Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Fall Is Here and the Time is Right for ... Cleaning!

Fall is here, school is in session and the fall and winter holidays are bearing down upon us.  Chances are, you'll be having company at your house, and/or you are clearing out your closets and storage areas in preparation for storing spring and summer clothing and household items (such as sports equipment and items for the beach, pool and garden), and bringing the fall and winter clothing and household items into rotation (such as winter bedding and quilts, outerwear and seasonal decorations).  

It's a good time of year to give all those nooks and crannies, closets, the pantry, the cupboards and cabinets a good going-over to get rid of all the old and expired products, such as expired medications and hygiene and beauty products, old electronics, old textiles and clothing that doesn't fit or is worn out (or just doesn't work in your wardrobe), medical supplies and other household items that you no longer use that you need to discard or that can be donated or recycled.  Some aren't safe to put in the regular trash, and I'll give you resources to deal with those.  

This information will be mostly for the New York City area, but you can check with your municipality's general information hot-line or local government websites about where to dispose of these items. 

Makeup, Skincare and Beauty Products

Good Housekeeping has a pretty thorough article on when to toss makeup, skincare and beauty products.  


SAFE Events in New York City

The Department of Sanitation has SAFE events throughout the five boroughs.  SAFE is an acronym that stands for Solvents, Automotive, Flammable and Electronics.  You can dispose of these types of household items at SAFE events. 

You can find out about SAFE disposal events in your borough here.  This includes medical waste and medications.  

Disposal of Household Waste in New York City

You can learn how to dispose of residential household waste in NYC here.

New York City's Department of Sanitation has begun a pilot curbside textile collection and recycling program.  You can read about it here and see if a pickup day is happening in your borough. 


GrowNYC  has a wealth of information about neighborhood recycling, composting, Stop & Swap and donation events throughout the five boroughs of New York City.  

GrowNYC also has clothing donation events around the five boroughs.  Check if there's one near you. 


DEA National Prescription Drug Takeback Day

You can also participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration's National Prescription Drug Takeback Day, which is Saturday, September 26, 2015, 10 AM to 2 PM.  In Delaware and Pennsylvania ONLY, the date is Saturday, September 12, 2015.  You can find a drop-off location in your area here.  Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem, so you'd be doing the world a big favor by getting rid these drugs if you don't use them anymore.  If you can't participate in Drug Takeback Day, check with your area's local government about regulations regarding disposal of prescription medications.  Please don't pollute the water supply by dumping them down the sink or toilet.  The fishes and wildlife will thank you.  So will the campers.  


Goodwill Industries

If you're looking to donate your clothing, household items and textiles to a worthy organization, try Goodwill Industries.  They sell the items and use the funds to help people in the community with job training, skill building and employment, so they can lead better lives.  

Veterans' Organizations That Accept Donations

There's also Vietnam Veterans of America, an organization which helps not only Vietnam Veterans, but veterans of all wars.  You can read about what they do on their About VVA page.  

Another veterans' organization I just found out about is United War Veterans Council.  They called me up one day and asked if we had any donations.  My roommate happened to have donations that needed to go out, so I scheduled a pickup.  They came when they said they would and picked up the donations.  

Military Money Matters is a good resource for finding out whether the veterans' organization to which you would like to make a donation is a worthy one.  

That's the run-down!  You probably have resources in your area, and I encourage you to use them.  If you know of any that you think I should have mentioned, please let me know in the comments.  

Apartment Therapy's 10-Step Closet Cure, and the Results of a Recent Clean-Out

Good luck with your fall cleaning and decluttering!  I'm going to be attempting Apartment Therapy's 10-Step Closet Cure.  I invite you to try it.  I'll try to update regularly.  

I recently let go of a bunch of donations from when I cleaned out my closet and decluttered my apartment in spring:  

This is the result.  Five containers of clothes, ceramics and glassware, handbags, household items, CD's, hats and shoes.  It all went to this place called Bay Street Thrift, on Staten Island in NYC.  My roommate was nice enough to take a cab and run some errands for me since I haven't been able to get out, and she dropped it off.  I hope to be getting rid of some more stuff during this Closet Cure.  

Take care and be well!