Spring Cleaning – Reducing Clutter In Your Environment

2014-06-21_13-34-06According to Dictionary.com, one definition of the word environment is “external conditions or surroundings, especially those in which people live and work.” We usually think of the air, water, forests, and other outdoor things that surround us when we talk about the environment; however, our environment also consists of our homes and workplaces.

I can only take clutter for so long, then it just has to go!

When I get in the mood to really “clean house,” I’m ready to just start tossing things out! I have to stop and remember that what I consider junk or trash can be another’s treasure. So I take a breath, slow down, and think about each item. I then separate everything into five groups:

  • Yard Sale / Donations
  • Special Give-Aways
  • Recyclables
  • Household Hazardous Waste
  • Trash


Yard Sale / Donations

Having a yard sale is a great way to get rid of unwanted items that still have some good use in them while taking in a few dollars for yourself. If you don’t want to spend the time having a yard sale, then donate the items to a local thrift store. If you do have a yard sale, a thrift store would be happy to take what is left over at the end of your sale. Everything finds a place that is NOT in YOUR environment!

Special Give-Aways
Sometimes we find things that are a bit harder to part with, and it feels better to give them to someone we know. Offer these items to someone you believe might need or treasure them. If they accept, you have reduced your clutter and made someone else happy. If they decline, do the hard thing and add the item to your yard sale/donation pile.


When something is broken or no longer usable, our first instinct is to toss it in the trash; however, “broken” does not necessarily mean it has no value. We should remember that anything made of metal can also be recycled such as bikes, grills, tools, pipes, wash tubs, etc. Metal Exchange located at the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center on Lucas Ferry Rd. will accept all metal items, and will buy copper, brass, aluminum, and stainless steel. You can contact Metal Exchange for more information at 256-585-0976.

When the effort is made to bring items to the recycling center, valuable material is being provided to companies that create brand new items out of what we might consider junk. You can find recycled metal in everything from your microwave oven, cookware, and wrenches, to wall art and the plane that takes you to your next vacation destination!


Don’t forget that electronics of all kinds can be recycled, too. Anything that has an electrical cord or takes batteries, along with anything that plugs into those items can be brought to the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center. That includes items such as cell phones, toaster ovens, copiers, vacuum cleaners, computers, microwaves, clock radios and the list goes on! No need to pile these items up in a corner and wait for a special collection. Bring them to the center from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday!

Household Hazardous Waste
Items such as cleaning fluids, automobile fluids, insecticides, oil-based paints, fertilizers, and other toxic items should not be put in the trash. These items must be disposed of at a Household Hazardous Waste Collection. There are no events currently scheduled for Limestone County residents. Please let your local representatives know if you would like to see such an event take place.

The pile considered trash should be the smallest of all. These are the items that will go into the landfill and remain for decades. We should only put in this pile the items that cannot be dealt with in any other manner.

If you are like me, I feel much better in an uncluttered home and workplace. It isn’t always easy to keep things uncluttered, so we’ve set a cleaning date here at KALB. Set your date to reduce the clutter in your environment and we can feel better together!
By: Lynne Hart