100 Reasons to Get Rid of It

Blueprint, March/April 2007

Because You Have Too Much Stuff
1. 1.4 million Americans suffer from chronic hoarding & clutter.
2. People burn 55 minutes a day looking for things.
3. 80 percent of what we own we never use.
4. 1800GotJunk.com
Pay someone else to take out the (big, cumbersome) trash.
5. Publicstorage.com
Lock it up in more than 2,100 locations around the U.S.
6. salvationarmyusa.org
Schedule a pickup with your local Salvation Army.
7. earth911.org
Find local recycling and reuse programs for all kinds of household items.

Because It's Fun
8.  127sale.com
Set up shop at the World's Longest Yard Sale, August 2-5, along 450 miles of Highway 127 in the southeastern U.S.
9. Or peddle your wares in your own front yard on National Garage Sale Day, August 10.
10. Swaporamarama.org
Attend nationwide clothing exchanges and do-it-yourself alteration workshops.
11. Wildzipper.com
Watch as a pile of your favorite old T-shirts is converted into a quilt.

Because Someone Else Needs It
Cell Phones
12. Verizonwireless.com
Put a refurbished phone (of any brand) into the hands of a domestic violence victim.
13. Eco-cell.com
Or let its sale benefit an environmental charity.
14. Care.org
Send a phone to the field staff of a poverty-fighting mission.

Digital Cameras
15. Operationhomefront.net
Help keep service members in touch with their families.

All Technology
16. Rethink.Ebay.com
Work with charities to find homes for consumer electronics.
17. youthfortechnology.org
Put scanners, computers, and cameras in the hands of deserving, impoverished kids around the world.

Air Miles
18. Redcross.org
For Red Cross staff and volunteers
19. Heromiles.com
For deployed soldiers
20. Marrow.org
For transplant patients
21. Childrenscancerassociation.org
For terminally ill kids

Furniture & Appliances
22. excessaccess.org
Match your household items with a local non-profit's wish list.
23. help1up.org
Furnish homes for disaster victims.
24. dressforsuccess.org
Give interview and work clothing to disadvantaged women.
25. makingmemories.org
Donate a wedding gown to benefit breast-cancer patients.
26. www.operationfairydust.org
Send formal wear to teenage girls who need help getting to the prom.
27. onewarmcoat.org
A free coat to anyone who needs one.
28. boulderrunning.com
Ship shoes and sportswear to struggling athletes around the world.

29. Suitcasesforkids.org
Supply children in foster care with luggage.
30. Uniteforsight.org & givethegiftofsight.org
Send eyewear to men and women in underdeveloped countries.
31. Savethechildren.org
Convert American Express credit card points to cash donations.
32. Cartalk.com
Donate a used vehicle to support your local public radio station.
33. Booksforafrica.org
Give everything from storybooks to encyclopedias.
34. Cap4pets.org
Send towels and newspapers to animal shelters.
35. Goodwill.org
Fund job training programs and social services.
36. Freecycle.org
Post donations for charities (and regular folks) to claim.
37. Habitat.org
Donate leftover building supplies to Habitat for Humanity's ReStores.

38. Cristina.org
Technology and training for the disabled and disadvantaged.
39. Sharetechnology.org
Connecting donations with charities across the U.S.
40. Worldcomputerexchange.org
Send computers to more than 50 developing countries.

Because It Can Be Turned Into Something Else
41. Nikereuseashoe.com
Recycled footwear materials become sports and playground surfaces.
42. Patagonia.com
Donated Capilene base layers become polyester fibers for new Capilene garments.
43. Pangea organics' packaging becomes an herb garden when planted in soil.
44. Cargo cosmetics' PlantLove lipstick tubes come in plantable boxes that sprout wildflowers.
45. Pencilthings.com
Old newspapers become colored pencils.
46. Vivaterra.com
Rubber tires become sleek purses...
47. Passchal.com
...or rugged iPod covers.
48. Gaiam.com
Plastic soda bottles become durable hammocks.
49. Recycline.com
Yogurt containers become colorful plates, flatware, toothbrushes, and razors.

Because It Will Make Your Life Better
50. Getting rid of clutter will reduce housework by 40 percent.
51. Erase a $10K credit card debt (with an average interest rate) 65 percent faster -- and pay 75 percent less total interest -- when you pay double the typical minimum monthly payment.
52. Download security software like Stopzilla to keep a lid on computer pop-ups.
53. Around 23 percent of people pay late fees on bills they cannot find.

Because You Can Get Something Back
54. Return six MAC Cosmetics containers to any MAC store and receive a free lipstick.
55. Trade in an old iPod and receive a 10 percent discount on a new one.
56. Coinstar.com
Easily convert spare change into "real" money.
57. Craigslist.org
Sell it to your neighbors.
58. ebay.com
Sell it to anyone.
59. giftcardbuyback.com.
Get cash for gift cards you'll never use.
60 Paperbackswap.com
Trade the books you have for the ones you want.
61. Peerflix.com
Trade the DVDs you've seen for the ones you haven't.
62. Spun.com
Clear off your CD shelves, and make money in the process.
63. Titletrader.com
The great entertainment exchange: books, music, movies, and games, all swapped in one place.

Because It's Old/Expired
64. energystar.gov
Replacing old appliances with new, energy-efficient ones saves money and fuel.
65. Running shoes should be retired after 300 to 500 miles in order to prevent injuries.
66. Deep-six your toothbrush every three to four months.
67. Swap your pitcher's water filter every two months (or as directed).
68. Change out disposable air conditioner filters once a month during cooling season.
69 Replace the batteries in your smoke detector at least once a year.
70. foodsafety.gov
Find the USDA's recommended storage limits for refrigerated and frozen food.
71. Throw out mascara and moisturizer after three months.
72. Discard foundation and sunscreen after six months to a year.
73. Keep concealer, lipstick, eye- and lip liners, fragrances, powders, blushes, and shadows for only a year and a half to two years.
74.-76. Say goodbye to the dried-out remnants of your favorite no-longer-available lipstick, and check out threecustom.com, T.J.Maxx stores, or Lancome's beauty bye-bye program for replacements or duplicates of discontinued cosmetics.

Because You Don't Want to Suffer from "Stuck Song Syndrome"77. And these five tunes are among the most persistent: Chili's "Baby Back Ribs" jingle, "We Will Rock You," the "Mission Impossible" theme, "YMCA," and "It's a Small World After All." (Tip: Try drowning them out with classical music, which is less likely to haunt you after it's turned off.)

Because the Last Thing You Need Is More Paper Lying Around
78. File your taxes through an authorized IRS e-file provider.
79. Eliminate paper statements by banking and paying bills online.
80. Call 1-888-567-8688 to stop unwanted credit card solicitations.
81. Opt out of mailing and telemarketing lists by logging on to dmaconsumers.org.

Because There's a Better Option
82. Search for phone numbers online instead of storing bulky Yellow and White Pages volumes.
83. Lose the road maps and get a GPS system to download up-to-date travel guides.
84. Read "Dating Up: Dump the Schlump and Find a Quality Man," by J. Courtney Sullivan (Warner Books, $14, 2007).

Because You Don't Want to End Up Like Them
85. Miss Havisham in "Great Expectations"
86. Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale in "Grey Gardens"
87. Oscar Madison in "The Odd Couple"
88. The family in the documentary "Packrat" (packratthemovie.com)
89. The Bronx, New York, man who, in 2003, was trapped in his home under an avalanche of books and newspapers for two days before being rescued.

Because If They Said It, It's Probably True
90. "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." -Leonardo da Vinci
91. "Less is more." -Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
92. "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." -William Morris
93. "You've got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative." -Johnny Mercer
94. "The joy of giving is indeed a pleasure, especially when you get rid of something you don't want." -Frank Butler and Frank Cavett, "Going My Way"

Or Just Because...
95. It has no value, sentimental or monetary.
96. It hasn't been used in over a year.
97. There is no logical place to keep it.
98. It doesn't work.
99. An ex gave it to you.
100. And what's the worst that can happen if you throw it out?


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