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Decluttering tips for the New Year 

declutter in the new yearTips from San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority:

Guide to disposing common household items

– If one of your resolutions for the New Year is to have a clutter-free space, you are not alone! Use this guide to help you figure out what to do with the things you do not need — one room at a time!


Toiletries (unused)
Shampoo, soap, and other personal care products that are unused can be given away or donated to a nonprofit.

Toiletries (used)
Is a family member or friend able to finish the remaining amount? If not, empty contents into the trash and recycle the plastic (usually plastic #2 – HDPE, which is accepted in IWMA’s curbside recycling program).

Dried up hair, skincare, or makeup products
Nail polish, makeup, gels, and hairsprays can dry up and become unusable. Check to see if your products are considered household hazardous waste or qualify for any recycling programs before disposing in your garbage.


Damaged clothing
Is your clothing able to be repaired? If not, clothing beyond the point of repair can be repurposed as cleaning rags. Otherwise, place in garbage.

Donate what is still usable and in good condition; otherwise, check out the Recycling Guide for potential recycling programs that will accept your old footwear!

Donate bedding that is still in good condition. Otherwise, use as drop cloths for house projects or cut up to use as cleaning rags.

Donate your unwanted furniture that is still in good condition. Otherwise, please dispose properly at a facility near you.


Office supplies
Items such as binders and notebooks may be donated to thrift stores or schools.

Ink-based supplies
Test your ink-based supplies such as pens and whiteout and throw out what no longer works. [link to pens guide item]

Magazines, newspapers and mail
Not sure if you’ll need certain print materials again? Scan or take a picture of the item so you have a reference, then recycle it.


Scraped or damaged cookware and dishware
Throw out what is no longer safe to use. Otherwise, donate what is still usable and in good condition.

Food Storage Containers
Before disposing of what no longer has a matching lid or bottom, see if containers can be repurposed for other uses.

Packaged food that has not expired may be donated to a food pantry or used as inspiration for a new recipe.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the A-Town Daily News wrote and edited this article from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog. He can be reached at

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