Spring cleaning: What to toss and what to upcycle

May 20, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Image: Shutterbidt/Getty Images

It's your favorite time of year: spring cleaning. And as you begin to dig through the trenches that you call home, it's time to either use your stuff or lose it. Here's your go-to guide on what you should hold onto and what you need to bid adieu to.

Toss or donate

  • Extra cell phones: If you're saving your old Nokia to play secret games of Snake, it's time to part ways. While we do suggest you keep one that's with your provider to avoid having to pay costly fees if your current one breaks, it's time to let the others go. Donate the unused phones to a shelter, sell for some extra cash or recycle at a local retailer to avoid over-polluting the earth.

  • Old power cords: If you don't know what it's used for, then it's likely you don't need it anymore.

  • Books: You may be able to make a few dollars off of selling them to a local book dealer, Amazon or a yard sale, but if they're not your favorite, don't keep them.

  • Magazines: Unless you plan on making this amazing frame or have a huge love for creating poster collages, there's no point in holding onto your old magazines.

  • Greeting cards: Let's be honest, with online versions and Facebook messages, you probably aren't going to use that outdated box of greeting cards your mom gave you.

  • Plastic bottles: Plastic water bottles are prone to bacteria and chemical leaks and should only be used one to two times for drinking. Stay safe by using a reusable one that's way cuter and safer for the environment.

  • Old undies: Go ahead and throw socks and bras in this category as well. Because if it's worn out and smelly, it needs to be in the trash.

  • Store hangers: They're cheap and not very nice on your clothes. Toss your free store hangers for luxurious cloth hangers to make your clothes last longer.

  • Perfume: If it hasn't been sprayed in a few years, it probably has lost that original scent you loved so much. So unless the bottle is super cool and vintage, say au revoir.

Upcycle

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