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15 Practical Tips For Decluttering Your Home This Fall

It's time to let go of that expired sunscreen.

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Fall cleaning is better than spring cleaning, IMHO. I just decluttered my apartment and I swear my brain reset:

All I'm saying is, we're gross as heck during summer, leaving our home and wardrobe ravaged by all of the sweat, sunscreen, and souvenirs the season brings. There's a lot to clean before we hunker down for the colder months, and we deserve to have a tidy space before we spend so much time indoors with our books and blankets. So, why not make your space as clear and crisp as fall itself?
Tom Vellner / BuzzFeed

All I'm saying is, we're gross as heck during summer, leaving our home and wardrobe ravaged by all of the sweat, sunscreen, and souvenirs the season brings. There's a lot to clean before we hunker down for the colder months, and we deserve to have a tidy space before we spend so much time indoors with our books and blankets. So, why not make your space as clear and crisp as fall itself?

Here are some easy decluttering tips to get you started:

1. Donate anything in your summer wardrobe that never saw the sun this year.

There's a reason you never put them on — and odds are they'll go unworn next summer too — so why waste your valuable closet real estate? Check out this Goodwill locator to find your closest donation site.
Anna Kocharian / Via domino.com

There's a reason you never put them on — and odds are they'll go unworn next summer too — so why waste your valuable closet real estate? Check out this Goodwill locator to find your closest donation site.

2. Recycle your socks that have seen better days.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that, on average, Americans throw away about 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles each year, accounting for nearly 5% of all landfill space. So, before you toss out stained or torn socks from your summer adventures, consider donating them. Goodwill accepts all textile donations in any condition (except wet or contaminated with hazardous materials) so they can be recycled into new products.
@sparkly_nickers / Via instagram.com

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that, on average, Americans throw away about 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles each year, accounting for nearly 5% of all landfill space. So, before you toss out stained or torn socks from your summer adventures, consider donating them. Goodwill accepts all textile donations in any condition (except wet or contaminated with hazardous materials) so they can be recycled into new products.

3. Rinse and recycle expired bottles of sunscreen.

Most sunscreens are made to work at their original strength for up to three years, so check the expiration date on yours — if it's past, it won't last. If any of yours are too old, clean 'em out and toss 'em in the recycling bin.
@madridvenek / Via instagram.com

Most sunscreens are made to work at their original strength for up to three years, so check the expiration date on yours — if it's past, it won't last. If any of yours are too old, clean 'em out and toss 'em in the recycling bin.

4. Donate or sell any summer reads you've finished and will probably never pick up again.

Is there anything more satisfying than an organized bookshelf? I think not.
@michellereadsbooks / Via instagram.com

Is there anything more satisfying than an organized bookshelf? I think not.

5. And recycle any summer magazines you're still holding onto "just in case."

Let's be real: You're never going to read that piece about 58 different ways to cut a watermelon again. To the recycling bin!
@gloria_jewels / Via instagram.com

Let's be real: You're never going to read that piece about 58 different ways to cut a watermelon again. To the recycling bin!

6. Donate at least one of the 8,000 totes you've collected.

"WHERE DID YOU ALL COME FROM?" —Me, looking inside my tote full of totes.
@lunablumar / Via instagram.com

"WHERE DID YOU ALL COME FROM?" —Me, looking inside my tote full of totes.

7. Give mostly burned citronella candles or other used bug repellents to your local municipal hazardous waste collection.

These products are considered hazardous waste because of the chemicals they contain, so the EPA advises against pouring them down the drain, on the ground, or into storm sewers, or putting them out with your regular trash. Instead, check in with your local environmental, health, or solid waste agency to find out where the nearest drop-off sites are located.
@lalamamalu / Via instagram.com

These products are considered hazardous waste because of the chemicals they contain, so the EPA advises against pouring them down the drain, on the ground, or into storm sewers, or putting them out with your regular trash. Instead, check in with your local environmental, health, or solid waste agency to find out where the nearest drop-off sites are located.

8. And upcycle the jars from your burned out summer-scented candles.

Hot tip: Stop using your candle when there's half an inch of wax left at the bottom to avoid causing heat damage to the jar and the surface it's resting on. Once it gets to that point, freeze the jar for a bit so you can pop out any remaining wax and either recycle or reuse it.
@thefindersflea / Via instagram.com

Hot tip: Stop using your candle when there's half an inch of wax left at the bottom to avoid causing heat damage to the jar and the surface it's resting on. Once it gets to that point, freeze the jar for a bit so you can pop out any remaining wax and either recycle or reuse it.

9. Transform all those Mason jars you "might need again someday" from a giant mess into an herb garden.

We all have waaaaay too many glass jars lying around from our favorite pasta sauce, amirite? Turning them into your personal herb garden is much easier than you might think. Learn more here.
buzzfeed.com

We all have waaaaay too many glass jars lying around from our favorite pasta sauce, amirite? Turning them into your personal herb garden is much easier than you might think. Learn more here.

10. Don't be afraid to let go of any houseplants that didn't survive the season.

It's a lil' sad, I know, but when it's time, it's time. Don't go throwing your precious plant and its soil in the garbage though — put it in your compost bin or over your garden area to decompose. Rather than create waste, this lets the plant contribute to healthy soil.
@learningboutplants / Via instagram.com

It's a lil' sad, I know, but when it's time, it's time. Don't go throwing your precious plant and its soil in the garbage though — put it in your compost bin or over your garden area to decompose. Rather than create waste, this lets the plant contribute to healthy soil.

11. Give any leftover soil, fertilizer, or seedlings from your summer gardening to a local nursery or co-op.

If you have gardening supplies you know you won't use, or such a small amount it's not even worth using, donate them to a local nursery or co-op that'll definitely get more use out of them. If nothing else, throw 'em on your compost pile.
Tom Vellner / BuzzFeed

If you have gardening supplies you know you won't use, or such a small amount it's not even worth using, donate them to a local nursery or co-op that'll definitely get more use out of them. If nothing else, throw 'em on your compost pile.

12. Return extra berry baskets, boxes, and canning jars to your farmers market or CSA.

They'll be happy to take them back and keep them out of the garbage.
@farmdownthelane / Via instagram.com

They'll be happy to take them back and keep them out of the garbage.

13. Go through your office supplies and donate any you don't need to a local school drive.

If your desk looks like a stationery store exploded, and you've got plenty of pens, pencils, or notebooks to spare, check if there are any local organizations or schools who can provide those supplies to students in need.
@the_rewm / Via instagram.com

If your desk looks like a stationery store exploded, and you've got plenty of pens, pencils, or notebooks to spare, check if there are any local organizations or schools who can provide those supplies to students in need.

14. Recycle any boxes lying around from online orders.

That new bathing suit came two months ago. It's time for the box to go.
@emico211 / Via instagram.com

That new bathing suit came two months ago. It's time for the box to go.

15. Donate, recycle, or upcycle any ~swag~ you're comfortable parting with from weddings, conferences, and other events.

One-sheets, save-the-dates, commemorative cups, koozies: It's time to say goodbye. Anything paper or plastic can, of course, go in the recycling bin, and when it comes to all of the koozies you've accumulated, there are lots of super-clever ways to upcycle them. Hellooo, tidy home.
@thepaintgrind / Via instagram.com

One-sheets, save-the-dates, commemorative cups, koozies: It's time to say goodbye. Anything paper or plastic can, of course, go in the recycling bin, and when it comes to all of the koozies you've accumulated, there are lots of super-clever ways to upcycle them. Hellooo, tidy home.