Things You Should Not Throw Away

March 2, 2020

© Tim Hester | Dreamstime

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Getting rid of clutter is generally a good thing. However you can goa bit overboard and eventually suffer from decluttering remorse. Think twice before tossing out old phones, computers, and TVs. Gadgets like smartphones and computers that contain personal information can pose a privacy risk if they fall into the wrong hands. Always wipe the device of all personal data and files before you discard it. And because some electronic components are considered hazardous waste, reusing or recycling your electronic devices is always better than tossing them in the trash. As you sort through old receipts and school papers, make sure your important documents don't get mixed up in the to-shred pile. You should always keep physical copies of financial documents like loan or investment statements, insurance papers, tax records such as W-2 forms and filed returns (to be safe, hold on to these for at least seven years), and identification documents like social security cards, birth certificates, and passports. Organize this paperwork in a safe spot, such as a fireproof safe or lockable file cabinet, that's easy to access when needed. Re-reading a handwritten note from a loved one can help you relive precious memories years later. To preserve these papers for years to come, store them in a box with a lid to prevent them from gathering dust, or consider turning that special note or recipe card into a personalized keepsake like a printed tea towel or engraved cutting board. During a closet purge, that stack of t-shirts you never wear is probably one of the first things to go, but these shirts can still serve a purpose, even if they're stained, ripped, or otherwise unwearable. Keep a few tees around to reuse as cleaning rags in place of paper towels. Cut them into squares for tidying up the kitchen, bathroom, and more. Old t-shirts also come in handy when you're working on particularly messy DIY or crafting projects. That coffee table or wingback from your grandmother holds a lot of family history that can be passed down to future generations. But if it's not quite your style, ask if another family member wants it before you resell or donate it. Or, if the piece doesn't hold too much sentimental value, try refreshing an old piece of furniture with fresh paint or new hardware. Otherwise, consider renting a storage unit to get unwanted heirloom furniture out of your house while still keeping it in the family.

SOURCE: Better Homes & Gardens

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