Home » 135 Things to recycle, donate or toss.

135 Things to recycle, donate or toss.

by Kristen


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I am going to take a step back from food for a minute.  Mostly because I have barely had time to cook these past few weeks.

It is summer. I am loving every minute of it!   I have all three of my boys full time.  I don’t know why, but having three kids is so much more than having two kids.  We are having such a ball.  We have been to park dates, T-ball camp, spent time doing crafts, eating lunch outside and visiting friends.  I have been so busy, that I have had barely any time to create picture-perfect food.  That is fine, my husband is helping out during the weekends, so I can get my work done.

I love spending every minute with my awesome boys. But do you know what I don’t like doing? Spending time putting away stuff.  Mostly stuff we can do without. 

That’s right.  I hate all the clutter.  I really hate it.  I have always been pretty liberal about getting rid of things.  But, now that we have three kids in the house, organizing has never been so important.

It is usually easy just to throw things away or drop off a bunch of junk at Goodwill.   After reading This article a few years ago, it has made me more mindful of what kind of things we should be dropping off at Goodwill, and which items can actually be recycled.   Please don’t drop off broken items and stained clothing off at Goodwill or Salvation Army.  You are just wasting people’s time and energy that will have to sort out all that junk.   I have listed which items can be recycled and have also listed some places where these things can go.

Hopefully, this will help you declutter your mind and home, so you can spend more time with your family!

Happy summer!


Instruction Manuals, you can find most manuals online

Free plastic cups from bars or restaurants

Business cards

Loose nuts, bolts screws etc.

Old plastic baby bottles

Old headphones, you can recycle old headphones here. 

Junk Mail- Stop junk mail from coming to you!

Old electronics check your local recycling center for their procedure. 

Soap bottles- I have these soap dispensers in my shower.  I fill them up and recycle the bottles.  I hate having extra bottles in my bathrooms.

Coloring books that have no pages left to color

Kid’s school work- take digital photos and store online.  Get one of these for the special things. 

Old greetings cards- take digital photos of special ones.  Save just a few you love. 


Take- out menus.

Product packaging

Cardboard boxes

Plastic hangers from the store

Expired coupons

Plastic containers with missing lids

Old magazines

Broken sunglasses, learn how to handle sunglasses here. 

Missing lids

Broken plastic toys, learn more here. 

Shopping bags

Old calendars

Old plastic containers

Old Christmas cards.- take digital photos for your records. 

Ticket stubs- take digital photos if it is something you want to remember. 

Old hangers- you might want to check to make sure your local recycle center takes metal ones. Some do, some don’t. 

Old hard alcohol bottles with just a little bit left.  I need to face it.  Those days are over. 

Cell phones, learn more info here. 

Mismatched socks or socks with holes. And old underwear.   Learn about recycling them here. 

Worn Towels

Worn Sheets

Fast food restaurant toys, learn more here.

Old Mail

Old Notebooks

Old toiletries- empty and recycle the bottles. 

Old spices- empty and recycle bottles. 

Christmas lights that don’t work, learn more about recycling lights here. 

Old lightbulbs- More info here

Old lists

Old batteries

Metal or plastic key chains

Glass Jars

Phone Books

Conference Packets

Travel brochures

Wedding invites and save the date cards

Old Work Badges

Chargers for old phones

Old or stained tablecloths.

Plastic water bottles without lids

Old ink cartridges

Old Binders and Folders

Old Hair Dryers, more info here. 

Books- if you’re not going to read that book again, give it to a friend.  If you might read it again, go to your library. 

Old college textbooks

Old party supplies

Wedding favors

Holiday decor you don’t use

Old cake pans or cookie cutters

Alarm clocks- An item you no longer need if you have a phone. 

Promotional T-shirts you don’t wear

Any clothing that doesn’t fit. If you’re trying to hit a certain weight goal, buy something new when you reach it!

Old craft supplies

Old Posters

Old purses and bags

Vases, I hinted to my husband, that I would rather have plants rather than cut flowers. 

Old Bridesmaid dresses, many communities look for dresses so underprivileged teens can go to prom. 

Your high school or college t-shirts

Paint- many nonprofits accept paint donations. 

Unused stationary

Discarded collections, rocks seashells etc. 

broken crayons, chalk.

Toys that your kids have outgrown

Diapers that are too small

Scrap fabric

Trophies- and roll your eyes at the coach when they’re handed out to everyone. 

Old power cords

Old extension cords

Watches, we have entered a different era.

Maternity clothes- if you won’t be needing them.

Baby clothes- find your local pregnancy center or someone in need. 

DVD’s – store your movies digitally and stream movies 

Sports equipment you don’t use.

CD’s – store music online before giving these away. 

Cookbooks- get recipes online. Take digital photos of your favorite recipes. 

Decorative figurines

Shoes you don’t wear


Furniture you don’t use or is cluttering up a room.

Tangled jewelry- you might be surprised who might repurpose it. 

Old Halloween Costumes- I usually put all the pieces together when I donate costumes.  Many people go to thrift stores to look for Halloween costumes. 

Old home decor

Old remote controls- Click here for how to donate remote controls

Scarves you no longer wear

Old cell phone cases

Old calculators

Old cell phone accessories

Belts you don’t wear

Duplicate grooming products, women’s shelters are always in need of these. 


Old photos- take digital photos and store online. 

All the stuff from the bottom of your purse.

Old make-up brushes

Old make-up

Old chapsticks

Last year’s Halloween, Easter and Valentines Day candy.

Squeezy bath toys – these can get moldy. 

Old sponges

Old pillows

Games with missing pieces- recycle the pieces you can. 

Old nail polish

Twisty ties

Chip Clips

Expired food

Dried out markers

Pen’s with no ink

Dried up glue

Expired medicine

Any leftover item that came in a goody bag, and then be a good example, and don’t give one filled with junk. 

Old travel coffee mugs without lids

Moldy, grimy bath toys

Old mascara

Mismatched water bottle lids laying around.

Rubber bands

Loofahs- and then stop using them!

Old make-up bags

Bubble wrap

Air fresheners

Recalled or expired baby items- you might be able to recycle some of it.


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