I am a packrat. I fully admit it. I have a hard time getting rid of stuff. Over the past few weeks, though, I have been trying to reduce and de-clutter, and do it in a way that's good for the environment.
First, I cleaned out all of my closets. I had tons of clothes I haven't worn for various reasons. If your closet is overflowing, take a day and go through it and ask yourself, "When did I last wear this?" If it's been a year, ask, "Why haven't I worn this? Does it not fit right? Is it something that isn't flattering or just not my style anymore?" If it's a yes to those answers, then put it in a pile to donate, provided it's in good shape. I took most of my stuff to the Goodwill in town, as it's only a few blocks away, but you can check shelters in your area or post the items for free on places like Freecycle, if that's easier for you. If it's something a bit pricier or a unique vintage item, then you can try selling it on eBay or Craigslist. Vintage items seem to sell best on eBay and then you know that someone really wants the item and will enjoy it.
After sorting out all the items I could get rid of, now I had to put the stuff to keep back in the closets. I am not an organized person. Since I had everything out and pared down, I took the opportunity to rearrange and organize my items into storage boxes, that I then labeled. It's so much easier to find things when you label the boxes so that you can see them when you open the closet.
I also have a bad habit of keeping papers. I don't want to throw them away but I also don't have the space to store them and many of them aren't important. I had tons of recipes I had printed from blogs and cooking sights. I kept those and sorted and arranged them in binders so I could find them later. I sorted out the important papers I should keep, and filed them in the filing cabinet. The rest I tossed in the recycling bin. Remember to shred anything that contains personal information before getting rid of it.
My place is coming along now. Int he future, I will post about my adventures buying and selling furniture on Craigslist.