Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Press & Media » Martha

100 Reasons To Get Rid Of It

Martha (Website) - 3/1/2007 by Staff
Martha : 100 Reasons To Get Rid Of It Because You Have Too Much Stuff
1. 1.4 million Americans suffer from chronic hoarding & clutter.
2. People burn 55 minutes a day looking for things.
3. 80 percent of what we own we never use.
Pay someone else to take out the (big, cumbersome) trash.
Lock it up in more than 2,100 locations around the U.S.
Schedule a pickup with your local Salvation Army.
Find local recycling and reuse programs for all kinds of household items.
Because It's Fun
Set up shop at the World's Longest Yard Sale, August 2-5, along 450 miles of Highway 127 in the southeastern U.S.
9. Or peddle your wares in your own front yard on National Garage Sale Day, August 10.
Attend nationwide clothing exchanges and do-it-yourself alteration workshops.
Watch as a pile of your favorite old T-shirts is converted into a quilt.
Because Someone Else Needs It
Cell Phones
Put a refurbished phone (of any brand) into the hands of a domestic violence victim.
Or let its sale benefit an environmental charity.
Send a phone to the field staff of a poverty-fighting mission.

Digital Cameras
Help keep service members in touch with their families.

All Technology
Work with charities to find homes for consumer electronics.
Put scanners, computers, and cameras in the hands of deserving, impoverished kids around the world.

Air Miles
For Red Cross staff and volunteers
For deployed soldiers
For transplant patients
For terminally ill kids

Furniture & Appliances
Match your household items with a local non-profit's wish list.
Furnish homes for disaster victims.
Give interview and work clothing to disadvantaged women.
Donate a wedding gown to benefit breast-cancer patients.
Send formal wear to teenage girls who need help getting to the prom.
A free coat to anyone who needs one.
Ship shoes and sportswear to struggling athletes around the world.

Supply children in foster care with luggage.
30. &
Send eyewear to men and women in underdeveloped countries.
Convert American Express credit card points to cash donations.
Donate a used vehicle to support your local public radio station.
Give everything from storybooks to encyclopedias.
Send towels and newspapers to animal shelters.
Fund job training programs and social services.
Post donations for charities (and regular folks) to claim.
Donate leftover building supplies to Habitat for Humanity's ReStores.

Technology and training for the disabled and disadvantaged.
Connecting donations with charities across the U.S.
Send computers to more than 50 developing countries.
Because It Can Be Turned Into Something Else
Recycled footwear materials become sports and playground surfaces.
Donated Capilene base layers become polyester fibers for new Capilene garments.
43. Pangea organics' packaging becomes an herb garden when planted in soil.
44. Cargo cosmetics' PlantLove lipstick tubes come in plantable boxes that sprout wildflowers.
Old newspapers become colored pencils.
Rubber tires become sleek purses...
...or rugged iPod covers.
Plastic soda bottles become durable hammocks.
Yogurt containers become colorful plates, flatware, toothbrushes, and razors
Because You Can Get Something Back
54. Return six MAC Cosmetics containers to any MAC store and receive a free lipstick.
55. Trade in an old iPod and receive a 10 percent discount on a new one.
Easily convert spare change into "real" money.
Sell it to your neighbors.
Sell it to anyone.
Get cash for gift cards you'll never use.
Trade the books you have for the ones you want.
Trade the DVDs you've seen for the ones you haven't.
Clear off your CD shelves, and make money in the process.
The great entertainment exchange: books, music, movies, and games, all swapped in one place.
Because It's Old/Expired
Replacing old appliances with new, energy-efficient ones saves money and fuel.
65. Running shoes should be retired after 300 to 500 miles in order to prevent injuries.
66. Deep-six your toothbrush every three to four months.
67. Swap your pitcher's water filter every two months (or as directed).
68. Change out disposable air conditioner filters once a month during cooling season.
69 Replace the batteries in your smoke detector at least once a year.
Find the USDA's recommended storage limits for refrigerated and frozen food.
71. Throw out mascara and moisturizer after three months.
72. Discard foundation and sunscreen after six months to a year.
73. Keep concealer, lipstick, eye- and lip liners, fragrances, powders, blushes, and shadows for only a year and a half to two years.
74.-76. Say goodbye to the dried-out remnants of your favorite no-longer-available lipstick, and check out, T.J.Maxx stores, or Lancome's beauty bye-bye program for replacements or duplicates of discontinued cosmetics.

Because You Don't Want to Suffer from "Stuck Song Syndrome"
77. And these five tunes are among the most persistent: Chili's "Baby Back Ribs" jingle, "We Will Rock You," the "Mission Impossible" theme, "YMCA," and "It's a Small World After All." (Tip: Try drowning them out with classical music, which is less likely to haunt you after it's turned off.)
Because the Last Thing You Need Is More Paper Lying Around
78. File your taxes through an authorized IRS e-file provider.
79. Eliminate paper statements by banking and paying bills online.
80. Call 1-888-567-8688 to stop unwanted credit card solicitations.
81. Opt out of mailing and telemarketing lists by logging on to

Because There's a Better Option
82. Search for phone numbers online instead of storing bulky Yellow and White Pages volumes.
83. Lose the road maps and get a GPS system to download up-to-date travel guides.
84. Read "Dating Up: Dump the Schlump and Find a Quality Man," by J. Courtney Sullivan (Warner Books, $14, 2007).
Because You Don't Want to End Up Like Them
85. Miss Havisham in "Great Expectations"
86. Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale in "Grey Gardens"
87. Oscar Madison in "The Odd Couple"
88. The family in the documentary "Packrat" (
89. The Bronx, New York, man who, in 2003, was trapped in his home under an avalanche of books and newspapers for two days before being rescued.

Because If They Said It, It's Probably True
90. "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." -Leonardo da Vinci
91. "Less is more." -Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
92. "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." -William Morris
93. "You've got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative." -Johnny Mercer
94. "The joy of giving is indeed a pleasure, especially when you get rid of something you don't want." -Frank Butler and Frank Cavett, "Going My Way"
Or Just Because...
95. It has no value, sentimental or monetary.
96. It hasn't been used in over a year.
97. There is no logical place to keep it.
98. It doesn't work.
99. An ex gave it to you.
100. And what's the worst that can happen if you throw it out?
Want fewer ads?