-ebay?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Things You Should Always Buy and Sell on eBay</a>)</p> <h2>Cashing in on eBay</h2> <p>By being diligent, I was able to make nearly $10,000 in one year from selling on eBay. That was money I used to pay down debt and bulk up my savings, and it gave me much-needed room in my budget. You can get started selling without a lot of startup costs or expenses, so you can start making money right away.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-make-800-on-month-on-ebay-selling-used-clothes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/selling-stuff-online-avoid-these-8-flipping-mistakes">Selling Stuff Online? Avoid These 8 Flipping Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-businesses-your-tween-can-start">13 Businesses Your Tween Can Start</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash">10 Easiest Items to &quot;Flip&quot; for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-bodily-fluids-you-can-exchange-for-cash">5 Bodily Fluids You Can Exchange for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-cool-jobs-for-fashion-lovers">18 Cool Jobs for Fashion Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Shopping declutter earn more money extra income extra money sell your stuff selling clothes side gig side hustle Wed, 26 Apr 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Kat Tretina 1934680 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-612846420.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spring cleaning is in full swing, which means it's out with the old, and in with the new. So why not earn some extra cash by throwing a garage sale and ridding your home of your unwanted items? Here are 12 perennially popular items that are sure to sell like hot cakes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Easiest Items to &quot;Flip&quot; for Cash</a>)</p> <h2>1. Gently used clothing, in good condition</h2> <p>Everyone needs clothes, and savvy shoppers know you don't have to pay retail to look good. I once met a lumber &quot;baroness&quot; who confided in me that she bought all of her clothes at yard sales. Good quality holds up, and regular yard sale shoppers know that.</p> <p>For women's and men's, hang clothes up on a rack, rather than folded on a table or in a box. It makes it much easier for people to go through it, as well as to examine it for stains or tears. For kids' clothing, folding it is fine, but it's nice if the sizes are noted and sorted. Many garage-sale shoppers are resellers, and they may take you up on a &quot;$__ per bag&quot; offer.</p> <h2>2. Tools</h2> <p>My husband is like a moth to a flame when it comes to a garage sale with tools. He not only likes power tools, but also older, vintage ones that are not only still useful, but fun to collect and display.</p> <p>When selling your old tools, have a power strip nearby so power tools can be tested, or have them charged up if used with a battery.</p> <h2>3. Furniture</h2> <p>If you live in a college town, furniture is sure to go fast. Also, with DIY projects soaring in popularity, more people are looking for furniture that can be remade. Bookshelves will always sell &mdash; even old, beat up bookcases can be used for storage!</p> <p>Make sure any furniture you sell is clean. Old leather furniture can be spiffed up using a mixture of vinegar, olive oil, and a little lemon juice. Vacuum upholstered furniture and treat any spots. Also, suggest a price, but be open to negotiation.</p> <h2>4. Vintage dishes, glassware, and casseroles</h2> <p>Any Pyrex collectors out there? How about milk glass, or Spode? You may have some items hidden away in your cupboards that are hot.</p> <p>When you go to sell these items, advertise using the brand name (i.e., Pyrex, milk glass, Corningware, etc.); add photos to your ad, too. Collectors will flock to you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-old-knick-knacks-you-can-flip-for-easy-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Old Knick-Knacks You Can Flip for Easy Cash</a>)</p> <h2>5. Garden tools</h2> <p>Spring fever also means that home gardeners are eager to start tilling, trimming, planting, and digging.</p> <p>Be prepared to start up that old lawn mower, or be honest about what isn't working. Handy folks may be willing to take a chance that they can get a broken item running again. We just bought a garden tiller for $15. It wasn't running, but my husband knew how to fix it. Sometimes, a shovel blade or rake may be fine, but the wooden handles are rotting. You can purchase new handles at Home Depot or Lowe's. But price these items accordingly, if a replacement is going to be necessary.</p> <h2>6. Shoes and handbags</h2> <p>Think nobody would want to buy your old shoes? Guess again. Shoes, especially if in good condition and carrying a popular brand name, sell like hot cakes at garage sales. Kids grow out of shoes so fast that size doesn't matter. If they're too big now, they'll probably grow into them later. Handbags are also enormously popular &mdash; especially if it's a designer label.</p> <p>When selling shoes or old purses, obviously, clean and odor-free are necessities. If you still have the original boxes, that's a plus. The key factor with shoes and bags is showcasing any designer brands. Put the designers in your garage sale ad, and place them front and center during the sale. Then watch the flock of shoppers arrive.</p> <h2>7. Costume jewelry</h2> <p>If your jewelry box is overflowing with costume jewelry and statement pieces you know you'll never wear, a garage sale is the perfect place to unload them.</p> <p>Find a rack of some sort to hang necklaces on (a coat hanger will do, in a pinch). Bracelets can go on a dowel. Just make sure to keep costume jewelry close to your cashier area because sadly, some folks will try to pocket it.</p> <h2>8. Games, toys, and bicycles</h2> <p>Have too many toys and games cluttering up the house? Give them a new home by selling them at your garage sale. Vintage games being popular at the moment, you should be able to easily sell Monopoly or Life. Before you sell these, make sure you have all the game pieces. &quot;Lil' Tykes&quot; plastic furniture is always popular, too. Pump up bike tires for bikes you're looking to unload, and give them a wash.</p> <h2>9. Books</h2> <p>It doesn't matter how fancy or state-of-the-art e-readers become &mdash; actual books will always be easy to sell. Make the ones you no longer want super cheap &mdash; $1&ndash;$3 each &mdash; and they'll fly off your shelves.</p> <h2>10. Appliances</h2> <p>I know, you just had to have a Magic Bullet, or a bread-maker, or a hand blender. And now they're sitting on your kitchen counter, collecting dust. I'm guilty of this, too. Luckily, people love appliances, and you can probably unload them.</p> <p>When you sell them, it's a good idea to have a power strip handy so folks can make sure they work. They should also be spotlessly clean. Check eBay to see what they're going for before pricing.</p> <h2>11. Camping gear</h2> <p>Purchasing new camping gear gets a little pricey. However, used gear is usually still in decent condition, since it only usually gets used a few times each year. Yard and garage sales are the best places to get it, and smart shoppers will snap it up.</p> <p>Make sure to mention the items in your ad and include pictures. Open up tents so people can see the size.</p> <h2>12. Exercise equipment</h2> <p>So, you bought that trendy elliptical machine when you were still clutching the remains of your fitness resolutions. If you didn't use it, that's OK! time to get it out of your garage and into someone else's.</p> <p>Specify what you have, and put pictures in your ad. Basic exercise equipment, like weights, will usually go quickly, but older treadmills or exercise bikes may linger, depending on how you price them and how quickly you want to get rid of them.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash">10 Easiest Items to &quot;Flip&quot; for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time">How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life — One Step at a Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization cleaning declutter extra cash garage sale sell your stuff spring cleaning yard sale Wed, 19 Apr 2017 08:30:09 +0000 Marla Walters 1930302 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 48 Ways to Master the Art of Decluttering in Time for Spring http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_clutter_clothes_520127146.jpg" alt="Woman mastering the art of decluttering in time for spring" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With spring about to be sprung, it's time to tidy up your life. A major aspect of that is clearing out the clutter. Because once clutter accumulates, you lose track of things, your stress increases, and it really just gets in your way. Who needs that? Here's how to maximize your full decluttering potential when it comes time to spring clean.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/three_coffee_mugs_75581393_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-and-declutter-by-selling-these-5-unlikely-treasures?ref=seealso">Make Money and Declutter by Selling These 5 Unlikely Treasures</a> &mdash; There are certain items in your house right now that can bring in some extra cash. If you're not using it, why not make a little money instead, right? Clear the junk and fill your bank account.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter?ref=seealso">My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter</a> &mdash; A fantastic way to get ready to declutter is to hear another person's success story on the process. And nobody maximizes their space and earning potential quite like Max Wong. She can practically turn dust into diamonds and sell them to a major jeweler. She'll steer you right.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman-clothes-rack-Dollarphotoclub_75282538.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter?ref=seealso">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a> &mdash; Your clutter is there for a reason. The items occupying all your free space might have sentimental value, or you might have a bit of FOMO at the thought of throwing something away. These self-reflective questions will help you understand why you need to declutter in the first place, and how to avoid it altogether in the future.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-old-clothes-into-money-with-these-4-tools-and-apps?ref=seealso">Turn Old Clothes Into Money With These 4 Tools and Apps</a> &mdash; If I had a dollar every time I went into my closet and noticed a dress or shirt I never wear anymore, I'd be rich. Well, now I can put my money where my mouth is (and so can you!) by selling those unwanted pieces through these helpful apps and tools.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-493440144.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free?ref=seealso">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a> &mdash; This method for decluttering is particularly brilliant, because it has you start out small. These tips also help you change the way you think about tangible things as soon as they come into your possession, and decide immediately whether or not you really need them.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-words-you-need-to-declutter-your-life?ref=seealso">The Only 5 Words You Need to Declutter Your Life</a> &mdash; Enter into Spring Cleaning season with this five-word mantra and you'll glide into summer as free as a bird. It's as easy as Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot. Yup, rot. Now get to work!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time">How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life — One Step at a Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Lifestyle clean declutter decluttering fbf flashback friday saving money sell your stuff spring cleaning Fri, 17 Mar 2017 10:30:24 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1910936 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-493440144.jpg" alt="Learning how to keep your entire life clutter-free" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A preponderance of personal property is an almost universal problem for Americans who have easy access to both credit and cheap goods. Everywhere you turn, there are suggestions and advice on how to declutter, live simply, and embrace minimalism.</p> <p>Often the suggestions start with the idea that you need to be brutal when culling your possessions. If you're not the type to commune with your higher self in an empty room in a mountain cabin, such decluttering advice seems far too extreme. Even if you do hope to achieve Zen mastery of your minimalist home, the cull-it-all type of advice can be wildly optimistic for anyone who has things other than decluttering going on in their lives.</p> <p>That's why it's a good idea to follow the slow-and-steady path to declutter. Here are 10 ways you can declutter your home without actually having to commit acts of wanton purging. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter</a>)</p> <h2>1. Stop Clutter at Its Source</h2> <p>Before your possessions became clutter, they were cute items on retail shelves that you couldn't resist bringing home with you. The easiest way to deal with clutter is to not create it. Commit to only buying items you truly need and learn how to say no to free stuff &mdash; whether it's swag from the company retreat or hand-me-downs that you know won't be used.</p> <h2>2. Get Rid of Things as You Notice Them</h2> <p>Many decluttering experts will give you what amounts to an assignment to declutter &mdash; either commit to getting rid of one item a day or declutter over a weekend. An easy way to divest yourself of things is to get rid of them as you notice them. It's very easy to look at the stack of cough medicine measuring cups in your bathroom drawer and think, <em>I'll get rid of those later.</em> But there is no time like the present. When you notice something that doesn't need to be in your house, get rid of it right away.</p> <h2>3. Keep a Donation Bag by the Door</h2> <p>Part of the reason why it can be so difficult to get rid of perfectly good items is the fact that you don't have enough to make the trip to Goodwill worthwhile. So get in the habit of leaving a bag for donations by the door, so that you can collect the items you plan to donate without allowing them to continue to clutter up your space.</p> <h2>4. Make a Donation Run a Regular Part of Your Errands</h2> <p>I am embarrassed to admit that I have been carrying three bags of clothes and other miscellany in the trunk of my car for over six months. I intend to donate the items to Goodwill, but I am out of the habit of making donations as part of my regular errands. When I regularly go to Goodwill or the Salvation Army on a weekly or twice-a-month basis, it is much easier to commit to decluttering.</p> <p>Find the local donation center for you, and plan on making a stop there every week or every other week on the same day you go grocery shopping. Make donating items a regular habit.</p> <h2>5. Place Items You're Not Sure About in a One-Year Box</h2> <p>This rule will allow you to determine just how often you use things you are afraid to give up. Set up this box in the basement or the garage, and as you clean, place items you don't use but don't want to get rid of into it. Once the box is full, seal it and date it for one year in the future. If you have not used the items in the box within that year, then donate or trash the box without opening it. It's likely you won't even recall its exact contents.</p> <h2>6. Ask Yourself Two Important Questions for Each Item You Find</h2> <p>Dana K. White, who blogs about her journey to cleanliness at <a href="http://www.aslobcomesclean.com/2010/02/my-two-decluttering-questions/" target="_blank">A Slob Comes Clean</a>, learned to ask herself two questions while she decluttered her home:</p> <ul> <ul> <li>If I needed this item, where would I look for it? That will prompt you to put item away in its new, sensible home.</li> </ul> </ul> <ul> <li>If I needed this item, would it <em>ever occur</em> to me that I already have one? If it wouldn't, then you can go ahead and get rid of the item because you'd just buy another one anyway when the need for it arises.</li> </ul> <p>Answering these questions will force you to make a decision about each item you find.</p> <h2>7. Redefine Waste</h2> <p>It can be difficult to part with items you don't need if you spent good money on them. You would hate to waste the hard-earned money you spent by donating or trashing a perfectly good item &mdash; so you plan to either start using it or sell it, neither of which happen.</p> <p>A simple attitude adjustment can help to make this conundrum much simpler. Remember that the money has been wasted already, and is therefore wasted whether or not you keep the item. So you might as well not also waste the space on the item in addition to the money. Why give up both your money <em>and </em>your clean home to something that was a waste?</p> <h2>8. Create a What-Would-You-Replace List</h2> <p>If you are paralyzed by the size of your decision to get rid of some things, try looking at your decluttering in reverse. Start by asking yourself, &quot;What items would I replace if I lost everything in a flood or fire?&quot; You can feel confident that anything you'd be willing to buy again is something worth keeping, whereas the things that you wouldn't replace can go.</p> <h2>9. Give Away Your Possessions as Gifts to People Who Will Appreciate Them</h2> <p>While getting rid of things can be psychologically difficult, giving gifts tends to feel great. So start thinking about decluttering as an opportunity to give your family and friends things they would love. For instance, as you look through your books or DVDs, pull out any that you think a friend or family member would enjoy. If you have a set of fancy china you don't use, give it to a friend who collects china or one who needs a set of dinnerware.</p> <p>To make sure you're not just shifting the clutter to another person, make sure you ask before you give the gifts to your friends and family &mdash; and be willing to take no for an answer.</p> <h2>10. Spend Small Amounts of Down Time Decluttering</h2> <p>You might think that you need an entire weekend, or at least an uninterrupted hour, to declutter your home. But you have more time than you think you do. Take the time while your burrito microwaves to look through the utensil drawer to see if there is anything you can throw away or put in the donation bag. The two minutes you would otherwise be watching your lunch rotate around could be time spent purging items you don't need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/declutter-your-home-in-10-minutes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Declutter Your Home in 10 Minutes a Day</a>)</p> <p>Similarly, instead of hitting the Skip Advertisement button on the YouTube video five seconds in, let the commercial play and you can take that time to find the dry pens and stubby pencils that are cluttering up your office drawer.</p> <p>Anytime you are forced to wait is time you could use to find something that no longer belongs in your home.</p> <h2>Decluttering Is a Path, Not a Destination</h2> <p>The thing to remember about finally achieving your decluttered home is you will need to commit to making decluttering a regular habit. Unfortunately, there is no point at which you are done &mdash; but that also means that small actions taken on a regular basis can make a huge difference.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time">How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life — One Step at a Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring">Flashback Friday: 48 Ways to Master the Art of Decluttering in Time for Spring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization cleaning tips clear the clutter clutter declutter decluttering organize your life spring cleaning Fri, 10 Mar 2017 10:30:32 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1905171 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life — One Step at a Time http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-524177336.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to spring clean her whole life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>'Tis the season for cleaning and organization. We've spent the winter hibernating and surrounded by all of our material things that have provided us comfort. But once spring has sprung, we'll want our spaces to be more open, a lot cleaner, and we'll want to pack away all the cold weather garb we've been clinging to the last few months.</p> <p>The concept of spring cleaning doesn't need to be limited to the literal cleaning of our homes, though. We could all use a bit more organization and decluttering in <em>every </em>aspect of our lives. The coming of spring signifies a fresh start, so why not take some time now to cut out all the things you don't need and simplify your life?</p> <p>Here are some ideas to help get you started.</p> <h2>1. Cut Down on Your Time Commitments</h2> <p>If you are finding yourself completely booked all the time, you may want to learn the art of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-say-no-to-friends-and-family?ref=internal" target="_blank">saying &quot;no.&quot;</a>&nbsp;In my own life, I have worked hard at fighting my people-pleasing ways. Saying no the first time is hard, but it gets easier the more you do it. You can always say yes to something that really motivates or inspires you. Otherwise, try to focus on the most important things in your life and let go of the stress over over-commitment.</p> <h2>2. Minimize Your Routine</h2> <p>If getting ready in the morning takes up a chunk of your time, you may want to consider ways to simplify. If deciding what to wear is using up precious time, try following a more minimalistic clothing approach. I like&nbsp;<a href="http://bemorewithless.com/project-333/" target="_blank">Project 333</a>, where you choose 33 or fewer clothing items and wear only those items for three months. If it's your hair or makeup routine that's eating into your morning, consider getting a more manageable cut that's wash-and-go versus needing a full blowout. Toss old makeup and keep only the basics (and try going sans makeup from time to time). (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-a-downsized-wardrobe-you-love?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Build a Downsized Wardrobe You Love</a>)</p> <h2>3. Drill Down Your Career Goals</h2> <p>Determining career goals can be tricky &mdash; especially if you are highly motivated. But the key is to be specific. Don't try to take on too much at one time. For example, you may want to find a new job, get a raise, and network more. Too many goals may lead you to over-scheduling and generally feeling overwhelmed, thus spinning your wheels.</p> <p>Choosing just one goal to go after &mdash; even if your goals are seemingly related &mdash; may bring you the most success. When opportunities do arise, ask yourself first if they are activities that align with your primary career goal. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-say-no-at-work-and-still-get-ahead?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Say No at Work and Still Get Ahead</a>)</p> <h2>4. Find Fun in Fitness</h2> <p>Figure out a fitness schedule and stick with it. If you've been paying for a gym membership but you never go, ask yourself why. Do you need a buddy to go with you? Does it get too crowded during the time of day you like to go? Or on the flip side, do you lack motivation to workout at home with free options? Then you might need to bite the bullet and sign up for a studio class. Find the hurdle and remove it. Exercising more helps you manage stress and feel better. It's an essential part of staying healthy. Don't neglect this. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These At-Home Exercises Will Give You a Gym-Quality Workout For Free</a>)</p> <h2>5. Be Conscious About Food</h2> <p>Sometimes eating lots of processed foods and takeout can make you feel clogged up both physically and mentally. You may want to eat a healthy diet but don't know where to start. Here's a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story/take-28-day-challenge" target="_blank">28-day challenge</a> that can get you off on the right foot.</p> <p>Focus on the pillars of healthy eating:</p> <ul> <li>Eat whole foods;</li> <li>Eat the colors of the rainbow;</li> <li>Enjoy foods packed with micronutrients;</li> <li>Get your fats from plant sources.</li> </ul> <p>Also, try shopping the perimeter of grocery stores versus the middle aisles where most processed foods are shelved.</p> <h2>6. Be Selective of Your Social Circle</h2> <p>Surround yourself with only the people who bring the best out of you. If someone is constantly bringing their negative energy into your life and there's no way to change that, cut them off.</p> <h2>7. Limit Your Social Media Time</h2> <p>Facebook can be a great place to build your network or reconnect with old friends. But if you're finding yourself at midnight, deeply angered at the political rantings of a classmate you had back in third grade, it may be time to step away for a while. I share this from personal experience.</p> <h2>8. Cut Back on Screen Time</h2> <p>Most Americans watch shows and movies around&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/30/health/americans-screen-time-nielsen/" target="_blank">four and a half hours per day</a>. That's a lot of time that you could spend working toward your goals. Whenever you think about all the things you wished you had more time for, think about what shows you can cut that will still allow you some down time or entertainment but also get you off the couch doing something productive.</p> <h2>9. Demolish Your Debt</h2> <p>Bills are the area of focus in my household right now. My husband and I have grown tired of all the loan payments for cars, college debt, and home improvements. We have sent checks for years without thinking much about the interest. We've decided we're going to try the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-debt-snowball-method-0" target="_blank">snowball method</a> to pay off our debt ASAP. It's never a bad time to look at your finances and make your&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-stop-waiting-for-tomorrow?ref=internal" target="_blank">get-out-of-debt plan</a>.</p> <h2>10. Clear the Clutter</h2> <p>Speaking of freeing up the budget, you may want to have an internal conversation with yourself about your attachment to stuff. One way to spring clean your life is to actually do a little spring cleaning.</p> <p>I most enjoy the&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2lEdamU" target="_blank">KonMari method</a>, where you physically touch each item in your home and see if it brings you joy. If not, you can toss or donate or give to a friend. Skeptical? Many people who have gone through this process have found it to be transformative. Things can really weigh down your mind (and your wallet, for that matter). (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-a-day-to-defeat-clutter-forever?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Do This One Thing a Day to Defeat Clutter Forever</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring">Flashback Friday: 48 Ways to Master the Art of Decluttering in Time for Spring</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization cleaning house declutter organize your life spring spring clean spring cleaning Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:00:13 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1900126 at http://www.wisebread.com Turn Old Clothes Into Money With These 4 Tools and Apps http://www.wisebread.com/turn-old-clothes-into-money-with-these-4-tools-and-apps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/turn-old-clothes-into-money-with-these-4-tools-and-apps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_43524688_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="use these apps to get money for old clothes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A great way to make extra side cash is to clean out your closet and sell clothes you no longer wear. Not only will you make a few bucks, but you will also benefit from decluttering.</p> <p>Getting top dollar for your used clothing can be tricky, especially if you try to sell your clothes at a yard sale or through a Facebook selling group. Instead, try these top sites and apps to make more on your old threads.</p> <h2>1. eBay</h2> <p>Let's start with the most obvious: eBay. It can be a hit or miss for selling clothing. I have listed several higher-end brand name items, such as a rare pair of True Religion jeans, but felt like they did not sell as well as they could have. However, other brands have sold better than I expected. I listed an Old Navy peacoat last winter with the assumption that anything is better than selling it for $2 at a garage sale. The coat sold for almost $40, which was more than I originally paid.</p> <p>So check the recent selling prices for clothing like yours. You can do this by dropping your item into the search box, clicking &quot;advanced,&quot; and then check sold listing and hit &quot;search&quot; again. This will allow you to see every similar item that sold in the past 30 days and give you a better idea of how much you can make on your item.</p> <h2>2. Poshmark</h2> <p>Business Insider shared a story of one <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/how-a-mom-earned-500000-on-poshmark-2015-11">mom who made $50,000</a> from selling clothes on <a href="https://poshmark.com/what_is_poshmark">Poshmark</a> last year. With PoshMark, you get to set your prices, and listing is as easy as listing on eBay. However, unlike eBay, shoppers prefer better quality photo listings. However, don't let your photo skills keep you from trying the app out.</p> <h2>3. Tradesy</h2> <p><a href="https://www.tradesy.com/">Tradesy</a> is another easy-to-use site that allows you to set your price points for clothes. The site also makes shipping items simple, since the company sends you free shipping boxes and prepaid labels.</p> <p>Tradesy charges a 9% commission and a 2.9% fee if you transfer your earnings to PayPal. And if a buyer decides to return an item, Tradesy will accept the return and allow you to keep your earnings.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-and-declutter-by-selling-these-5-unlikely-treasures?ref=seealso">Make Money and Declutter by Selling These 5 Unlikely Treasures</a></p> <h2>4. ThredUp</h2> <p>Don't feel like listing each of your clothing items for sale? No problem. <a href="https://www.thredup.com/">ThredUp</a> allows you to cash in on your clothing with as little effort as possible. All you have to do is sign up for an account and request a free bag from the site. Once your bag arrives, fill it with acceptable items and then seal it. Attached to the bag is a prepaid shipping label, so you can drop it off at the post office or request an at-home pick up.</p> <p>ThredUp is extremely convenient and fast to use, but with that convenience comes a couple minor drawbacks. For example, your items will probably not get you as much as you hoped for. You can request your unaccepted items back, but this will cost $9.99 and it must be selected before you order your bag. It also takes a few weeks for the ThredUp team to process the bags they've received, so you won't get a payout immediately. Still, it's better than having the clothes collect dust in your closet, right?</p> <p><em>Where do you sell your used clothes when you are done with them? Share with us</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-old-clothes-into-money-with-these-4-tools-and-apps">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-start-flipping-items-for-cash-online">What You Need to Start Flipping Items for Cash Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash">10 Easiest Items to &quot;Flip&quot; for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-for-the-tech-challenged-traveler">7 Apps for the Tech-Challenged Traveler</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-smartphone-costs-while-traveling">8 Ways to Save on Smartphone Costs While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/prizes-and-freebies-from-coupsmart-for-the-iphone">Prizes and Freebies from CoupSmart for the iPhone</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Technology apps clean out closet closet clutter clothes declutter sell your clothes sell your stuff technology tools Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:30:14 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1775889 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Clear Out Financial Clutter http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clear-out-financial-clutter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-clear-out-financial-clutter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_85246829_LARGE.jpg" alt="clearing out financial clutter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Clearing clutter out of your home can make you instantly more organized and can simplify your life. Clearing away any unnecessary items can also help you find happiness. The same concept goes for your finances. By clearing out financial clutter, you can decrease financial stress in your life, save time during tax season, and get a better grip on your personal finances.</p> <h2>What to Keep</h2> <p>The first step in clearing away paper clutter is deciding what to keep and what to toss.</p> <h3>Tax Records</h3> <p>It is crucial that you keep any tax records for seven years, as the IRS can audit you up to seven years later. This is especially important if you are self-employed. If you are ever hit with an IRS audit, you may need to produce physical documents, so it's a good idea to keep the records together in a large envelope or folder for each tax year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-shred-or-not-to-shred-how-long-to-keep-your-tax-records?ref=seealso">To Shred or Not to Shred: How Long to Keep Your Tax Records</a>)</p> <p>According to LearnVest, you'll want to <a href="https://www.learnvest.com/2014/08/how-to-organize-your-finances/2/">keep the following for tax purposes</a>:</p> <ul> <ul> <li>Previous income tax returns</li> <li>Pay stubs</li> <li>Financial statements for investment accounts</li> <li>Bank statements</li> <li>Credit card statements that have a record of tax-deductible items you purchased</li> </ul> </ul> <p>If any of the above items can be pulled up online and printed, then you won't need to keep a paper copy.</p> <h3>Important Personal Documents</h3> <p>Certain items should never be thrown away, such as a marriage license, birth certificate, will, life insurance policies, and record of paid mortgage. You want to keep these in a secure place, like a filing cabinet or safety deposit box. It's also a good idea to keep medical bills and canceled insurance policies for at least three years.</p> <p>Anything related to your home, such as repair bills and the bill of sale, should be kept for as long as you own the home. The same rule applies to your vehicles.</p> <p>You will also want to keep contracts, insurance documents, and retirement plan records for as long as they are still valid. You may also want to keep receipts for major purchases, like expensive furniture, in case you need to file an insurance claim in the future.</p> <h3>Warranties</h3> <p>It is important that you keep any warranties or guarantees for as long as they are valid. If the warranty requires you to send the original UPC code, simply staple the warranty, scan code, and receipt together. Write the warranty expiration date on the front so that you can go through your warranties and toss any expired ones at the end of the year.</p> <h3>The One-Year Rule</h3> <p>In most cases, you can dispose of the following items after one year, once they've been reconciled with your W-2 and annual statement:</p> <ul> <ul> <li>Paycheck stubs</li> <li>Bank records</li> <li>Cancelled checks</li> <li>Quarterly investment statements</li> </ul> </ul> <p>If you need any of these items for tax purposes, then it's best to keep them for at least three years.</p> <h2>What to Toss</h2> <p>According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, <a href="http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/contact-us/community/TIPS-FROM-THE-NATIONAL-ASSOCIATION-OF-PROFESSIONAL-ORGANIZERS-278382951.html">80% of what we file</a> never gets looked at again, so it's time to start tossing unnecessary files and paperwork.</p> <h3>Monthly Statements</h3> <p>In most cases, any utility, phone, credit card, and loan statements can be pulled up online, so there's no reason to keep a paper copy for your records. Some financial institutions will even offer a discount to customers if you choose to receive your statements online or via email. You can also call and request statements later, if needed. If you like keeping financial statements around, consider just keeping the year-end statement for your records. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-finally-make-your-finances-paperless?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Finally Make Your Finances Paperless</a>)</p> <h3>Receipts and ATM Slips</h3> <p>Unless you will need the receipt for tax purposes, in most cases, it's a good idea to throw the receipt away. If you think you may need to return the item at some point, then keep the receipt until the return period has expired. Once you balance your checkbook, you can also dispose of any ATM deposit slips.</p> <h3>Mutual Fund Prospectuses</h3> <p>Mutual fund prospectuses can pile up rather quickly. Instead of keeping the financial clutter around your home, simply look through the prospectus for important changes or information and then chuck it. You can always pull up the prospectus online if you need it.</p> <h3>Close Accounts You Don't Need</h3> <p>Once you've gotten a handle on your bills and which accounts you have, you may find that you have accounts open that you don't need. For instance, if you have more than one bank account, it may be a good idea to close the ones with the highest service fees. Having fewer accounts makes tracking, monitoring, and balancing your budget easier.</p> <p>If you have various investment accounts or retirement accounts from former employers, you may want to roll over your old accounts to your new employer's plan so that you won't have to worry about managing investments all over the place. This can also save you money on investment account fees. If you're planning on selling stocks or investments, then you'll want to keep the records for at least three years as documentation for capital gains taxes.</p> <h2>What You'll Need to Buy</h2> <p>For especially important documents, such as stock certificates and government savings bonds, you may want to consider investing in a safety deposit box. This will ensure that you know where the documents are at all times and that they are safe from harm. A quality <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-paper-shredders">paper shredder</a> can also help you securely shred and dispose of documents, so you won't have to worry as much about identity theft.</p> <p>To make organizing more fun, you may also want to invest in colorful folders or organizational tools that you like. This will also help keep you organized in the future, so you'll never have an unpaid bill hiding under a mess of paperwork again.</p> <h2>Make It Fun</h2> <p>Organizing your financial life doesn't need to be something you dread. Play some good music or have a glass of wine while you organize. You may also want to treat yourself at the end of a large decluttering session with a good meal or movie.</p> <h2>What to Do Next</h2> <p>Once you've cleared out the clutter, consider organizing your accounts in a spreadsheet or updated budget. The more your budget and finances are organized, the less paperwork you'll need going forward.</p> <p>Cleaning out your financial clutter can lead to less risk of identity theft, more organized records, and better financial planning. So the sooner you get started, the sooner you can enjoy these valuable benefits. It can also help you get a better idea of what your financial assets and debts are, so you can create a better budget for your life.</p> <h2>It's Not a Sprint &mdash; It's a Marathon</h2> <p>Organizing your financial clutter is means for celebration. However, this doesn't mean that the work is done. It's important to continue organizing your financial documents consistently so that they don't become overwhelming again. Try organizing all of your financial documents and spend 15-30 minutes per week going through your bills, financial statements, and other important documents that require your attention. This will ensure that you are not dealing with another mess of papers again in the near future.</p> <p><em>Do you have other tips for clearing out financial clutter? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clear-out-financial-clutter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-wont-ever-use-again-and-should-throw-out-today">12 Things You Won&#039;t Ever Use Again and Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-your-kids-know-about-your-finances">How Much Should Your Kids Know About Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Organization clutter declutter finances financial clutter managing money money Tue, 09 Aug 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1768493 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Easiest Items to "Flip" for Cash http://www.wisebread.com/10-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_10756392_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="these items are best to flip for extra cash" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a devoted thrift store shopper, auction-goer, and yard sale junkie, I always joke that my hobby is also my part-time job. Since roughly 95% of everything I buy is intended for resale, I'm constantly looking for items I can flip without a huge time investment. If you know what to look for, there's money to be made around every corner &mdash; maybe even in the stacks of stuff collecting dust in your basement or garage. Here are 10 of the easiest items you can flip for fast cash.</p> <h2>1. Solid Wood Furniture</h2> <p>One of the five <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-deals-in-every-thrift-store">best deals in every thrift store</a>, quality furniture is an easy flip. Usually, a light sanding and application of a one-step stain/sealer is all you need to bring a worn piece back to life.</p> <p>Stick to small, versatile pieces that will appeal to apartment-dwellers and look for forms that can be creatively upcycled (an old roll-top desk becomes a bar or an antique steamer trunk gets a second life as a coffee table). Reduce prep time by avoiding items with heavy ornamentation. Also, when buying dining room or office chairs, steer clear of oddly-shaped seats &mdash; they're twice as hard to reupholster.</p> <h2>2. Brand-Name Clothing</h2> <p>With the retail price of clothing hovering near the stratosphere, gently-used, seasonally-appropriate brand-name clothing is an easy sell. Look for well-made items with no missing buttons, damaged zippers, extreme alterations, stains, or weird smells. Just last week, I bought a pair of nearly-new Sperry Top Sider leather shoes for $3.99 and flipped them online for $32. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-qualities-to-look-for-in-well-made-clothing?ref=seealso">9 Qualities to Look for in Well-Made Clothing</a>).</p> <h2>3. Vintage Clothing</h2> <p>Its own unique category, vintage clothing can include a quirky shirt made 10 years ago or a classic hat made 80 years ago. Get a feel for what's in-demand by researching completed sales on eBay. Remember, as with all other clothing, condition is everything. Several weeks ago, I paid $2.99 for a '90s-era Levi's denim cap in mint condition. Three hours after I listed it online, it sold for a cool $105.</p> <h2>4. Retro Barware Sets</h2> <p>Cocktail shakers, tumblers, swizzle sticks, ice buckets, and related items appeal to the hip and well-heeled everywhere. Matching sets are the most coveted, but mismatched or <em>harlequin</em> sets sell well, too. Just make sure each piece is from the same general era. Recently, a 1960s set of six lowball glasses with matching decanter sold on eBay for $69.99.</p> <h2>5. Power Tools</h2> <p>When people are moving or otherwise motivated to declutter, buyers can often score power tools at bargain-basement prices. Test each item before you buy, give it a light cleaning, grease what needs greasing, and flip it for quick cash. A few summers ago, I bought a portable, gas-powered generator for $40 at a yard sale. I sold it the very next day for $125.</p> <h2>6. Old Canning Jars</h2> <p>Vintage canning jars manufactured by Mason, Ball, and Atlas have transcended their utilitarian origins to become decorative items. Unusually large jars and the green or blue glass variety sell for a premium &mdash; especially if they retain their original zinc or glass lids. If you have any of these packed away in the basement, clean with a mixture of white vinegar and water and sell them for $8-$15 each. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-mason-jar-gifts-you-can-make?ref=seealso">9 Easy Mason Jar Gifts You Can Make</a>).</p> <h2>7. Mid-Century Anything</h2> <p>Anything from the '50s and '60s is red hot right now. Look for authentic pieces that are in relatively good shape. Dinnerware, flatware, coffee tables, chairs, and lamps are all home runs in the resale market. Last month, I snagged an iconic &quot;starburst&quot; wall clock at poorly-attended auction for $1. After giving it a 10-minute cleaning, I sold it on eBay for $70.</p> <h2>8. Basic Lawn Tools</h2> <p>Old metal rakes, spades, hoes, and other basic lawn care tools are well-made and easy to rehabilitate. Clean them well, use a grinder with a brush attachment to remove rust quickly, and then flip 'em for $10-$20 apiece. The best part? Anyone with a yard is a potential buyer!</p> <h2>9. Bicycles</h2> <p>A good friend of mine in Austin, Texas has created a cottage industry buying, cleaning, repairing, and reselling bicycles to feed that city's thriving biking culture. Every weekend you can find him scouring local thrift stores, yard sales, and Craigslist ads for retro models from the '70s and '80s. Though some bikes do need significant repair (which requires a basic level of mechanical skill), most just need a little cosmetic TLC.</p> <h2>10. Vintage Lawn Furniture</h2> <p>They don't make lawn furniture they way they used to. Vintage aluminum, iron, and steel pieces are in demand for their durability and classic styling. Though complete sets are ideal, don't reject singles. Condo dwellers may only have room for one or two chairs, and other buyers prefer to mix and match. In July, a pair of untouched (read: slightly rusty) metal &quot;clam shell&quot; patio chairs sold on eBay for $85.</p> <p><em>What treasures have you found and flipped for minimal effort and maximum cash? Share your story!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Easiest%2520Items%2520to%2520Flip%2520for%2520Cash.jpg&amp;description=10%20Easiest%20Items%20to%20Flip%20for%20Cash"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Easiest%20Items%20to%20Flip%20for%20Cash.jpg" alt="10 Easiest Items to &quot;Flip&quot; for Cash" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/selling-stuff-online-avoid-these-8-flipping-mistakes">Selling Stuff Online? Avoid These 8 Flipping Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-rid-of-stuff-frugally">10 Ways to Get Rid of Stuff Frugally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-old-clothes-into-money-with-these-4-tools-and-apps">Turn Old Clothes Into Money With These 4 Tools and Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-make-it-rain-today">6 Smart Ways to Make It Rain Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Organization cash craigslist declutter extra cash flip for cash furniture sell your stuff selling clothes Thu, 04 Aug 2016 09:30:29 +0000 Kentin Waits 1765511 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_spring_cleaning_000082590811.jpg" alt="Couple learning best spring cleaning hacks we&#039;ve ever shared" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let's face it, chores as an adult are kind of awful &mdash; especially since you don't an extra $10 at the end of it, only extreme exhaustion and dirty hands. Since spring cleaning season has arrived, people everywhere are scanning their homes for stuff they can get rid of, and surfaces that could use a good scrubbin'. And tackling any major task can go from miserable to mildly pleasant as long as you have a plan &mdash; and lots of brilliant hacks to cut down on time and effort, of course!</p> <p>Here are the 82 best spring cleaning hacks we've ever shared.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_000022840623_Large.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-prepare-for-spring-cleaning">7 Ways to Prepare for Spring Cleaning</a> &mdash; The early bird gets the worm, right? It's true. Before you start spring cleaning, get prepared by making lists, playlists, and assembling your dust-destroying tool kit.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tasks-you-shouldnt-skip-during-spring-cleaning">8 Tasks You Shouldn't Skip During Spring Cleaning</a> &mdash; Once you start cleaning, you might be tempted to cut corners in order to get this madness over with ASAP. Just make sure you don't skip these areas of your home, as they often get neglected and are in dire need of some TLC.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-have-a-clean-place-without-cleaning">11 Ways to Have a Clean Place Without Cleaning</a> &mdash; Wait... cleaning without actually cleaning? Yes, please! These little life adjustments can make your house cleaner, which reduces the time you need to spend cleaning. You're welcome.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/3clean-465958469.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners">How to Clean Everything With Just 3 All-Natural Cleaners</a> &mdash; So many cleaning products have harsh, toxic ingredients that might keep your belongings shiny, but are also destroying your skin and the environment. Go au naturel with your cleaners and you're basically saving the world.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-dont-need-to-clean">9 Things You Don't Need to Clean</a> &mdash; If nothing else, this list of things you don't need to clean will cheer you up when you've only completed less than half of the tidy tasks on your to-do list.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking">6 Cleaning Rules You Should Be Breaking</a> &mdash; Believe it or not, some germs are good germs. Here are the cleaning myths that we've proudly busted. Be a rebel this year, and break these common cleaning rules.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_000011792733Small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-for-spring-cleaning-on-a-budget">6 Tips for Spring Cleaning on a Budget</a> &mdash; Buying all of those new sponges and anti-bacterial wipes can add up quickly. So here's how to keep your spring cleaning spending under control.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-in-your-house-youre-forgetting-to-clean">9 Things in Your House You're Forgetting to Clean</a> &mdash; Monsters who live under the bed like things clean, too! Don't skip these commonly forgotten areas when isolating dirty parts of the house.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-essential-tricks-for-quick-and-easy-cleaning">25 Essential Tricks for Quick and Easy Cleaning</a> &mdash; We're all extremely busy humans, so taking time out of our schedules to deep-clean the house seems bonkers and completely unreasonable. These tricks will help you get all of your cleaning done with time to spare!</p> <p><em>Do you have any stellar spring cleaning hacks? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring">Flashback Friday: 48 Ways to Master the Art of Decluttering in Time for Spring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Home Organization cleaning declutter fbf flashback friday life hacks organization spring cleaning Fri, 18 Mar 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1675255 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things in Your Basement You Should Throw Out Today http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-in-your-basement-you-should-throw-out-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-in-your-basement-you-should-throw-out-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000050424184_Large.jpg" alt="socked feet christmas decorations" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I hate to admit it, but I'm a basement hoarder.</p> <p>My subterranean lair is the slightly moldy home to any and every item that I cannot decide what to do with. If it weren't for the fact that our washer and dryer reside in the basement, there probably wouldn't even be room to walk down there. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <p>But for every item that actually should be stored in my basement, there are at least two others that are just taking up space. It's high time to clean house&hellip; literally! So if you're like me, here are 10 common basement items that you no longer need to hold onto (and the best way of getting rid of them).</p> <h2>1. Computer, Electronic, and Appliance Boxes</h2> <p>It's one of those completely irrational urges: to carefully preserve all of the packaging for any new electronic equipment you purchase. This might have made sense when you bought a desktop computer back in college and expected to move every nine months, but now it's just silly. Break down and recycle all those boxes. You can always get another box if you have to move. Recycling what you have will immediately clear up space in your basement and give you a sense of decluttering accomplishment.</p> <h2>2. Old Electronics</h2> <p>Speaking of technology of yore, how many of you have a VCR or a monitor the size of a sofa hanging out in your basement somewhere? (I actually still have a TV/VCR combo from my college days.) Often, we hang onto these items because we have no idea how to get rid of them. Enter <a href="http://www.earth911.com/">Earth911.com</a>. This website allows you to search for local recycling centers for everything from batteries to electronics.</p> <h2>3. Cables, Wires, and Chargers</h2> <p>Every device you buy comes with a new cable, wire, or charger. Take the time to go through your collection, match up the ones you actually need with the devices you use, and donate the rest to Goodwill or recycle them at <a href="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/global-promotions/recycling-electronics/pcmcat149900050025.c?id=pcmcat149900050025">Best Buy</a>.</p> <h2>4. Owner's Manuals</h2> <p>One of the perks of living in the age of the Internet is the fact that you can recycle all of those manuals you have been carefully saving. You can Google the problem you need to troubleshoot faster than you could find the necessary owner's manual in the pile, anyway.</p> <h2>5. Hazardous Materials</h2> <p>Basements tend to collect everything from half-empty cans of paint, to expired motor oil, to jugs of antifreeze, to expired batteries. Just like your old electronics, you may have held onto these because you don't know how to safely get rid of them. Earth911.com can help you determine where to take these items without harming yourself or the environment.</p> <h2>6. Unused Small Appliances</h2> <p>I'd wager you have a bread machine kicking around somewhere in your basement. Or maybe your mother-in-law gave everyone a crockpot one year for Christmas and yours has never seen the light of day. Nearly every basement has some sort of kitchen appliance that's been used once or twice and then stored. Drop off those George Foreman grills and Williams-Sonoma panini presses at your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. You'll never miss them.</p> <h2>7. Exercise Equipment</h2> <p>When is the last time you used that home elliptical machine for anything other than drying sweaters? Or the skis you bought before you broke your leg in Aspen? If you have pieces of exercise equipment gathering dust in your basement, it's time to clear them out. No, you won't use them and you won't get your money's worth out of them. Believing that you will is just the&nbsp;<a href="http://moneyning.com/money-beliefs/how-loss-aversion-in-behavioral-economics-explains-your-irrational-money-choices/">loss aversion</a>&nbsp;talking, and you'll feel much better to let go of those false beliefs (and the accompanying guilt).</p> <p>When it comes to sports equipment, the options run the gamut from donating them to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army to selling them on Craigslist. It's also a great idea to check with your local YMCA, Boys &amp; Girls Clubs of America, or Special Olympics chapter to see if you can do even more good with your unused equipment. (Not to mention the tax write-off.)</p> <h2>8. Broken or Unused Christmas Decorations</h2> <p>It seems like most basements in America have at least one strand of non-working Christmas lights stored somewhere. You can send your lights to <a href="http://www.holidayleds.com">HolidayLeds</a> for recycling year-round, and receive a coupon good for 15% off LED Christmas lights on the site.</p> <p>If you have an artificial tree even Charlie Brown wouldn't put presents under, check your local drop-off recycling center (or Earth911.com) to find out if you can recycle it.</p> <p>For Christmas ornaments and bulbs that have seen better days, donate them or trash them. Don't assume that you'll make that lovely Pinterest mosaic from the broken pieces.</p> <h2>9. Baby Items</h2> <p>If you're not sure you are done having children, it can be tough to get rid of old baby items. But some baby gear expires (like car seats, for instance), and baby clothes, jumpers, strollers, and the like are generally going to be the worse for wear after spending years in your basement. Donate the usable items.</p> <p>As for those car seats, there are specific guidelines for disposing of them.</p> <p>Car seats generally expire within six years of purchase because the foam padding degrades over time. If your car seat is newer than six years old and has never been in an accident, you may be able to give it to another family, although you will likely have to pass it along to someone you know personally. Most parents are (understandably) leery of accepting a used car seat from a stranger.</p> <p>If you cannot donate your seat, you may be able to recycle it. There are <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/10/what-to-do-with-a-used-car-seat/index.htm">recycling centers in 11 states</a> that will accept used and expired car seats for recycling. Otherwise, you can dismantle the seat, remove the straps, and recycle the plastic and metal portions of the seat while trashing the rest. As a last resort, you can dispose of the seat in the trash, provided you have removed or cut the straps so the seat cannot be used again.</p> <h2>10. Games With Missing Pieces</h2> <p>Just because you <em>could</em> play Monopoly with a handwritten B&amp;O Railroad card doesn't mean you want to. It's time to just get rid of any games with missing pieces. It's likely that you will have to just trash/recycle these misfit toys, but it's always a good idea to post such games on <a href="https://www.freecycle.org/">Freecycle</a> to see if a local artist-type could use some random game pieces.</p> <p><em>What items are you still keeping in your basement that you have not gotten around to throwing out? What items do you plan to keep forever in your basement, no matter how much it will confuse future archeologists (and your current significant other)?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-in-your-basement-you-should-throw-out-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clear-out-financial-clutter">How to Clear Out Financial Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-wont-ever-use-again-and-should-throw-out-today">12 Things You Won&#039;t Ever Use Again and Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today">12 Things in Your Office You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization basement clutter declutter hoarding Mon, 23 Feb 2015 12:00:08 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1302027 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-clothes-rack-Dollarphotoclub_75282538.jpg" alt="woman clothes rack" title="woman clothes rack" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Stop making excuses and clean up the clutter in your home! It'll make you feel better and make your living space look better as well! Ask yourself these questions and get rid of your items based on your answers. And when we say dispose of your clutter, we mean either <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Where-Sell-Used-Goods-28874509">sell it</a>, donate it, recycle it, give it away to friends and family, or throw it away.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/List-Things-Dispose-24575006">One a Day: Throw These 116 Things Away</a></p> <h2>1. Have I used this in the last year?</h2> <p>If your answer is no, it's time to toss.</p> <h2>2. If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?</h2> <p>If the current you wouldn't buy this item now, why would you even keep it?</p> <h2>3. Is the only thing that's keeping me from disposing this item that I don't want to waste money?</h2> <p>Think of it this way: You wasted money when you bought an item you don't use.</p> <h2>4. Am I holding on to this for sentimental value?</h2> <p>Be strict and keep only a few of those sentimental items in a small memorabilia box. Then take a photo of items you are throwing away so you can keep them forever.</p> <h2>5. Do I have a similar item that serves the same purpose?</h2> <p>If yes, then get rid of one of them.</p> <h2>6. Do I have a realistic plan to use this?</h2> <p>Remember, don't lie to yourself about how perfect an item would be for <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/Halloween">Halloween</a>. Make sure you have a concrete plan to use the item, and if you don't use it within the time frame you set for yourself to use it, then toss it.</p> <h2>7. Does it fit me or my living space?</h2> <p>You may love it, but do you have space for the item or does it even suit you now? Think hard on what to keep &mdash; your space is sacred.</p> <h2>8. Am I holding on to the broken item to fix in the future?</h2> <p>Fix it now, or if you don't get around to fixing in the next two weeks, then toss it.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> So much clutter is stuff that seems important, but really isn&#039;t. Give your things this quiz, and if they don&#039;t pass, it&#039;s time to let them go. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img style="height:95px; width:300px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Live-Frugally-24174070#photo-24174070">66 Tried-and-Tested Tips for a Frugal Life</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/fashion/Simple-Closet-Organizing-Tips-36488783#photo-36488783">11 Easy Organization Hacks for the Lazy Fashion Girl</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/moms/Ways-Simplify-Family-Life-36292022#photo-36292022">8 Ways to Simplify Your Family's Routine in 2015</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-words-you-need-to-declutter-your-life">The Only 5 Words You Need to Declutter Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Organization clutter declutter organization storage Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:00:14 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1281603 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Things in Your Office You Can Throw Out Today http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009052797_Full.jpg" alt="man messy office" title="man messy office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're like most people, your office is your second home. You probably spend way too much time there and, because of that, have way too much stuff there. If the new year has you inspired to make a fresh start, maybe the best place to begin is your office. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <p>So grab a box (you know, the big empty ones near the copier) and start purging. Here are 12 things in your office that you can throw out today.</p> <h2>1. Old Resumes</h2> <p>If you have a hand in the hiring process where you work, then you know the steep ratio between qualified candidates and open positions. If your stack of resumes is 6-12 months old, toss them. Most applicants' availability, career goals, and contact information have likely changed.</p> <h2>2. Outdated Electronics</h2> <p>Unless your business is selling antiques, it's okay to toss that dot matrix printer. And while you're at it, explore other ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-your-old-electronics">get rid of old electronics</a>. Once that 12 pound laptop and broken fax machine are gone, potential new clients will be far less likely to think your 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass has a bag phone in it.</p> <h2>3. Dead Plants</h2> <p>What special kind of voodoo makes even the most robust plant wither within weeks of becoming part of our office décor? Do the fluorescent lights sap the life out of them? Are they allergic to business jargon? Do they revolt at the smell of burnt popcorn? Whatever the reason, if you can't revive them, toss them.</p> <h2>4. Fake Plants</h2> <p>The only thing worse than a dead plant, is a fake one that can't die. These faded dust-collectors add nothing to most office environments. Switch to the real, but <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-hardest-to-kill-houseplants">hard-to-kill plant variety</a> or just embrace the dark power of your black thumb and go plant-less.</p> <h2>5. Gifts You Never Took Home</h2> <p>Rare is the employer that doesn't participate in some sort of white elephant or gag gift event during the holidays. While the parties can be a welcome diversion, after a few years, the gifts can leave our offices looking like a thrift store. Do a deep declutter one Friday afternoon and donate what you can to an actual thrift store.</p> <h2>6. Random Mugs</h2> <p>First, pat yourself on the back for using real mugs instead of disposable Styrofoam or paper. Then, take a critical look at just how many mismatched mugs you've collected. More than five? 10? Donate the excess or pass them on to a co-worker who's still single-handedly keeping the polystyrene industry afloat.</p> <h2>7. Jackets, Sweaters, and Gym Clothes</h2> <p>The temperature in most offices varies wildly, prompting many to amass a small collection of light jackets and sweaters on the backs of their chairs. Take a few moments to scale back your growing second wardrobe. Oh, and while you're at it, clear out that small pile of gym clothes under your desk.</p> <h2>8. Tchotchkes</h2> <p>In our home offices and at work, tchotchkes multiply like dust bunnies and empty Starbucks cups. While a few might be endearing, having too many tchotchkes implies that you need a desk full of totems to get through the day. Donate or take the excess home.</p> <h2>9. Boxes and Packing Material</h2> <p>It's hard to avoid the slow accumulation of boxes, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts in any office. If your business doesn't involve frequent shipping, freecycle these items (someone's always moving) or take them home to use for holiday gift-shipping.</p> <h2>10. Out-of-Date Magazines</h2> <p>The price of magazines makes them difficult to toss even after they've been read from cover to cover. Consider donating them to a hospital's waiting room, a retirement home, or a school.</p> <h2>11. Old Receipts and Bills</h2> <p>Once your expense reports have cleared, why keep old receipts? And how long are you planning to hold on to that cell phone bill from last April? While it's always a good idea to leave a thorough paper trail for tax purposes, it's also entirely possible to get a call from Hoarders as an industrial-sized dumpster gets dropped on your front lawn.</p> <h2>12. Old Marketing Materials</h2> <p>The sheer volume of business brochures, leave-behinds from conferences, catalogs, and random business cards that the average professional accumulates in a year's time makes me think printing is where the real money is. Take a moment before you leave for the weekend (you do leave for the weekend, don't you?) to go through the stacks. Keep what you need and feed the rest to the recycling bin.</p> <p>Okay, maybe you can't purge all 12 categories of items in a single day. Conveniently, there are twelve months in the year if you decide to take the scenic route on your decluttering journey. Whatever way you do it, you'll be glad you did. And with a clutter-free workspace, you just may be inspired to redecorate and find inexpensive ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-office-look-awesome">make your office look awesome</a>. Remember, clearing out your office can help clear your mind, inspire new levels of productivity, and make Monday mornings feel slightly less daunting.</p> <p><em>Is your office filled with items that get in the way of your productivity? What's the strangest item you've seen in someone else's office?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clear-out-financial-clutter">How to Clear Out Financial Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-home-office">10 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Home Office</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Organization clutter declutter Office productivity Wed, 14 Jan 2015 12:00:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1278979 at http://www.wisebread.com The Military's Four-Step Plan to Keeping Your Place Clean http://www.wisebread.com/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-countertop-Dollarphotoclub_45032082.jpg" alt="woman cleaning countertop" title="woman cleaning countertop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Tight corners on the beds. Scrubbing floors with toothbrushes. Ruthless efficiency, glorious shine. The military knows how to clean. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners?ref=seealso">How to Clean Everything With Just 3 All Natural Cleaners</a>)</p> <p>In just four steps &mdash; each of which are ingrained in boot camp &mdash; you too can have an inspection-passing home, and spend less time keeping it that way.</p> <h2>Step One: Clean a Little Each Day</h2> <p>&quot;If you keep everything fairly clean throughout the week, you really only need to do a larger clean two or three times per month,&quot; says Paul DiCesare, a former staff sergeant in the US Air Force and now CEO of <a href="http://www.sharejockey.com">ShareJockey</a>. It may seem daunting to wipe down your shower after every use or wipe the bathroom countertop down every other day but by &quot;finding a routine that works for you and your household and sticking to it,&quot; DiCesare adds, &quot;it's a pretty easy process to master.&quot; Whether you wipe down the bathroom counters, sweep the kitchen floors, or straighten up the items laying around the family room, a little cleaning each day is going to help you out immensely.</p> <h2>Step Two: Create a Simple System for Cleaning</h2> <p>This process should involve &quot;simple, basic cleaning that gets the job done,&quot; according to Chief Warrant Officer 3, Robert Streit who is currently stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany with the U.S. Army. &quot;You can overclean,&quot; he says, and when you do, you can ruin finishes, waste cleaning material, or even &mdash; as he discovered &mdash; wear off the water sealer around a tub due to excessive scrubbing with a wire brush. Using a simple, effective system with the right cleaners will always save you time and energy over harsher chemicals used once a month.</p> <p>Create a plan that works for you. Make a list of items you will clean daily or after each use. Items on this list would include:</p> <ul> <li>wiping down the shower walls (to ward off soap scum and mildew);</li> <li>wiping out the kitchen sink after each use;</li> <li>picking up items laying around in the main rooms of the house;</li> <li>doing one load of laundry from washing machine to putting everything away into drawers.</li> </ul> <p>Also, make a list of items you will do weekly. For example, you could wipe down bathrooms on Mondays, vacuum the carpets on Tuesday, sweep the kitchen floor on Wednesday (maybe daily if you have a busy household) and dust the main rooms of the house on Thursday. Set a schedule that makes sense for you and stick with it each week. Officer Streit agrees,&quot;routines are key to cleaning. If you establish a routine, then it becomes natural.&quot; He adds that this routine can also help you notice when something is out of place or doesn't belong.</p> <h2>Step Three: Find a Home for Everything</h2> <p>Space is a premium in places like barracks and ships; everything in those places has a designated space and must be returned to that space when it is no longer needed. This same tactic should be used in your home. Every coat should have a hanger; every backpack, it's own hook. Each toy should have a place to be stored (whether it's in a basket in the living room or a shelf in your child's bedroom.)</p> <p>Items without a space of their own will cause clutter and disorganization, and the military has learned that clutter and disorganization do not allow things to run smoothly. Tracy Tluchowski, wife of a former Marine sergeant found out quickly that the military taught her husband how to organize. &quot;Every file has a name on it. Everything is where it is supposed to be.&quot;</p> <h2>Step Four: Keep Cleaning Tools Nearby</h2> <p>Having items within reach allows you to complete the job in less time. Sergeant DiCesare took this step and turned it into a business when he created ShareJockey, a cleaning company that focuses on cleaning as quickly as possible for people who are renting out their apartments, condos, and rooms in their homes on the website Airbnb. His employees wear a custom made military-style backpack with all the tools they need to clean a one bedroom, one bath apartment in under one hour.</p> <p>While we can't all have a backpack like that, we can keep a caddy or bin in each bathroom with cleaners for the sink, toilet, shower and mirrors. Under the kitchen sink there should be plenty of hand towels and washrags, as well as cleaners for the sink, stove, and stainless steel surfaces. The linen closet near your bedrooms should have dusting supplies, glass cleaner and if there's room, a vacuum cleaner. Having all these items nearby will give you less reason to skip cleaning and help you finish quicker.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your place ship-shape? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking">6 Cleaning Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Home cleaning declutter organization Tue, 09 Dec 2014 12:00:06 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1265914 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-kitchen-460315379-small.jpg" alt="woman cleaning kitchen" title="woman cleaning kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Kitchens can easily become cluttered with less-than-useful gadgets, tools, and food items, but it's important to keep your kitchen tidy and organized for the health of your family and for your sanity. Stop fighting rarely used kitchen items for counter space. Get rid of the following things and cook with newfound peace of mind. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <h2>1. Sponge</h2> <p>Your sponge is where kitchen germs live and thrive. The moist nooks and crannies are a perfect breeding ground, so switch your sponge out often. Even with a new sponge, microwave it daily in an inch of water for a minute to disinfect. You'll keep from spreading lots of germs all around your kitchen and will help keep your family healthier.</p> <h2>2. Meat Mallet</h2> <p>Tell the truth: how often do you use a meat mallet? Most people use one once in a blue moon, and a number of tools can take its place. Putting the meat between plastic wrap and using a heavy skillet is a good alternative. An unopened canned good and rolling pin are other options.</p> <h2>3. Old Plastic Storage Containers</h2> <p>Studies have shown that plastic food storage containers with recycle codes 3 or 7 and many made before 2010 may contain BPA, a harmful chemical that can leach into food. If you own some of these containers, toss them. You can often end up with bottoms and tops that don't match or missing pieces, so throw out or donate any without partners.</p> <h2>4. Panini Press</h2> <p>Make paninis on a daily basis? Then ignore this one. But for most of us, this common wedding registry pick isn't a necessity. You can easily imitate this kitchen gadget using a regular skillet and a heavy skillet or pan (a cast iron skillet works great) to press your sandwich on top.</p> <h2>5. Old Dried Spices</h2> <p>Spices can accumulate, get pushed to the back of the cabinet, and crowd your storage space. But spices don't last forever, and can lose a lot of their flavor after a year or two passes. According to McCormick, <a href="http://mccormick.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/11/related/1">ground spices last three to four years</a>, leafy herbs for one to two years, and whole spices for four years. Dried herbs and spices should smell and taste potent, and should be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and heat (including your stove).</p> <h2>6. Bread Maker</h2> <p>Unless you are living the dream and making bread on a weekly basis, you probably don't need this clunky appliance. It's awkward to store and isn't required for making homemade bread. Flex those muscles and do a little kneading, get a dough attachment for your mixer or food processor, or try no-knead breads.</p> <h2>7. Jigger</h2> <p>Unless you're an amateur bartender, you don't need this awkward tool crowding your junk drawer. You can use regular measuring spoons, with two tablespoons equaling the small end of a jigger (one ounce) and &frac14; cup equaling the large end of a jigger (two ounces). Or you can just relax. You're at home &mdash; just eyeball it and enjoy.</p> <h2>8. Expired Canned Food</h2> <p>It may seem like canned food lasts forever, but they can actually go bad. Canned fruits and tomatoes last 18 months, while other items can last up to five years. Be sure to check your emergency kit and replace those, too.</p> <h2>9. Open Canned Food</h2> <p>Leftover canned foods are easy to store by just leaving them in the can and shoving them in the fridge, but the metal can leach into the food and create a metallic taste. This is especially common with acidic foods like fruit or tomatoes. Take the time to transfer your leftovers into a storage container and you'll be rewarded with better tasting food.</p> <h2>10. Toaster Oven</h2> <p>This appliance takes up a lot of valuable counter space without making up for it. If you're a frequent toaster, get a more compact and easily storable toaster. Everything else can be done in the oven, and if you only make toast now and again, you can do that in the oven, too.</p> <h2>11. Rice Cooker</h2> <p>Most people don't cook enough rice to make this large appliance worth the storage space. Although you can make <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/5-things-you-can-make-in-a-ric-111057">a few other things</a> with it, it's largely a unitasker. Rice can easily be made on the stovetop or even in the oven, so donating your rice maker is likely the right move.</p> <h2>12. Mandoline</h2> <p>This is another unitasker, and rarely used by most households. Most recipes don't require fruit or vegetables sliced paper thin, making a regular knife more than adequate. Most food processors also offer a mandoline attachment.</p> <h2>13. Pastry Bag</h2> <p>Unless you are making cakes and fancy desserts left and right (and if you are&hellip; can I come over?), you can easily create your own pastry bag with a plastic freezer bag. Just cut a hole in one of the bottom corners, attach the tip, spoon in your filling, and close the top. You can also use a cone of parchment paper wrapped closed and folded down at the top.</p> <h2>14. Electric Kettle</h2> <p>If you're a heavy tea drinker, then ignore this tip. Otherwise, a stovetop kettle doesn't take that much longer and doesn't take up space on your counter. Donate this one.</p> <h2>15. Leftovers</h2> <p>Leftovers always start with good intentions, but can often end up pushed to the back of your refrigerator. Periodically clean out your fridge, and get rid of leftovers that are more than a few days old. They can contain bacteria and cause illness, and simply aren't worth the risk. Always throw out food that has become moldy.</p> <p><em>What's cluttering up your kitchen?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time">How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life — One Step at a Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization clutter declutter kitchen kitchen gadgets Mon, 03 Nov 2014 15:00:12 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1248293 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Save Cash by Purging Your Place of Plastics http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-cash-by-purging-your-place-of-plastics <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-save-cash-by-purging-your-place-of-plastics" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-recycling-plastics-81266232-small.jpg" alt="recycling" title="recycling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've all heard a lot of bad stuff about plastics over the years. Anything from plastic bottles leaching BPA or <a href="http://www.care2.com/greenliving/which-plastics-are-safe.html">other hormone disrupting chemicals</a> into food and drink to the harm plastic bags have on the environment as they pile up in landfills and oceans. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-for-trash-making-money-recycling?ref=seealso">Cash for Trash: Making Money Recycling</a>)</p> <p>If you've ever considered heading down a less plastic-y path &mdash; no matter the reason &mdash; start here with some sound tips for consuming less. It could even save you money.</p> <h2>1. Give Up Bottled Water</h2> <p>Not only is bottled water remarkably more expensive than the H2O you get from the tap, it comes in plastic bottles, creating a ton of waste you need to deal with after you sip. Instead, pick up a glass or metal water bottle that you can reuse again and again. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-or-tap-the-right-choice-for-water-may-surprise-you?ref=seealso">Bottled or Tap: The Right Choice Might Surprise You</a>)</p> <h2>2. Eat Whole Foods</h2> <p>Another way plastic makes a sneaky appearance into our homes is through the packaged foods we buy at the grocery store. Most whole foods (fruits, vegetables, meat) come with little or no packaging, so stock your cart with them. Otherwise, make condiments, breads, and other pantry goods from scratch whenever possible to save on both waste and money. Once you get the hang, it's not as difficult as it sounds. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy?ref=seealso">35 Grocery Items You Should Make At Home</a>)</p> <h2>3. Bring Your Bag</h2> <p>While you're at it, always bring reusable bags to the grocery store or skip them entirely. I shop at Aldi, so if I forget my canvas bags, I get charged for new ones. Talk about incentive. So, I go around the aisles and pick up a few cardboard boxes to carry my food. If you do have quite a stash of plastic bags, recycle them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-disposable-products-you-can-reuse?ref=seealso">21 Disposable Products You Can Reuse</a>)</p> <h2>4. Try Cloth</h2> <p>Whether it's for diapers or sandwich bags, there are options that can help steer you away from plastic. Try some of the many cloth alternatives to everyday plastic products we consume. Though buying these items in cloth is a bigger investment initially, you can use them for years to come and eventually break even (or save money). In the case of cloth diapers, you may even be able to resell ones in good condition and get back the bulk of your dollars.</p> <h2>5. Use Glass</h2> <p>In the kitchen, my favorite plastic alternative is glass. I have Ball jars of various shapes and sizes that I use in place of plastic baggies for freezing foods. Some tips:</p> <ul> <li>Let foods cool completely before freezing;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Leave 2-3 inches of headroom for soups and applesauce that might expand when frozen;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>And handle carefully to avoid breaking.</li> </ul> <p>Additionally, we have a shelving system for all our bulk foods that are stored in &mdash; you guessed it &mdash; Ball jars. Oh, and I also put my leftovers in them versus covering with plastic wrap.</p> <h2>6. Concoct Your Own Cleaning Products</h2> <p>If you make eco-friendly cleaners from scratch, you'll keep a load of plastic out of your home on bottles alone. My favorite all-purpose spray is just half a bottle of vinegar with half water and 10-20 drops of my favorite essential oils. You can even make your own laundry detergent for pennies on the dollar with water and castile soap &mdash; here are five <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes">simple detergent recipes</a> to get you started. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-other-green-cleaners-already-in-your-house?ref=seealso">8 Green Cleaners You Already Have in Your Home</a>)</p> <h2>7. Eat In</h2> <p>A ton of waste is created when we get foods to-go. Between plastic containers, utensils, and bags, it piles up, and fast. So, if you want to enjoy food out, take the time to have a sit-down meal. Better yet, save your cash and cook your meal at home or pack your lunch for work. Here are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-packed-lunch-ideas-youll-want-to-steal-from-your-kids">some packable lunch recipes</a> to get you started. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-keeping-your-kitchen-clean-while-you-cook?ref=seealso">10 Tricks to Keeping Your Kitchen Clean While You Cook</a>)</p> <h2>8. Examine Personal Care</h2> <p>Yes &mdash; most of those products and potions you use to clean and care for yourself are clad in plastic. They also contain some ingredients that are difficult to pronounce. You can try the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-shampoo-the-baking-soda-experiment">no-shampoo method</a> of washing your hair using baking soda and an apple cider vinegar rinse. I recently made my own <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/08/diy-natural-lotion-cubes.html">DIY lotion cubes</a> custom for my sensitive skin using shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil. And <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/08/5-minute-homemade-deodorant-review.html">homemade deodorant</a> really works &mdash; trust me! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hair-conditioners-you-can-make-at-home?ref=seealso">5 Hair Conditioners You Can Make At Home</a>)</p> <h2>9. Buy Less and Repair</h2> <p>Rather than immediately toss a broken plastic item and buy new, try to repair it. Or just buy fewer plastic things in general. Much of what we purchase isn't terribly essential anyway. If you do need to buy something, consider second-hand versus new. Check Craigslist, Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and more. You can save additional plastics from ending up in landfills this way (and keep some cash in your pocket).</p> <h2>10. Start Small</h2> <p>If you're committed to living with fewer plastics, you can become overwhelmed when you see how much of our lives is literally wrapped up in the stuff. So, pick a room or purpose and start from there. You may want to give the <a href="http://www.nationofchange.org/numbers-plastic-bottles-what-do-plastic-recycling-symbols-mean-1360168347">worst offenders</a> the boot first. Generally speaking, numbers 2, 4, and 5 are safest. Avoid the rest. Remember: Any move away is in the right direction for your health, your wallet, and your planet.</p> <p><em>What are you doing to use less plastic? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-cash-by-purging-your-place-of-plastics">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">Make Money Recycling: Get Paid to Recycle by 15 Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dumpster-diving-101-6-strategies-for-success">Dumpster-Diving 101: 6 Strategies for Success</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-smart-ways-to-reuse-your-empty-glass-bottles">18 Smart Ways to Reuse Your Empty Glass Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-your-old-electronics">How to Get Rid of Your Old Electronics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-helpful-and-weird-uses-for-hair-and-excess-pet-fur">9 Helpful (and Weird) Uses for Hair and Excess Pet Fur</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living declutter extra income plastics recycling Mon, 13 Oct 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1233077 at http://www.wisebread.com