How to properly repurpose or dispose of items.

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It’s a question we get asked a lot – how do you properly dispose of materials? Phew. That is a long topic. We’ve been in business now since 2015, and one of the biggest lessons that we’ve learned is how to properly dispose of your items. There are rules! The Simplify Team offers donation services as a package for our clients, and we also throw A LOT of stuff away. Like a lot, a lot.  From both options, we have learned from experience what to toss and what you MUST dispose of in a specific way. 

Let’s begin with PAINT

We all have them: numerous paint cans from both current colors and former colors. Every seller thinks, “well, I guess I should keep this paint just in case,” or “maybe the new buyer will want to do some touchups.” The truth of the matter is that most people do not use these. I’ve been in thousands of homes and never once have we grabbed and used the spare paint. It must happen for some, but not often. Here are our main suggestions: 

  1. Don’t overbuy paint, just save the details – paint brand, color, and type. 
  2. If the can is almost empty, you don’t need to keep it! Take note of the details and dispose of it properly.
  3. If the paint is from a previous owner, you DON’T have to keep it.

What does it mean to dispose of paint properly? Well, that depends on where you live. Email or check the website of your local waste company. Each city has different rules and regulations. Many even provide free pick up if you schedule it through the waste management company. 


Now let’s talk about electronics. 

You can’t just throw electronics away. We’re serious – please don’t! Number one, for your own personal reasons (i.e. your information is usually stored on the device), and number two because it’s really terrible for the environment. If you are local to Dallas-Fort Worth, I’ve personally used a company called DFW Reclaimers, and guys, they are FREE! You heard me, free. They come to your house and pick up your tvs, computers, laptops, and literally ALL other electronics. I can tell you with absolute confidence that they personally swipe everything. None of your info is out there, ever. The Simplify Team uses them exclusively for the Dallas market. There are also many other companies out there. Make sure that you receive a certificate for everything that the company claims to “swipe” clean. If they don’t promise you verification, find another company. You have no idea what information is saved on your devices, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. 


We all know where to take gently used, unwanted clothes, but do you know where they go from there? If not, it’s time for a change. It doesn’t take long to do, but ask questions. Figure out what is going where. If they don’t know, it’s time to donate elsewhere. We use Recycle to Support on a weekly basis because we get to select where the proceeds from the items are going. As opposed to other large donation locations, it is wonderful to know that your donation will actually benefit a non-profit organization close to your heart.


Kitchen items

We constantly help clients purge their duplicate or extra kitchen items. Our advice for this is to think local. If you have the extra time (only a few moments at most), try to pass it on. Maybe you can group the extra items and pass them onto a single mom in need. Or maybe there is a local family in need of something extra. If we can, I always try to help a specific, local family as opposed to trashing something that still has some life to give.

Think about your stuff. If you’ve loved the life out of it, but there’s still time, pass it on. Be mindful of what you trash and know your options and your local laws. When in doubt, ask!

Happy Organizing,

Steph and The Simplify Team 

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