Could you use a little help uncluttering your home? Seven’s on your side to help! Our partners at Consumer Reports can tell you how to recycle or find a new home for whatever is crammed in your basement, closets, or attic.
A good place to start is with old computers and TVs. But Consumer Reports says that they can contain hazardous compounds, so don’t just throw them out. Stores such as Best Buy, Office Depot, and Staples will recycle old gear, although there can be a small fee. And they also take old cell phones. You can of course try making some money on your old devices by selling them on eBay, or trying a wesbite like Gazelle.com, an online buy back site. But before you donate any phone, or computer for that matter, Consumer Reports cautions, be sure to erase all of your personal information. Manufacturers’ websites can tell you how to do that.
If you have toys or baby gear, before you donate an item make sure it hasn’t been recalled by checking the Recalls.gov website. Hundreds of children’s products have been recalled in just the past year alone. You don’t want to pass off an unsafe product to someone else.
If you have old stuffed animals, try a local animal shelter. It turns out they can be a lot of fun for cats who are waiting to be adopted.
Old batteries are another pesky product that can pile up. You can put alkalines in the trash, but rechargeable batteries should be recycled. Consumer Reports recommends checking Call2Recycle.org and Earth911.com for a nearby drop-off site. For more advice from Consumer Reports on how to get rid of lots of other things, click here.