Tag Archive for: recycle

Recycle more paper

It can be a struggle to determine whether to keep or recycle certain papers. So, I’ve devised a list of questions that will help you. Answer the following questions honestly and objectively. If your answer is no to 5 or more questions it’s time to recycle or shred that paper.

  • Do you have a specific use for this paper?
  • Does this paper hold current and up-to-date information?
  • Did you request this information?
  • Will this paper help you complete a project you’re working on now?
  • Are there tax, legal, or insurance reasons to keep this paper?
  • Is this information important to your life right now?
  • Is this paper referred to often?
  • Can this information be obtained elsewhere or again if needed?
  • Would getting rid of this paper make your life more difficult?


box of books

Donate books

Books are a great donation and accepted at many resale shops, like Goodwill, Savers, and Salvation Army. Some libraries may take them to resell also, but I recommend calling before bringing them to the library.

Depending on what type of books they are you can donate to senior centers, daycare centers, nursing homes, or hospitals, but again, call first to confirm their interest.

Here are three websites to check out:
More Than Words

Operation Paperback

Prison Book Program

One word of caution, no one really wants old text books or encyclopedias. An option is to offer them to theater companies who may like them for props.

old tech

Donating Media

Have you ever wondered if your old VHS tapes had any value? Are you holding on to CDs but no longer have a player? Do you want to donate DVDs but aren’t sure where to do so? Well, you’re not alone. These are questions I get asked all the time.

Here are a few suggestions for you.

  • CDs and DVDs can still be donated to Goodwill and Savers. Donate them if they’re in good condition with no scratches and in their original case. If they are scratched, consider donating them to an art school, an up-cycle artist, or crafter.
  • Most VHS tapes are not accepted for donation, but some are still donate-able, especially Disney. Call Goodwill, Savers or Salvation Army before donating them to see if they’re interested in the ones you want to get rid of. If you’re ambitions and want to do some on-line research you may be able to sell some old VHS tapes. They can be sold on-line via Facebook Yard sale, Ebay, or other avenues.
  • However, no resale stores take cassette tapes. You can offer them up for free on-line via Freecycle or Buy Nothing, but if you don’t want to put in the effort, they just go in the trash.

You may want to call your local Staples or Best Buy store to see if they’ll recycle any of these items. I know the Staples in Attleboro recycles CDs and DVDs. Hope that helps.

Bulk donation piles

Goodwill Donation Tips

A group of my fellow NAPO-New England (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals) members and I went on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, Boston. We learned about its mission, to help individuals with barriers to self-sufficiency, achieve independence and dignity through work. We learned about its origin. It was established by a Boston minister in 1895 but no longer has a religious affiliation. We learned about its efficiency as a community-based nonprofit. In 2022, $.89 of every dollar spent went to programs that helped transfer lives. We also witnessed first-hand how they effectively process their 680,000 individual donations. Needless to say the tour was very informative and educational. It left me with a greater understanding of what happens to donated goods, and an appreciation for all the excellent work this nonprofit does.

Donation Tips:

  • Goodwill accepts gently-used goods in usable condition. Goods and clothing need to be washed and clean, void of pet hair and smoke. Goodwill does not clean or launder anything.
  • Clothes can have slight rips, small stains, or missing buttons as long as it’s clean. Goodwill inspectors sort through the donations. It takes them  3 seconds to evaluate each piece. The damaged items get sold in bulk to textile recycle companies.
  • Bag clothing donations rather than box them.
  • Take shoes out of their original boxes unless they are brand new.
  • They only accept new-in-package underwear and toys.
  • Gently used bras and socks are acceptable.

For more details and donation guidelines visit their website.

Tour of Goodwill

Donating and Recycling

I’m often surprised by the fact that I’ve been working to create and maintain order with my clients for the past 15 years. The ongoing process of organizing and reducing takes time, effort, and resources. Over the years I’ve discovered some great resources. Here are some that have helped me this fall.