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Downsizing, decluttering, moving, and other hard-to-face realities

What Not to Throw in the Trash or Garbage

Look for details about what to do with these items in the articles linked to below. For some, you should search for a hazardous waste drop-off facility in your area at Earth911.com .)

  • Aerosol and spray cans
  • Asbestos
  • Batteries.
  • Car batteries 
  • Cell phones and other electronic devices
  • Chemicals, including lawn chemicals
  • Clothing
  • Computers and monitors
  • Electrical switches and relays
  • Electronics.
  • Fire and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Fireworks and other explosives
  • Fuels and gas
  • Gasoline
  • Hazardous materials
  • Ink
  • Lightbulbs. In recent years, the use of LED and compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) has increased exponentially.
  • Medical needles and sharps
  • Mercury thermometers.
  • Microwaves
  • Mothballs
  • Motor oil and other automative fluids
  • Oils.
  • Paints and solvents
  • Plastic bags
  • Prescription drugs, even if unused or expired
  • Refrigerators
  • Smoke detectors
  • Televisions
  • Tires
  • Treated wood

Sources with more detailed information:
What Can’t I Throw in the Garbage (And What to Do With It)? (Waste Away Systems, 8-12-20)
14 Things It's Illegal to Throw in the Trash (Bob Vila slideshow)
The 24 Items That Should NEVER Go In Your Trash Can (Trashcans Unlimited, 10-16-16)


Sources of information for specific categories of stuff:
Plastic bag and plastic film recycling (PlasticFilm Recycling)
10 places to recycle your cell phone (Lyndsey Gilpin,Tech Republic)
Where and How to Dispose of Unused Medicines (FDA) Or Look for a local "Take Back Your Meds" facility (possibly with a different name)

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Dealing with pests

(with sections on mosquitoes, ticks, lice, bedbugs, roaches, ants, moths, spiders, rodents and other four-legged animals)


"Sanitation is a key factor in controlling pests."


General strategies

First of all plug all the holes in your walls. If you have a 3-inch diameter hole for a 1-inch diameter gas pipe behind the stove, plug up that space. Tom B. looks for gaps in the floor molding, especially near doors, and seal those that lead to the outside. "I had an ant trail, and found I had a 1" gap next to my patio door that lead directly to the outside of my unit. For the kitchen, I put aluminum foil around small gaps in cabinets around water feed lines (and sealed larger ones with foam). I also blocked the areas on the floor under the kitchen cabinets, simply using old styrofoam packing material. I also use some weather proofing/bug guard on my front door and HVAC door. 
Top 10 Most Frequent Dog and Cat Toxins (Pet Poison Helpline, (855) 764-7661) Don't kill your pets while getting rid of pests. See
---What did your pet ingest?
---A guide to pet safety
Humane Pest Control for Critter-Proof Gardens and Planters (Family Handyman) How to deter hungry critters in humane ways.
Green Cleaning: 10 powerful essential oils that naturally repel insects

25 Tips for Controlling Pests In and Around Your Home (Jenny Stanley, Family Handyman) Example: "If those pesky fruit flies are invading your kitchen, grab a small bowl and pour in a little apple cider vinegar. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and punch a couple of pencil-lead-sized holes in the plastic. The fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar and they can get in but not out."
Protecting Yourself from Stinging Insects (CDC, 2010)
Managing Pests Around the Home (Extension, Tennessee) Covers a lot of territory.
What is a Pesticide? (Environmental Protection Agency)
Pesticides and How to Safely Use Them Indoors (Pest Strategies)
Safe Use of Pesticides (World Health Organization)
8 Ways to Store and Care For Pesticides Safely (Donna Bierbach, Family Handyman, 5-24-22) If you have unwanted leftover pesticide, drop it off with a local program. Search online for “household hazardous waste disposal near me.”
A shopper's guide to resources for getting rid of pests  Many items below are reprinted from the "great shopping" section of my Pat McNees site.


Mosquitos and other flying insects
GAT Mosquito Traps Can Be Effective Even without Pesticides (Ed Ricciuti, Entomology Today, 5-31-16) Available from BioQuip.
BG-GAT (BioGents USA) A passive backyard trap to stop the next generation of tiger mosquitoes.

Bugzooka bug catcher/vacuum. My friend John satisfies his hunter instincts sucking up bugs and spiders around the house (including flying insects), which are then caught in a trap from which he CAN release them to the wild (or he can drown them). They say this bug-sucker is a great gift for the friend who has everything. I watched John catch about 20 termite-like insects in 5 minutes. No battery required. Does not do well with flies (they're too quick and get away). For that they use the Bug-A-Salt (see next entry)
Bug-A-Salt 2.0. Shoots a shotgun spray of regular table salt, which decimates flies on contact. Has an effective range of 3 feet for flies. Cock it, click off the safety, and fire away. John's second-favorite hunting weapon.

Protecting Yourself from Stinging Insects (CDC, 2010)
Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard (a moisturizer that is also a very effect bug/mosquito repellent). Years ago I heard of this use for Skin-So-Soft for friends in the South and urged Avon to market it for this purpose, and they weren't interested--but customers in mosquito-heavy parts of the country used it regularly. Now they market this "bug guard" package of their lotion. 
Effects of mosquito sprays on humans, pets, and wildlife (Colin Purrington) Are these chemicals safe for humans? Are pyrethroids safe for pets? Do pyrethroids kill other animals? Pyrethoids are engineered to last for weeks. Signage and notification requirements. How local governments can help. Is spraying effective? Do garlic sprays work? Automatic fogging systems ("Don't. Just don't.")
Tips for killing and repelling mosquitoes (Colin Purrington) Excellent tips for alternatives to spraying, illustrated.
How to Prevent Mosquito Breeding in Rain Barrels (wikiHow)

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Moths and other little flying pests
BugMD Typically, closet moths are attracted to animal fabrics like cashmere, wool, and silk — but they’ll eat holes in cotton or even synthetic fabrics, too. BugMD can only be ordered online; it can't be found in stores.
Dr. Killigan's Pantry Moth Traps (sticky glue traps for food and cupboard moths in your kitchen)
How to Get Rid of Green Flies (HowToGetRidOf)
Catchmaster Pantry Pest Traps (those little bugs that are drawn to flour products in your kitchen stick to these traps)



Ticks Suck. Here's A Guide to Identifying Them and Avoiding Bites (Sheila Eldred, WBUR, 7-4-21) While Lyme disease is by far the most prevalent, accounting for nearly 35,000 cases in 2019, ticks also carry pathogens that can make you allergic to red meat or cause acute respiratory distress. In rare cases, tick-borne diseases are fatal. Anaplasmosis is the second-most common tick-borne disease, with nearly 8,000 cases reported in 2019. Before you go outdoors, check your local tick forecast, know your tick types, and be vigilant about taking precautions against getting bitten. Ticks on your body should be removed immediately. Know what to do should you be bitten.

• Read up on Lyme disease, which you absolutely do not want to get.

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These Treatments Will Help You Get Rid of Head Lice (Tegan Smedley, GoodRx, 2-24-22) Safe and effective head lice treatments are available with or without a prescription. Follow the instructions for your product carefully. Some medications need two treatments to fully kill lice. Avoid home remedies and natural products for lice. There’s little to no evidence that these work.
Consumer Reports: How to get rid of lice. "Comb them out instead of using Nix, Rid, or other chemicals. Use a metal nit comb—not plastic—that is thin-toothed and finely spaced." Reader Hilda Ward added this comment: "Wash hair with Dawn dish soap. Leave it on hair for at least 15 minutes. Use it for three or four days in a row for any eggs that you missed with the nit comb. Does not wreck your hair, actually adds body to it." Good for pets and humans.
ClinicalGuard V7 metal lice comb removes lice without damaging the user's hair or scalp. (Amazon shows several versions of a metal lice comb).
Dr. Ben's Evictor. Formulated to control BED BUGS, mites, and other insects that reside in hotel mattresses, box springs, pillows, and other personal space areas. Perfect for a housekeeping staff to have on hand while cleaning rooms after check out. It also comes in handy for pilots, stewardesses, and travelers of all kinds that come into contact with potential bug-infested areas.
• How to Get Rid of Lice (Pest Strategies)

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Bedbugs and dust mites
The Bedbug Registry (a free, public database of user-submitted bed bug reports from across the United States and Canada. Founded in 2006, the site has collected about 20,000 reports covering 12,000 locations.)
Bed bugs: Do-it-yourself control options (Insects in the City, Texas A&M AgriLife ExtensionS)
---Waterproof/Bed Bug and Dust Mite Proof - PREMIUM Zippered Mattress Encasement & Hypoallergenic Protector (Hospitology Sleep Defense System)
---Zippered Waterproof Mattress Encasement - Bed Bug Proof Mattress Cover (Utopia Bedding)
---6 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs (Joan Clark, Tips Bulletin)
---Bed Bug Interceptors. There are many other versions of the same device (you put them under legs of bed).
How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs – Tips and Products That Really Work (HowIGetRidOf)
Bed Bugs: Get Them Out and Keep Them Out (EPA). Includes list of Pesticides to Control Bed Bugs. and a Bed bug product search tool. Information pages on many aspects of bed bug control on the EPA site, which I found via Tuck's Bed Bug Guide.
Dust mites and bed bugs (Mattress Help, Why You Should Clean Your Mattress). If this is a marketing page, it's very effective.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs (Pest Strategies)


For eliminating dust mites and substances that inflame allergies:
My neighbor Suzanne S. recommends these cleaning products for dealing with allergies to dust mites. "There are no chemicals or insecticides in these products. They seem to work by process of non-ionic surfactants and do seem to remove more dust than anything else I've used. Presumably, less dust, fewer dust mites."
Allergen Wash Laundry Detergent (removes dust mite allergens, pet dander, pollen, and mold from all fabrics without having to use water temperatures of 140 degrees or higher)
ADS Anti-Allergen Dust Spray (use on carpet, area rugs, bedding, and soft furnishings to neutralize allergens, denature mite and cat allergen protein)
Alen Paralda Dual Airflow HEPA Air Purifier Tower. "Running it on low medium only when I’m in the bedroom has eliminated 99% of dust in that room," says SS.
X-Mite Anti-Allergen Moist Powder Carpet Cleaner


How to Get Rid of Cockroaches(Pest Strategies) See especially Best roach baits
Cockroaches: How to Manage Pests (University of California, Integrated Pest Management)
Why do I have cockroaches in my home? (National Pesticide Information Center)
Cockroaches 101: A Guide to Identifying Common Types of Cockroaches (Pest World)



How to Get Rid of Ants in the House and Yard (Family Handyman, 6-25-21)
How to Identify Types of Ants (Family Handyman)
The Homeowner’s Guide to Ant Pest Control (Family Handyman)



Remember: Spider webs catch a lot of insects.

14 Great Ways to Keep Spiders Out of Your Home Naturally (Joan Clark, Tips Bulletin)
Bugs That are Actually Good for Your Garden (Family Handyman)
Homeowner’s Guide to Spider Pest Control (Toni DeBella, Family Handyman)

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Mice, rodents, and other four-legged and underground animal pests
Snap-E Mouse Trap by Kness. After months of no mouse catches on the humane traps put out by our condo exterminator, I bought two of these, which got mostly glowing reviews. Within hours after I put overripe banana on the bait part, I had two dead mice--the first one moments after I turned off the kitchen light. Easy to dispose of the dead mice.
Diseases indirectly transmitted by rodents (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
The 5 Best Mouse Traps, Reviewed (This Old House)
Best Mouse Repellents (Pests.org) Don't want to trap or kill them? Keep them away, instead. B08219DSXP
Authenzo "Dr. Catch" humane mouse trap (two-pack) Grab & release the mouse causing no pain or harm.
Doggy Dare trash can lock (Lasso security cables) Raccoon, dog and varmint proof your garbage can (can not included).
Black Hole Rodent Trap. Apparently you need something a little more powerful, like this highly-rated trap, to catch a rat or a gopher.
Tom Cat reusable rat snap trap "Interlocking teeth make it virtually impossible for rats to escape."
How to Get Rid of a Norway Rat (HowIGetRidOf)
Raccoons as Neighbors (Wildlife Center of Virginia) Adorable as they are, they can cause problems
What to do about raccoons (Humane Society of the United States -- see Our Big Fights (fighting for all animals)

Bear Proof Trash Cans (Bear Guardian, Bitterroot Series: Model B200S With Slats) The BMWs of bear proof trash cans. Occasionally on sale.


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Selling all your other stuff

How I made $2,145 Last Month by decluttering (Bob, Seedtime, 8-1-17)
8 Places to Sell Stuff Online (Stephen Layton, Laura McMullen, Nerd Wallet, 5-7-2020) Consider fees and convenience when choosing among broad marketplaces, speciality sites and local platforms. Consider: Amazon, EBay, Bonanza online. Locally: Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Letgo. Clothes, vintage and crafts: Poshmark, Ruby Lane, Etsy. Electronics: Swappa, Glyde, Gazelle.
How to sell your unwanted stuff (Nicole Spector, Better, NBC News, 1-6-19) On EBay you can sell everything from books to cars. Poshmark is best for fashion brands and Starbucks tumbler. Got bags of clothes and shoes? Let ThredUp sort it out. For unwanted tech, click on DeCluttr. Facebook Marketplace for local, social selling. 5Miles: Nextdoor meets Craigslist. And 7 quick tips for a better sale (Take photos, measurements
Best Selling Apps for 2020 | Sell Your Stuff Online or Locally (Grant Sabatier, Millennial Money, 4-7-2020) The average US household has thousands of dollars’ worth of unused belongings, yet most people never get around to cashing in on this hidden goldmine. It’s easy to see why. The process can seem time-consuming and tedious – plus, when you stop using something, you forget you have it, and you forget it has monetary worth. Links to and descriptions of how the 26 bestselling apps operate: Decluttr, thredUP, Facebook Marketplace, Instagram (Shoppable Posts), eBay, Amazon (Seller Marketplace), Etsy, Poshmark, Tradesy, letgo, Craigslist CPlus, OfferUp, 5miles, Trove, Chairish, Carousell, Vinted, Depop, Wallapop, VarageSell, Shpock, Blinker, Nearme, Cashify, Gumtree, Recycler.
8 Ways Minimalism Helps Put Money In Your Pocket (Joshua Becker, Becoming Minimalist) Excess possessions are a drain on our finances. The structures we build, buy and rent to store our ever-increasing number of possessions is quite unbelievable. Our houses have tripled in size over the last 50 years, off-site storage is the fastest growing segment of commercial real estate, and only 33% of Americans can park both cars in their two-car garage. For fuller advice on becoming minimalist, read Becker's book Simplify
For many people, gathering possessions is just the stuff of life (Mary MacVean, Los Angeles Times, 3-21-14) Vendors collect stuff to sell to people, who often resell the stuff all over again.Our things can give us a sense of security, connection to the past, to the people we love. Figuring out what to discard and being able to actually toss stuff is crucial to an ordered, happy life, experts say.

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Downsizing and decluttering

Getting rid of unwanted stuff

One weekend my friend Steve and I went shopping for a bookcase, so I could get a couple hundred books off the floor. A few hours later (!!!) Ikea delivered three long boxes of parts. I forgot the boxes were there and tripped over them on my way to the kitchen, nearly breaking my leg. Decluttering is not for sissies! I shall never be a minimalist, but we have to start somewhere. What to do when your home contains your stuff, your parents' stuff, and your kids' stuff and you're having trouble walking safely from one spot to another, finding a place to sit (free of books, etc.), finding things, or getting rid of things. I created this section to help myself and hope you find it useful, too.


How to Get Rid of Stuff: Our A to Z Guide, from Apple Cores to Zillions of Books (Consumers' Checkbook). Very useful, with practical subsections:
---Decluttering Strategies
---Personal Organizers and Several Before-and-After Case Histories
---Selling Clothes at Local Consignment Shops
Marie Kondo can’t have my bookshelves (Deborah Levy, The Guardian, 1-23-19) I have reached a stage where many of my books no longer speak to me, but I won’t be persuaded to part with Jack Kerouac or Colette.

      And let's be honest: Marie Kondo doesn't work for all of us: Let’s Celebrate the Art of Clutter (Dominique Browning, NY Times, 5-29-15) "The stuff we accumulate works the same way our body weight does. Each of us has a set point to which we invariably return. Each of us has been allotted a certain tolerance, if not a need, for stuff; each of us is gaited to carry a certain amount of weight in possessions."
‘Death Cleaning’: A Reckoning With Clutter, Grief and Memories (Opinion, New York Times, 4-9-22) This batch of letters was selected from more than 500 responses from readers to the paper's request for personal stories about dealing with their own lifetime accumulation of possessions or that of a loved one. Reading them may help you get rid of at least some of your accumulated clutter so that friends or family won't have to go through it after you die. If you can picture them saying "How could she live like this?" you might be inspired to do a cleanout yourself.
How to Discover the Life-Affirming Comforts of ‘Death Cleaning’ (Ronda Kaysen, NY Times, 2-25-22) “Professional home organizers are reporting a spike in calls from older customers asking for help sorting through their belongings, seeking to dole out the heirlooms and sentimental items and toss the excess.” Do read the comments.
How to Practice (Ann Patchett, New Yorker, 3-8-21) "I wanted to get rid of my possessions, because possessions stood between me and death.... It’s a big house, and over time the closets and drawers had filled with things we never touched and, in many cases, had completely forgotten we owned....I filled the laundry basket with the things I didn’t want or need and carried those discards to the basement. I made the decision to wait until we’d finished with the entire house before trying to find a place for the things we were getting rid of. This was a lesson I’d picked up from my work: writing must be separate from editing, and if you try to do both at the same time nothing will get done." A charming piece that inspires because you can picture giving something you never touch or remember having to someone who is thrilled to get it.

I cleaned out my mother’s things years after she died. As I lost the clutter, I gained clarity. (Blake Turck. Inspired Life, Washington Post, 5-8-21) By the end, after weeks of sorting, I finally settled on what to keep, what to say goodbye to....I found solace in finally understanding that stuff and memories were two very different things.

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You Can’t Take It With You, but You Can Put It in Storage (Margaret Renkl, NY Times, 7-12-21) "It’s one thing to feel mostly indifferent toward physical objects while the people you love are all alive. It’s very different when those objects become cherished reminders of someone now gone, someone who will never again sit in a favorite chair or drink coffee from a mug emblazoned with chickadees."
Heirloom (Silas House, A Country Boy Can Surmise, 6-4-21) “The things handed down in our families don't hold a lot of monetary value but contain plenty of pining. They won't fetch anything at auction but they sure conjure many memories. They're the stuff of family history.” First in a series of short essays based on photographs.
Kicking the Bucket List: 100 Downsizing & Organizing Things to Do Before You Die by Gail Rubin. I received and read a review copy of this book and realized how much more I needed to know to bring order to my life (and plan for my own death, so I won't leave a mess for others to clear up). Gail Rubin provides 100++ useful links (each with a concise tip), organized in practical groups -- some for organizing your space (and getting rid of all the stuff that clutters your life), some for assessing what you have and what you can live without, some for organizing your information (for when your heirs may need to find it quickly), some of it for helping you focus on enjoying life more by getting your affairs in order. She knows what she's talking about and explains things clearly. I'll let you know if it helps me get a grip on the process.

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Neighbor I have no personal experience with this site, but the idea is appealing. Writes Colton, from Neighbor, "Many people know us as the "Airbnb of storage" because we allow anyone with extra storage space to list the availability of their garage, parking spot, warehouse, shed, or empty closet as available for storage. This way, people can generate a passive income by just storing their neighbors' stuff." I'm spending way too much storing copies of my book DYING, A BOOK OF COMFORT, and may just try it.
Couple find novel way to downsize after 45 years in the same house (Petula Clark, WaPo/Philadelphia Inquirer, 1-3-2020) The cleaning ritual that comes with a party. Instead of leaving the books, old candelabras, collections of seasonal table linens, Mali baskets and Tibetan singing bowls to be picked over by strangers at an estate sale, this aging couple sent out invitations, served food, and poured mimosas as people they’ve known during their 45 years in Washington, D.C., came over and took their stuff.
13 Things to Throw Away Right Now Nicole Pajer, AARP, 4-8-21) A trend toward minimalism means only keeping items that add value to your life.
The Half-Truth Lies of “My Kids Don’t Want My Stuff” (Terri Blanchette, Worthwhile, 'While it is true that the younger generation doesn’t want all the things that older generations have held on to, that is only half of the truth. The best way to keep history alive happens by sharing memories and experiences, which sometimes are represented by the items we keep. Let subsequent generations know why some thing is important – whether it be to you personally, the family, or general history. If society is to avoid having an irreparable gap in our collective story, both young and old must tackle the "stuff", and the issues, together.'

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A Moving Story (Nancy McKeon, My Little Bird, 3-28-19) ' “My job,” she told me, “is to make people look up, not down. Keep it light.” Away went the old carpeting. Down came the mossy-green curtains from the living room and dining area. “Smart Moves” author Caroline Carter removed most of the books from my living-room shelves and styled them with a few books and some decorative objects. The point of emptying built-ins, she says, is to highlight the storage and display possibilities. (Illustrated.)' Nancy worked with Caroline Carter, the author of Smart Moves: How to Save Time and Money While Transitioning Your Home and Life.
Stuffed: The Unintended Result of Our Attachment to Personal Belongings (YouTube video, Matt Paxton, former extreme cleaning expert on the hit television show Hoarders, TEDxBethesda, 7-19-19)
Seriously, stop throwing away your old clothes (Elizabeth Segran, Fast Company, 3-6-19) Americans send millions of tons of clothes to landfills each year. Now, New York City is launching a campaign to recycle its citizens’ clothes before they reach the dump.
Ask Unclutterer. Erin Doland's Q&A section on this wonderful site: Unclutterer "A place for everything, and everything in its place is our gospel." See, for example, Weekend project idea: Clear clutter from your medicine chest (6-9-17) and Organizing medications (10-30-18) and see if they don't make you think twice. And What should I do with old journals?

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Lessons from a Major Life Change (Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, An American Editor, 11-21-18) " [I]t was surprisingly easy to decide that I really don’t need two or more paper copies of my published work, and that resulted in emptying out two entire four-drawer file cabinets! ... It also occurred to me that I don’t have to keep 5¼” floppy disks, 3.5” diskettes, Zip disks or Syquest disk versions of work from 10, 20 or more years ago. Clients do occasionally ask for old projects, but rarely anything that old..."
When mom and dad are gone, how best to get rid of a lifetime of possessions (Wendy A. Jordan, WaPo, 3-24-16) Excellent introduction to estate sales, cleanout pros, and letting go of things (with professional assistance).
Decluttering Your Home after the Loss of a Loved One: A Step-by-Step Guide to Moving through the Difficult Process (Home Advisor)
Companies offer help with paring possessions when downsizing your household (Michele Lerner, WaPo, 7-11-18)
Want your home to be clutter-free but can’t part with your treasures? A storage unit may be the answer. (Wendy A. Jordan, WaPo, 8-27-18)
A Tool to Reduce Your Clutter (Debbie Mintz Brodsky, DMB Pictures) It's often not so much about the object itself but the memories and emotions we attach to those objects. See also How to Detach from Your Stuff & Clear Clutter
Aging Parents With Lots of Stuff, and Children Who Don’t Want It (Tom Verde, NY Times, 8-18-17) How to dispose of a lifetime of memories and keepsakes? These days, it pays to ask a professional, not your heirs. Professional move managers spend time with clients, helping them sort through years of accumulated possessions and make decisions about what to dispose of and how, what to donate to charities, and what to try to fit into their new living spaces. Final costs of the service, which may also involve an estate sale, can be $2,500 to $5,000 or more, depending on the size of the home and the density of its contents. Self-storage only postpones the inevitable. “I am very interested in family history, and I would like a lot of my parents’ things on some level,” Travis Miscia, a 30-year-old lawyer, said, “but I have had to limit myself to taking what I would call primary-source documents, like books and some pictures.”
Getting Ready to Downsize? Don't go it alone! (Penny Catterall, Order Your Life, 9-25-15)
Old Age Is Not for Sissies (Katie Andraski, 10-6-17) On the pressure to get rid of stuff, among other things.

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The Movie “Nostalgia” Examines the American Way of Accumulating — and Dying (Alan Scherstuhl's movie review, Village Voice, 2-14-18) Mark Pellington’s contemplative fugue Nostalgia might have been called Stuff or Inheritance. An episodic ensemble drama organized around the logic of theme rather than of traditional narrative, the film concerns above all else accumulation and dispersal, in the American vein. Watch the trailer.
Getting Rid of Possessions: It’s Harder Than You Think (Harriet Edleson, Next Avenue, 5-2-16) Since the process is partly psychological, here's how to prepare
Things to never put in the recycling bin Recycling contaminants can pollute recyclables and damage the clean recycling stream – essentially turning your recycling into trash: http://www1.mwcog.org/dep/gorecycle/ads.html
The noise of stuff: How clutter affects you and what you can do about it. (Mikael Cho, Medium.com, 11-5-14)
The Life-Changing Magic of De-Cluttering in a Post-Apocalyptic World (downbeat cartoons from Tom Gauld, New Yorker, 1-10-17)

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The Lure Of Minimalism. Indira Lakshmanan hosts on Diane Rehm Show, with guests Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus (of The Minimalists), Juliet Schor (author of The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need, and Elizabeth Dunn (author with Michael Norton of Happy Money: The Science Of Happier Spending.
Recipes for a Tidy and Tasty Death (Dwight Garner, NY Times, 12-25-17). Review: “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning,” a surprise international best seller, is actually a fond and wise little book. It’s about how to sort through and dispose of many of your possessions before you die, thus sparing your family members an unpleasant task.”The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning (publishers blurb, and offer for a free e-book, if you sign up for S&S notices). Or buy the book on Amazon: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson. But first read the one-star reviews on Amazon, which point out the book's shortcomings. See also Americans are pack rats. Swedes have the solution: ‘Death cleaning.’ (Jura Koncius, WashPost, 10-13-17) The concept of decluttering before you die, a process called “dostadning,” is part of Swedish culture and the trend is spreading.<

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• Dunn and Norton The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need, and Elizabeth Dunn (author with Michael Norton of Happy Money: The Science Of Happier Spending) propose five principles for happier spending.
1) Buy experiences. “Research shows that experiences provide more happiness than material goods in part because experiences are more likely to make us feel connected to others.”
2) Have more special treats, less self-indulgence, because “abundance, it turns out, is the enemy of appreciation. This is the sad reality of the human experience: in general, the more we’re exposed to something, the more its impact diminishes.”
3) Buy time. Don't waste too much time on bargain shopping; use that time to do more of what you love.
4) Pay now, consume later. “Consuming later provides time for positive expectations to develop." And by paying with plastic you spend more.
5) Invest in others.
In short, “shifting from buying stuff to buying experiences, and from spending on yourself to spending on others, can have a dramatic impact on happiness." “Before you spend that $5 as you usually would, stop to ask yourself: Is this happy money? Am I spending this money in the way that will give me the biggest happiness bang for my buck?”

Clutter Clearing (Institute of Feng Shui & Geopathology)
The Minimalists (archive of podcasts and essays). Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 4 million readers.
5 ways to declutter your life and give your stuff away for free (Lian Amaris, Life Hacks, The Next Web, 4-29-12)
My Great Decluttering Experiment: Part 1 (Heidi Raschke, Next Avenue, 1-12-17) Four techniques, four weeks, 20 years of stuff. Could I get organized once and for all? Part 2 (1-19-17) After discovering the magic of tidying, my adventure took an unexpected turn. Focus on making your home warm and welcoming rather than picture-perfect. Books she worked from:
---Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind and Soul by Ruth Soukup
---The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
These Books Spark Joy (Amanda Long, WashPost, 4-8-19) Published as Going against the decluttering craze: the book hoarders who defy Marie Kondo (Independent, UK, 4-13-19--illustrated) Amid the decluttering craze, we asked famous bibliophiles Jason Reynolds, Jane Green, Andrew Sean Greer, Carla D. Hayden, José Andrés, Martellus Bennett, how they live with their collections. "Books are more than objects. They are filled with ideas, stories, versions of ourselves, memories. Bookshelves are like your wardrobe: They send a message. And the message these famous book lovers shared with us is loud and clear: Books spark joy."

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Those Stones (Vince Amlin, Daily Devotional, UCC, 3-19-2020) "Traveling light is a young person’s game. Everything seems disposable when you’ve got time to replace it."
Really smart spring cleaning (Sid Kirchheimer, AARP Bulletin 3-25-11) Where to safely unload your electronics, large appliances, linens, paint and building materials, clothing, toys and other clutter
Can Your Cherished Possessions Shorten Your Life? (Dana DiFilippo, Silver Century Foundation) “The bottom line is, it’s very hard to do it (decide what to dispose of), because it is an encounter with yourself.”
Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home by Linda Hetzer and Janet Hulstrand. How to get rid of the stuff, keep the memories, maintain the family peace, and get on with your life.
Mess: The Fourth Circle of Hell Moira Hodgson's review (WSJ, 8-17-15) of Mess: One Man's Struggle to Clean Up His House and His Act by Barry Yourgrau. Hoarding is a vice that generates its own punishment: The author didn’t let his girlfriend into his apartment for five years. Here he is writing On Writers, Hoarders, and Their Clutter (Literary Hub, 1-7-16) and distinguishing between hoarding and collecting (Joseph Mitchell was a collector). It's always so much easier to picture when they include good photos!

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The Burdens of Stuff (Sophia Dembling on why not to leave your children thousands of dusty, crumbling books)
How I Managed to Downsize My Possessions and Still Live Large (Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell on Maria Shriver's blog, 6-21-16) "Most folks I’ve talked to who have moved to a tiny home will say that the most challenging aspect of transitioning to a smaller space is letting go—letting go of sentimental items, collections, and overall clutter. Read more about what Kerri learned in her book Living Large in Our Little House: Thriving in 480 Square Feet with Six Dogs, a Husband, and One Remote--Plus More Stories of How You Can Too
Top 10 Ways to Declutter Your Digital Life, 2010 Edition (Kevin Purdy, Lifehacker, 4-10-10)
How to Recycle Old Electronics (Carol Mangis, Consumer Reports, 4-22-16) Recycle, donate, get a tech firm to take it -- practical tips.
Top 10 Office Decluttering Tricks (Whitson Gordon, Lifehacker, 7-27-13)
Top 10 Ways To Organise And Streamline Your Workspace (Whitson Gordon, Lifehacker, 9-19-10)
Declutter Your Life--Now! (Jancee Dunn, AARP, Aug.-Sept. 2014) Professional organizer Barbara Reich tells us where to begin. See 5 Ways to Declutter Your Home (with before and after photos). 9 nasty things to throw away today (Candy Sagon, 4-19-13)
How to get rid of all your crap (Nora Dunn, Wise Bread, 9-29-07)
How to get rid of practically anything (Consumer Reports, March 2011)
ReStore (Habitat for Humanity (nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price)
Earth911 (recycling center search and recycling guides)
The Boomer Burden: Dealing with Your Parents' Lifetime Accumulation of Stuff by Julie Hall
Sell, Keep, or Toss?: How to Downsize a Home, Settle an Estate, and Appraise Personal Property by Harry L. Rinker -

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Don't Toss My Memories in the Trash: A Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Seniors Downsize, Organize, and Move by Vickie Dellaquila
When Possessions Lead to Paralysis (Paula Span, The New Old Age, NY Times 9-16-10, on how family members can help family seniors deal with, and get rid of, the lifetime over-accumulation of "stuff") “This isn’t just a move from one residence to another, as it would be earlier in life. This is a step closer to the inevitable world of frail aging, a reminder that time is growing short. People want to hold onto the symbols of their former lives and competence.” ~David J. Ekerdt
What Are Your “Broken Windows?" Here’s a List of Mine (Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, Psychology Today, 2-21-13). “'Broken windows' are the particular signs of disorder that make me feel out of control and overwhelmed." Examples include unsorted mail, messy stacks of newspapers, shoes in odd places, cluttered counters, dirty dishes scattered around the apartment...." Gulp.
Miss Minimalist (living a beautiful life with less stuff).

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How to Downsize Your Home Without Losing Your Mind (Alan Henry, Lifehacker 6-21-13)

Run to the Roundhouse, Nellie and Clutter (Melissa Shook hires a decluttering expert to help her get her house in order. Here's the part I fear, as I start my own decluttering: "However, it takes two and a half days to recover from three hours of de-cluttering supervision."
Learning and decluttering (Melissa Block, part 2.) Her posts on aging generally are delightful.
Stuff it: Millennials nix their parents’ treasures (Jura Koncius, Washington Post, 3-27-16) "The 20- and 30-somethings don’t appear to be defined by their possessions, other than their latest-generation cellphones....Many millennials raised in the ­collect-’em-all culture (think McDonald’s Happy Meal toys and Beanie Babies) now prefer to live simpler lives with less stuff in smaller downtown spaces, far from the suburban homes with fussy window treatments and formal dining rooms that they grew up in."
The Best Decluttering Exercise (Tony, on We Only Do This Once)
10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home (Joshua Becker, Becoming Minimalist). I especially liked this one: "Take the 12-12-12 Challenge. A simple task of locating 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to be returned to their proper home can be a really fun and exciting way to quickly organize 36 things in your house." This entry links to several other useful pages of organizing-and-tossing tips.

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18 Five-Minute Decluttering Tips to Start Conquering Your Mess (Leo Babauta. Zen Habits)
Be More with Less (Courtney Carver). Many, many entries, ranging from How to Delete Clutter from Your Email Inbox
Out of Spite: Fifty Ways to Leave Your Clutter (Meg Wolfe, The Minimalist Woman). See also Project 333: Minimalist Wardrobe Challenge
365 Less Things. Here's a one-bite-at-a-time way to get started: Mini Mission Monday ~ Little Places A to-do list for one small project a day, such as "Declutter and tidy your medicine cabinet or similar storage" and "Declutter a bookshelf."
Craigslist (Marilynne Rudick, WebOver50) "Craigslist has its lovers and haters. First the lovers: among them, my cousin who sold almost the entire contents of her house–even the junk–when she moved from a five-bedroom house to a two-bedroom condo."
Decluttering advice from some 'experts' (Pat McNees)
How to Declutter Your Home Fast
Distractions from Decluttering (Melissa Shook)
Why You Keep Abundance Clutter and How to Get Rid of It (About.com)
FlyLady. Debbie Smith remembers some key points that used to be on this website:
1. When overwhelmed, start by scrubbing your sink. You will feel better.
2. Go around your house and find 7 (seven) things that you can throw away. Throw them away in the trash and do not remove them again.
3. Go around your house and find 7 (seven) things you can give away. Put them in a black plastic bag (so you can't see them and change your mind) and put them in your car trunk so you can drop them at the thrift shop or wherever you do your give-aways.
You will find more helpful materials through the blogrolls of the sites above.

On the other hand, and for the opposition:
For the Love of Stuff (Lee Randall, Aeon) our psyches need the stability that possessions bring. "Who are my people? Open my front door and the first thing you notice are books. They line the walls, hover overhead, and stack up on tables. Each is a chunk of autobiography, a clue to who I was while reading it..."
What Happens To Your Stuff When You Die? I Take Care Of That. (Shane Cashman, Pocket/Narratively, ) An auction gallery furniture movers who does pickups year-round from houses that need cleaning out, talks about how they do their work and what they observe in the people they're doing it for.

Don’t rush to declutter. A family history treasure trove may be all around you (Ilyse Steiner, Opinion, Cleveland.com, 2-5-19) "For inspiration, which ultimately became irritation, I read Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” Although informative for cleaning a closet, desk or bedroom, her philosophy should not be used when emptying a house due to death or downsizing. In fact, I’d bet she wrote that book before she had children."
Downsizing? Don't count on selling or even giving away your excess stuff (Joanna Connors, The Plain Dealer, 2-18-18) "Mid-century modern is really hot. But antique furniture in general, except for really good rare items, has gone down in value," says Cleveland auction pro Carrie Pinney, who tries to manage expectations.
Marie Kondo and the Privilege of Clutter (Arielle Bernstein, The Atlantic, 3-15-16) The Japanese author’s guide to “tidying up” promises joy in a minimalist life. For many, though, particularly the children of refugees and other immigrants, it may not be so simple. 'Kondo says that we can appreciate the objects we used to love deeply just by saying goodbye to them. But for families that have experienced giving their dearest possessions up unwillingly, “putting things in order” is never going to be as simple as throwing things away. Everything they manage to hold onto matters deeply.'
What Do Early Marie Kondo Adopters’ Homes Look Like Now? (Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, 2-13-19) The reflections of more than a dozen people who did dedicated cleanouts of their living spaces years ago. (Must-read for hangers-on-to-things.) One woman "came up with her own decluttering system, which she says works for her: Every day, when she leaves her apartment, she forces herself to take three items with her to get rid of."
A Comprehensive Checklist for Spring Cleaning: 43 Items to Address Deep Cleaning (John Quinn Real Estate, Re/Max)

"A house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived."

          ~ Dame Rose Macaulay (1881-1958) English author'

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Recycling (daily "stuff")

The Freecycle Network, a grassroots, nonprofit network of people giving and getting (recycling) clothes, shoes, and household items in good condition. Post what you can't sell and other people will come pick it up.
A Guide to Getting Rid of Almost Everything (Patricia Marx, New Yorker, 2-28-22) Delightful and full of good leads, sometimes geared to New York City. For example, auction unique, rare, or high-demand items, but give a fixed-price; for readily available items, sell at a fixed-price and hope for an impulse buyer. Sell on Depop or Poshmark or through a local consignment shop, if it's quality goods; to people nearby on "online garage-sale platforms" (e.g., Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace). Or donate them (try Freecycle or the Buy Nothing Project, social networks..."that operate on the local level, where members give away items they no longer want and request others that they are looking for"), or to a worthy charity such as Goodwill, the Free Store Project, Wands for Wildlife (old mascara brushes) Computers with Causes or World Computer Exchange, and other "creative reuse" centers (she lists lots of these).

      You can also just have items hauled away (try 1-800-Got-Junk?, Junk King, College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving, Junkluggers, Habitat for Humanity ReStores, or Pickup Please. Or, if you live outside the GreenDrop domain, "consult the directory on the Donation Town Web site which suggests charities nationwide that pick up in or nearest your Zip Code (Donationtown.org)".
GreenDrop Charitable Contributions "We convert lightly used clothing and household items into critical funds for great American charities." Acceptable donation items includes all articles of clothing, shoes, blankets and bedding. We also take tools, collectibles, kitchenware, toys, small appliances, electronics, musical instruments and sporting goods. Check their lists of acceptable and unacceptable items.
'Waste' Examines the Global and Local Afterlife of Recyclables (Terry Gross, Fresh Air, NPR, 9-12-19) Terry interviews environmental scientist Kate O'Neill, author of Waste. O'Neill traces the emergence of the global political economy of wastes over the past two decades. She explains how the emergence of waste governance initiatives and mechanisms can help us deal with both the risks and the opportunities associated with the hundreds of millions – possibly billions – of tons of waste we generate each year. Drawing on a range of fascinating case studies to develop her arguments, including China's role as the primary recipient of recyclable plastics and scrap paper from the Western world, "Zero-Waste" initiatives, the emergence of transnational waste-pickers' alliances, and alternatives for managing growing volumes of electronic and food wastes, O'Neill shows how waste can be a risk, a resource, and even a a livelihood, with implications for governance at local, national, and global levels.
Things that are NOT recyclable (GoRecycle, Your Washington Area Resource for Recycling Information) List of contaminants that can pollute recyclables and damage the clean recycling stream – essentially turning your recycling into trash!
Earth911 (recycling center search and recycling guides) Among other things, explains How to recycle packing peanuts, which don’t biodegrade and, if they become marine debris, kill wildlife:
Is This the End of Recycling? (Alana Semuels, The Atlantic, 3-5-19) Americans are consuming more and more stuff. For decades, we were sending the bulk of our recycling to China—tons and tons of it, sent over on ships to be made into goods such as shoes and bags and new plastic products. But last year, the country restricted imports of certain recyclables, including mixed paper—magazines, office paper, junk mail—and most plastics. Now that other countries won’t take our papers and plastics, they’re ending up in the trash.
Preserve. Recycle Number 5 plastic products. "What we accept." (Gimme 5)
Protecting Louisiana’s Coastline with Oyster Shells in “What Remains” (New Yorker, 2-23-22) Film by Paavo Hanninen, text by David Kortava. Watch the documentary on how oysters can help fight climate change. Paavo Hanninen’s documentary looks at a surprisingly simple intervention with the potential to slow runaway land loss along the state’s fragile coast. Since 2014, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana has collected some ten million pounds of oyster shells from restaurants in New Orleans, laid them out in the sun to cure (i.e., allow any food and bacteria to break down), and returned them to the water in steel crates and marine-grade mesh bags at four sites along the coast. James Karst, a spokesman for the nonprofit, who appears in the film, told me that the resulting underwater structures—simply put, man-made oyster-shell barrier reefs—cut the rate of shoreline recession by about half. Watch the documentary

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Selling, donating, or recycling books

There is no spot in my apartment from which I can't reach out and grab a book to read. So it is ONLY in the interest of decluttering that I post this advice that I am not good at following. Which is why we start with Ron Charles's piece from the Washington Post:
Keep your tidy, spark-joy hands off my book piles, Marie Kondo (Ron Charles, WaPo, 1-10-19) 'Suddenly people have noticed the dark side of Kondo’s war on stuff: She hates books....That’s the problem with Kondo’s method....We don’t keep books because we know “what kind of information is important to us at this moment.” We keep them because we don’t know. So take your tidy, magic hands off my piles, if you please. That great jumble of fond memories, intellectual challenges and future delights doesn’t just spark, it warms the whole house.'
Goodbye Old Friends: On Selling My Books (Lawrence Tabak, The Millions, 8-22-13)
Little Free Library -- "a 'take a book, return a book' gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share. See also Our Little Library (Lawrence & Linda Tabak, 4-21-14)
Sending Books to Needy Libraries: Book Donation Programs (American Library Association) Lots of information of various types -- such as where to donate your old National Geographic magazines.
The Book Farmer of Botswana (Salley Shannon, More magazine) A former teacher finds a new life bringing books to Botswana.
Donate books to charity (through Donation Town, find a charity that will pick up your donations for free)
Bookmark: The impossible task of culling books (Laurie Hertzel, StarTribune, 10-26-14) In getting rid of books, Hertzel found that the toughest books to pass on to others were those in which there were bookmarks from long-gone bookstores, grocery lists, etc. "The dust made me sneeze. The ephemera made me remember." In this sense, books were like diaries.
Prison Book Program
I Saw the Figure 5 in Steel (Luc Sante, Paris Review, 6-14-16) On the appeal of junk shops. Luc Sante argues that junk shops are uniquely disposed to teach the attentive visitor about the history of sadness, of futility, of vainglory, and of the ad hoc and the pro tem.
For the Love of Stuff (Lee Randall, Aeon) "I am my things and my things are me. I don’t want to give them up: they are narrative prompts for the story of my life " "Who are my people? Open my front door and the first thing you notice are books. They line the walls, hover overhead, and stack up on tables. Each is a chunk of autobiography, a clue to who I was while reading it..."

"Reading a book is only the first step in the relationship. After you’ve finished it, the book enters on its real career. It stand there as a badge, a blackmailer, a monument, a scar. It’s both a flaw in the room, like a crack in the plaster, and a decoration. The contents of someone’s bookcase are part of his history, like an ancestral portrait. "~ Anatole Broyard

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Recycling electronics and other stuff

25 Things You Can Recycle You Might Not Know About (One Good Thing)
How to Recycle Old Electronics (Carol Mangis, Consumer Reports, 4-22-16) Recycle, donate, get a tech firm to take it -- practical tips.
How Do I Recycle...(an index to helpful articles) (this is for Montgomery County, Maryland, but it might be helpful for your area--or your area may have one like it). Items range from ammunition and antifreeze to cell phones, clothes hangers, scrap metal, smoke alarms, and yard trash (a sample from a long list).
EcoATM. Check this EcoATM locator to find a recycling kiosk near you where you can sell or recycle your old electronic devices (cell phones, smartphones, tablets, mp3 players).
Recycling Wireless Devices (Go Wireless, Go Green) Erase your personal information and follow these guidelines for recycling that old cellphone or other wireless device.
The Freecycle Network, a grassroots, nonprofit network of people giving and getting (recycling) clothes, shoes, and household items in good condition. Post what you can't sell and other people will come pick it up.
One World Running. Running shoes in good condition are sent overseas. Shoes that are beat up and not suitable for shipment are sent to Nike in Beaverton, Ore., through Boulder’s Eco-Cycle program, to be ground up and made into running tracks and playgrounds through the Reuse-a-Shoe program.

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Selling and renting stuff online

The library of things: could borrowing everything from drills to disco balls cut waste and save money? (Leo Benedictus, The Guardian, 4-24-19) Never mind books: in a slightly tatty block in Oxford you can borrow all the things that usually cost a fortune to hire – and its advocates say it’s a scheme that is about to conquer the world. Tool libraries, toy libraries, myTurn, and other interesting new angles on the sharing economy.
Decluttering? Yes, There’s an App (Roy Furchgott, NY Times, 4-7-17) Describes and links to eight apps and sites that help you sell your stuff.
---Let Go
---AptDeco (NYC and DC)
---PoshMark (clothing and accessories)
---Apartment Therapy Marketplace (originally KRRB--furniture and home goods)
---ThredUp (secondhand clothes)
---Chairish (furniture and home design)

Craigslist Goldmine: How to Make $2,000 a Month in Your Spare Time Buying and Selling on the Popular Classifieds Site by G. K. Daniel
How to sell items on Craigslist (WikiHow
How to Sell Stuff on Craigslist Successfully – 5 Craigslist Selling Tips (Angela Colley, Money Crashers, 7-21-11)
The Key to Making Money on Craigslist: How I Make Thousands in My Spare Time by Steven Fies
eBay the Easy Way: How to Make Serious Money Selling on eBay.com by Frank Aaron Florence
How to Sell on eBay: Get Started Making Money on eBay and Create a Second Income from Home by Richard Lowe Jr

Renting stuff
Loanables (rent what you need, or list your stuff for rent)
• Renting that car that sits in the garage:
----Turo ("Choose from thousands of unique cars for rent by local hosts"). How Turo works: Rent a car (for less than traditional car rental) or list your car, insured by Turo.
---The Third Transportation Revolution: Lyft’s Vision for the Next Ten Years and Beyond (John Zimmer, The Road Ahead, 9-18-16). Zimmer, Lyft's co-founder, provides an interesting look ahead at our car-crazy culture. "Ridesharing is just the first phase of the movement to end car ownership and reclaim our cities...owning a car and making monthly payments also means paying retail prices for every aspect of getting where you need to go — fuel, maintenance, parking, and insurance. In a future subscription model, the network will cover all of these costs across a large network of cars, passing the savings onto you. We cut the hassle and you get the one thing you really want: the true freedom to ride."

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Evaluating your "valuables"

Rescued From Obscurity: How Discarded Items Become Treasures ( Paul Sullivan, NY Times, 7-20-18) Now that information on obscure objects can be found on the internet and hobbyists can connect online, someone’s trash can become someone else’s treasure more easily.
Art Appraisals (Art-Collecting.com) How to determine the value of your artwork
Find a Jewelry Appraiser (American Gem Society)
Selling Your Diamonds (Pat McNees for Washington Post) How much is that diamond really worth?
Resources for appraising musical instruments (American Musical Instrument Society)
How to Appraise, Insure, and Sell Your Collectibles (Kimberly Lankford, Kiplinger, May 2011)
Confessions of a Typewriter Addict (Anthony Casillo, Literary Hub, 2-5-18) One person's junk is another's treasure. Excerpt from Typewriters: Iconic Machines from the Golden Age of Mechanical Writing by Anthony Casillo and Bruce Curtis
What You Should Know About the House Appraisal Process (Michele Lerner, Realtor.com, 2-18-14)
Kicking the Bucket List: 100 Downsizing & Organizing Things to Do Before You Die.
How unwanted family heirlooms create a divide with aging parents (CBC radio, 8-25-17) Parents see heirlooms. Their kids see junk to clean up. It's a keepsake dilemma for families.
The Burdens of Stuff (Sophia Dembling on why not to leave your children thousands of dusty, crumbling books.) 'We had appraisers in and found treasures that had been buried from sight behind decades of indiscriminate accumulation. We found treasures of value only to us, flotsam that coaxed out memories from the deepest corners of our minds. And we found junk, worthless and ugly bric-a-brac kept only because Dad’s default was “keep.”'
The Things They Left Behind (Peggy Burds, owner of Emerald Estate Sales, First Personal Singular Column in Washington Post Magazine, 10-17-10). She concludes: "Everything I own has a story: It may not have started out as my story, but when I chose to bring it into my life, it became part of it. We all write our own history, and our stuff is often the only thing left to tell that story. I don't want my story to be a bunch of junk that doesn't mean anything."
The Burden of Stuff: Why Less Could Make You Happier (Kirsten Dirksen, HuffPost, 5-13-10)
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Being, or trying to help, a hoarder

Many of these items were sent to me by friends or my daughter,
hoping I'd get the hint. I prefer the term "pack rat."

Hoarding: people with ADHD are more likely to have problems – new research (Sharon Morein, The Conversation, 2-25-22) "Hoarding disorder is characterised by persistent difficulties discarding items, regardless of their actual value. This results in excessive accumulation of possessions that clutter living areas and compromise their intended use. Hoarding disorder leads to major distress and problems in socialising, work and other areas of daily functioning. Anecdotally we know participants in hoarding research often report problems with attention..."
Selling a Hoarder’s Home: The Trouble With Stuff (Constance Rosenblum, NY Times, 10-11-13) "Selling the home of a hoarder can be a challenge. You can't, for instance, stage it. But in a tight market, such places often sell quickly anyway." "Hoarding is a complex emotional disorder defined as a fierce need to acquire combined with a paralyzing inability to get rid of things....An estimated 3 to 5 percent of Americans suffer from the condition, which in May was listed for the first time as a distinct disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Although not confined to the elderly, the problems associated with hoarding intensify with age."
Sorting Through a Hoarder’s Lifetime of Clutter, We Learned the Meaning of Love (Rachel Mabe, Gianna Meola, Narratively, 3-21-17) When my boyfriend took a job helping a widow clean out her house, among the urine-soaked rugs and years-old piles of laundry, I saw our relationship in a new light. (A love story and a half.)
Hoarding is a serious disorder — and it’s only getting worse in the U.S. (Sara Solovitch, WashPost, 4-11-16) "Hoarding is different from merely living amid clutter, experts note....Hoarding disorder is present when the behavior causes distress to the individual or interferes with emotional, physical, social, financial or legal well-being." "he most common acquisitions are clothes and books. But often the stockpiling includes items that people ordinarily discard: junk mail, food packaging, shampoo bottles." Good practical suggestions.
Let It Go (Joan Acocella, New Yorker, 12-15-14) Are we becoming a nation of hoarders? "The items most commonly hoarded, the A.P.A. says, are newspapers, magazines, old clothes, bags, books, mail, and paperwork, though valuable materials—indeed, cash and checks—may also be included with the junk." Must reading.
Help for hoarders, and those who care for them (Eleanor Feldman Barbera, or Dr. El, McKnight's, 4-12-16)
Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding (Treatments That Work) by David Tolin, Randy O. Frost, and Gail Steketee
Clutterers Anonymous (CLA)
Clutter and Hoarding (Environmental Geriatrics, Cornell University). See links to other articles along left, intended for professionals, but reassuring (and helpful) if you are not already over the line! See, for example, Working With Individuals With Dementia Who Rummage and Hoard and Top 10 Decluttering Tips.
Squalor Survivors
Stepping Out of Squalor (online community)
Are you a book hoarder? There's a word for that. (Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times, 7-24-14) "In Japanese, there’s a word for it: tsundoku." Click here for image .
The Advantages of Being a Pack Rat (Rachael Rifkin) "I think of it as curating my life. As the expert on all things me, I’m the best person for the job."
No, You Are Not A Book Hoarder (Jessie Sholl, Psychology Today, 3-28-11) Making light of hoarding -- or any mental illness -- is disrespectful.
Stuff by Tyler C. Gore (a personal essay in which the author relates his family's harrowing addiction to physical objects, cats, and paperware)
Compulsive Book Hoarders (Shelfari). Meet others who have the same problem of having 'too many books to read.' If there is such a thing.
10 Things You Should Know About Compulsive Hoarding ( Therese Borchard, PsychCentral)
The Hoarding Dilemma: When and How to Help (Martha Kern, ElderCare Matters, 3-2010)
Former teacher died in O.C. house clogged with debris (Joseph Serna and Adolfo Flores, Los Angeles Times, 6-11-14)
Hoarding disorder (Mayo Clinic). See Symptoms and Risk factors (including indecisiveness and social isolation).
Hoarding : When Things Begin to Pile Up (Bettijane Levine, Los Angeles Times, 10-7-91) "A compulsive hoarder never experiences pleasure. . . . He hoards only to reduce anxiety."
Hoarding: The Basics (Anxiety and Depression Association of America)
Combination Therapy Cleans Up Hoarding Symptoms (Alicia Ault, Medscape Medical News, 3-29-16) See alsoBrain Activity Different in Hoarders (Megan Brooks, MMN, 8-8-12)
Hoarding Behavior (Squalor Survivors) 'Frost and Gross's 1993 study of hoarders found that the most likely justification for keeping an item was future need ("I might need this someday"), followed by lack of wear or damage ("This is too good to throw away"), sentimental saving ("This means too much to me to throw away"), and lastly potential value ("This may be worth something someday"). The difference between people who hoard and people who don't, is that hoarders apply these values to a far larger number of items.' " Some hoarders find recycling to be less difficult than discarding."
The danger of hoarding (Joyce Cohen, USA Today, 2-18-04) Where most people see an empty roll of toilet paper, they see art supplies.

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Giving your stuff away

(another form of recycling)

The Back Story (Rob Walker, NY Times, 9-3-16) Give objects a story and they become more valuable in the eyes of others. "A project called Totem, financed by a grant from the Research Councils U.K., concentrates on the narratives of thing-owners."
Freecycle (give your stuff away online -- changing the world one gift at a time)
The Freecycle Network (UK)
Free Stuff (Craigslist) Type in your zip code.
What a Literary Left-Wing Legend Left Behind (Ellen Gruber Garvey, Lilith, 4-14-21) 'For decades, Fran carried her sign, “I adore my lesbian daughters: Keep them safe,” written in gracious script, enhanced with glitter, to the march.... Fran, a meticulous planner of events and activities, had told us that $500 should be used to cover food for memorial gathering in her Lower East Side apartment, where people could take memorabilia and items they wanted or needed or that she had designated for them, while celebrating her life.'
Eyeglass recycling (Lions Recycle for Sight is a great way to give your old glasses a second life)
Wands for Wildlife. Old mascara wands are used to remove fly eggs and larva from the fur and feathers of wild animals. They work great because the fine-toothed bristles are close together. Clean them in Dawn soap, mail them in a ziploc bag, with donations to Wands for Wildlife, P.O. Box 1211, Skyland, NC 28776 or Wildlife Wands, P.O. Box 1586, Southwick, MA 01077.
How to get rid of old New Yorkers (etc.) (TimesUnion)
Drop them off a handful at a time at Laundromats and coffee shops (if they accept them). Laundromats in particular never have enough good reading material. I’d rather read a 4-year-old New Yorker than a month-old Pennysaver. Post them on Freecycle or the free section of Craigslist. Use the cover and inside pages to wrap gifts.
Career Gear (donate clothes men can wear to work)
Dress for Success Donate good suits and accessories so women in need of work have something decent to wear when they have an interview scheduled. Get involved. .
Donation Town (find a charity that will pick up your donations for free--includes homeless charities, veterans charities, cancer/medical charities, children's charities, humane society charities, faith-based charities, hospice charities, disability charities, and other types--including Habitat for Humanity)
100 Ways to Repurpose and Reuse Broken Household Items (DIY & Crafts)
Give family heirlooms away now--at milestone celebrations
Reuse Development Organization (REDO) Redistribute materials from those who no longer need them to those who can still find use for the item(s). "Our national program facilitates in-kind material donations from the donor directly to non-profit reuse centers and other non-profits. To date we have placed literally tons of materials including flooring, ceramic tile, marble, tools, cabinets, hardware, paints and finishes, adhesives, materials for the arts and education, and more!"
Top 7 Best Car Donation Programs (Drive-Safely.net, 4-1-15) and The Top 5 Worst Car Donation Charity Programs (Drive-Safely.net, 3-31-15)
Funding Factory (Connecting Causes, Communities, and the Environment). Collects used toner and inkjet printer cartridges, "giving these items the second life that they deserve, while providing a simple way for Causes to earn money."
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence partners with Cellular Recycler for the collection of used cell phones and select digital electronics. Donate your unwanted cell phones and digital electronics to NCADV, which gets part of the proceeds from recycling refurbished products.
Cell Phones for Soldiers. Donate funds (minutes), cellphones, smartphones, or tablets (new or used, broken or cracked)
A Very Short Post Explaining How I Finally Got Rid of My Mattress Foundation (Nicole Dieker, The Billfold, 6-8-17). Bottom Line: Call the Salvation Army.
Earth911.com. Find recycling centers and services in your neighborhood. Learn how & where to recycle common & uncommon material like household items, auto fluids, electronics, metal, glass, paper, plastics, & construction waste.
Some suggestions in this category came from Kicking the Bucket List: 100 Downsizing & Organizing Things to Do Before You Die by Gail Rubin. You can find many others not listed here in My Family Record Book: The Easy Way to Organize Personal Information, Financial Plans, and Final Wishes for Seniors, Caregivers, Estate Executors, etc. by Harris A. Rosen. Rosen has a good section on donating goods for reuse, in many categories.

One alternative: Lending your stuff to neighbors
NeighborGoods (share goods with your neighbors and friends)
Acts of Sharing (It's simple. It's relational. It's local.)

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Organizing and dealing with
things and information

Apartment therapy
---Smart, unexpected uses for common household stuff
---Housework as exercise, with amount of calories burned
---Before and after
---Small spaces
---Apartment tours
Unclutterer. Great website on this subject. (See also its sister site, about food, Simplifried.)
Jeri's Organizing & Decluttering News
I'm an organizing junkie and you can be too
Cleaning and organizing (Good Housekeeping, with links to many topics)
The Senior Organizer: Personal, Medical, Legal, Financial by Debby S. Bitticks, Lynn Benson, and Dorothy Breininger
HouseLogic, helpful tips, including The Everything Guide to Selling Your First Home (advice from realtors) and Creative Ways to Stretch Your Storage Space and Fixes for Tight Spaces From Desperate New Yorkers and 7 Genius Entryway Storage Ideas to Get You Out the Door Faster (including personalized bins and charging stations).
How to Organize Your Cluttered Apartment (braniac, eHow)
Reduce clutter in your apartment (Wikihow)
The Boomer Burden: Dealing with Your Parents' Lifetime Accumulation of Stuff by Julie Hall
Don't Toss My Memories in the Trash-A Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Seniors Downsize, Organize, and Move by Vickie Dellaquila
Storage Solutions for Every Little Thing. Thanks to Linda Anderson (Getting Organized) on Pinterest for leads to several house-organizing suggestions.
33 Meticulous Cleaning Tricks For The OCD Person Inside You (Peggy Wang, BuzzFeed)
31 Ways To Seriously Deep Clean Your Home (Natalie Brown, BuzzFeed)
40 Days of Home Organization (Becky, Your Modern Family, 2-13-13). Start with the refrigerator.
Top 100 Organizing Blogs and Websites (Feedspot)
Professional Organizers Blog Carnival (OrganizedAssistant.com)
Get It Together: Organize Your Records So Your Family Won't Have To by Melanie Cullen and Shae Irving
If Something Happens to Me by Joseph R. Hearn and Niel Nielsen (a workbook to organize legal, financial, and insurance information)

Documents you need to protect your own and your survivors' rights and wishes
Document and information you should have available in an easy-to-find place

Madeline Kripke, Doyenne of Dictionaries, Is Dead at 76 (Sam Roberts, Those We've Lost [to Coronavirus], NY Times, 4-30-2020) A woman of many words, mostly unspoken, she amassed a lexicographic trove of some 20,000 books, much of it crammed into her Greenwich Village apartment. [Check the photos!] After avoiding eviction in the mid-1990s by agreeing to remove the volumes stacked in the hallway, she had hoped to transfer the whole enchilada [slang for the entirety] from her apartment and three warehouses to a university or, if she had her druthers [n., preference], to install it in her own dictionary library, which she never got to build.“Unfortunately, it appears that no clear plan existed for her collection,” her brother, her only immediate survivor, said in a phone interview. “We are now in touch with some of her expert friends for advice.”

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Moving --plus  senior move managers and other specialists

How to Pack for a Move: A Complete Checklist (MyMove, 7-30-2020) A pre-move checklist, questions to ask the movers, a packing checklist, and a checklist for packing the moving truck.
Emotions can swell as seniors pare down (Mary Ellen Podmolik, Chicago Tribune 11-22-12) Specialized movers ease the stress of downsizing
This Is a Job for ‘Senior Move’ Managers (Bonnie DeSimone, NY Times, 10-24-06)
Downsizing in Retirement (Stan Hinden, from: AARP Bulletin Today, 4-20-11) The high cost of moving, both in money and angst.
Finding Help in a Crisis: Downsizing (Sid Kirchheimer, AARP Bulletin, 8-24-11) Senior move managers can help you unclutter a home and relocate, but you'll pay $40-$125 an hour
As population grays, senior moving managers cater to relocation needs Housing options for seniors (aging in place, assisted living, continuing care, Eden Alternative, and more)

National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) has a directory of certified move managers. People who use such services can spend $1,500 to $5,000, depending on the selections and nature of the move.
5 Best Interstate Movers Of 2019 (Ryan Carrigan, moveBuddha) See moveBuddha's Enlightened Guide to Helping Senior Citizens Relocate (Sergio Ocampo) and Moving Cost Calculator.
Gentle Transitions (specializing in senior relocation)
Senior Move Managers (SeniorLiving.com)
CRTS Certification The Certified Relocation & Transition Specialist (CRTS)® designation was founded in 2004 by industry members concerned with the lack of education and standards across the disciplines that support late life home transition, such as moving, downsizing or aging in place.® In 2011 CRTS came under the auspices of The National Certification Board for Alzheimer Care (NCBAC)

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Cleaning and other household management tips

Scroll down for House cleaning tips for families dealing with allergies and asthma

I have gathered these tips over the years, but am sure to have omitted important information. I'll keep adding material as I find it.



What to do (especially disinfecting) and not to do to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic
The Difference Between Disinfecting, Sanitizing, and Cleaning (Mary Marlowe Leverette, The Spruce, 8-4-21)
What's The Difference Between Soap and Detergent (CleanCult)
A checklist of everything to address when spring cleaning (John Quinn Real Estate, Re/Max)
Good Housekeeping's cleaning videos
The virtual caregiver will see you now: Covering robots, chatbots and more (Karen Blum, Covering Health, AHCJ, 7-22) To ease covering of pandemic calls, a chatbot — a computer program designed to simulate human conversation called Scout -- allowed people to describe their symptoms while the chatbot matched their responses to possible diagnoses to ask relevant follow-up questions or suggest actions for the patient to take.To maintain a critical eye about robots, chatbots, and other virtual caregiver technologies being trialed or used by health systems, senior homes, it's important to ask questions about costs, ease of use, accuracy, and if the intended audiences like them or find them helpful.
7 Best Robot Vacuums, Tested in Our Labs (Good Housekeeping). Rated by a number of sites, including Consumer Reports (and see its video version buying guide) and Wirecutter or check several comparison sites and see which version is on sale at Costco.
7 Best Robot Mops of 2021, According to Cleaning Experts (Lynn Redmile and Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping Institute) Clean your vinyl, tile and, yes, even wood floors, without effort. First, you'll have to decide between the three types of robot mops – wet mops, dry-sweep and mop combos, and mop and vacuum combos. Wet mops squirt water onto your floor to loosen dirt, then wipe up the soiled liquid. Very few suction up the dirty water. Others that combine vacuuming or sweeping with mopping use damp disposable or reusable microfiber pads to wet-clean hard floors."
How to Remove Vomit Stains From Carpet, Clothing and More (Good Housekeeping)
39 Cleaning Tips and Tricks to Make Your Home Shine (Andrew Zoellner, Family Handman) For example: "Any soap in a liquid or gel form and some bar soaps, such as Zest and Ivory, are synthetic soap. These non-soap soaps are much less likely to form that dreaded layer of tough scum on your sink or tub and will allow you to clean house fast."
29 Things That Will Basically Clean For You(Jessica Probus, Buzzfeed)
27 Chemical-Free Recipes for DIY Spring Cleaning (Laura Newcomer, Greatist, 3-19-15)
Love People, Use Things: Because the Opposite Never Works by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus Cleaning products
Cleaning & Organizing (The Spruce) Learn the right way to clean every room of your home. Separate excellent pages on a wide variety of cleaning topics.

Guide to laundry symbolsb(Good Housekeeping)
Simple Stain Removal (Suzy Kerr, Doityourself.com)

Can you get stains out of clothes after they've been washed? (Alia Hoyt, HowStuffWorks)
The truth about dry cleaning (Pat McNees site)


How to clean a kitchen (using inexpensive cleaning products) and other well-illustrated cleaning how-tos from wikiHow
Clean the grill with an onion (Farmers' Almanac)
5 Mistakes You Might Be Making With Your Cast Iron Skillet (Edward Higgins, Farmers' Almanac) Care for it properly so that it will provide you with non-stick heaven for generations.
51 Problem-Solving Products That Require Minimal Effort (Maitland Quitmeyer, BuzzFeed) For example, Bluapple produce-freshness-saver balls The carbon in them keeps produce in the fridge from spoiling before you can use it.


Why You Should Never Use Baking Soda and Vinegar to Clean Clogged Drains (BrenDid)
How to Naturally Clean a Clogged Drain: The Definitive Guide (Bren Did, 8-5-19) You probably have the supplies in your home and it’s not baking soda and vinegar! She has a whole batch of pages on Green Cleaning and on natural body care.



Don’t Use Your Oven’s Self-Cleaning Feature. Here’s Why. (Scott The Fix-It Guy, Family Handyman, 5-23-22) "Using the self-clean feature of your oven doesn’t guarantee an expensive repair, but, based on my experience, it’s probable. Replacement of the high-limit switch requires a pro and costs around $200."

Dishwasher Tablets Can Actually Clean Your Oven — Here’s How (Erica Young, Family Handyman, 1-14-22) At $9 for a batch of dishwasher tablets, you might want to try instead  How to Steam Clean Your Oven (Home Elizabeth Flaherty, Family Handyman, 11-26-21) labeled "the safe way."
Make DIY Oven Cleaner at Home With This Easy Recipe (Sarah Lipoff, PopSugar, 5-5-2020)

Easy Off fume-free oven cleaner Spray on, leave for a minute, then wipe away. Tips for lazy cleaners

Natural Oven Cleaner For Baked-On Grime Sarah Lipoff, Popsugar, 12-13-14)


Considerations Before You Buy a Dishwasher (Mariette Mifflin, The Spruce, 10-11-21) “The facts are that using a dishwasher nightly instead of ten minutes of handwashing can save more than 100 gallons of water weekly,” Klien adds. “That totals more than 5,000 gallons of water annually.”
How (and How Often) to Clean a Dishwasher (Good Housekeeping)

18 Things You Should Never Put in a Dishwasher (Mary Marlowe Leverette, The Spruce, 1-27-22) I learned the hard way that aluminum pans is one of them.
Tips to Fix a Dishwasher That Leaves Dirty Dishes (Lee Wallender, The Spruce, 1-12-21)


6 Best Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes, According to Home Care Experts (Lynn Redmile and Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping Institute)

77 House Cleaning Tips and Tricks (Aqva Bathrooms, UK)
How to Clean and Disinfect Your Laptop Screen (Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping) Cleaning a Mac is vastly different from what PC users do when to tackle LCD screens.
Cleaning and organizing (Good Housekeeping)
Expert brass polishing tip (Farmers' Almanac)

Cleaner Fireplace Clean Up (Farmers' Almanac) Lightly mist the ashes before you shovel them.
9 Best Pressure Washers to Buy (Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping) The machine safely strips unsightly dirt and debris from a number of surfaces — mildewed decks, dusty fences, grimy outdoor furniture and siding, oil-stained driveways and even muddy cars and boats — in just a few minutes, leaving behind an impressive like-new finish.



Cleaning in the presence of allergies and reactions

Cleaning Tips for Allergy and Asthma Sufferers (American Academy of Allergy Ashthma and Immunology)
A New Definition of ‘Clean’ (James Hamblin, Social Distance, The Atlantic, 7-21-2020). The upsides and downsides of sterilizing ourselves by the author of Clean: The New Science of Skin. Did you know: Soap does not kill microbes. "The act of washing hands is really about scrubbing—that mechanical force of removing whatever is on your hands." Most of the work of tooth brushing is also done by the mechanical force. "It seems that there is such a thing as being too clean. All those microbes all over you are serving some purpose in shaping your immune system, especially when you’re young. We know that people who have diverse skin microbiomes, just like gut microbiomes, have lower incidences of skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis....There’s this thing called the hygiene hypothesis—it’s sometimes called the biodiversity hypothesis. The idea is that when you don’t have biodiversity in your environment and in your exposures as a youth, you are at higher risk of allergic and inflammatory conditions like food allergies or eczema."
Housecleaning Tips to Ease Allergies (WebMD, 11-20-14)
20 Best House Cleaning Tips for People with Allergies (Alexa Erickson, Family Handyman, 3-19-21) Clean the bedroom weekly, starting at the top and working down "so that dust and allergens drift to the floor where they can be cleaned up by a damp mop or vacuum."
Cleaning Tips for Anyone With Allergies (Mary Marlowe Leverette, The Spruce, 7-19-21) Excellent practical advice, room by room.
Home Cleaning Tips for Allergic Asthma (Elizabeth Shimer Bowers, Everyday Health, 2-19-14) How to clean safely and beat the most common indoor triggers: pet dander, mold, dust mites, and tobacco smoke. "Ogbogu usually doesn’t advise people with allergic asthma symptoms to invest in whole-home filtration systems because there’s no evidence that they’re much more helpful than smaller air purifiers."
Dealing with Pests (its own section on this site)
Indoor air pollution

Clean, crisp bedding brings comfort like nothing else (Hannah Jane Parkinson, The Guardian, 2-9-19) Research shows fresh sheets improve sleep.

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Where to retire

How To Choose Your Best Place To Retire (Steve Vernon, Forbes/Next Avenue, 8-12-13) Lots of disagreement among the various lists of best places to retire, but here are links to some of those lists. "Then there's Forbes, AARP and Topretirements.com, which compile their favorite retirement locales in the country. International Living picks its top spots for retiring abroad. And the Milken Institute selects the “best cities for successful aging.” Other lists let you pinpoint retirement sites more narrowly."
U.S. citizens who live overseas (U.S. State Department statistics) Nine million U.S. citizens live abroad.
The World’s Best Places to Retire in 2018 (International Living, 1-1-18) (ranks top countries for retirees who choose to retire abroad). Reports on advantages of living in Costa Rica (#1 choice), Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, Malaysia, Columbia, Portugal, Nicaragua, Spain, and Peru (#10).
Retire in paradise: 5 countries where you can live the dream (Darla Mercado, CNBC, 1-3-18) From International Living piece.
Best Cities for Successful Aging 2017 (Milken Institute)
---Top 10 Large Cities
---100 Best Large Cities
---Top 10 Small Cities
---281 Small Cities (ranked!)
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Estate sales and garage and yard sales, etc.

Oh, and Craigslist, eBay

Estate Sales.Net (find estate sale companies near you)
Learn about estate sales Check the estate-sale company's business history and references and make sure they're bonded and insured.
MaxSold (Online Downsizing & Estate Sale Auctions)
All About Estate Sales: A crash course & tips for newbies (Apartment Therapy). See responses to How do I sell the contents of my house.
How to Advertise Your Garage Sale, Tag Sale, Moving Sale or Yard Sale (eHow)• Estate Sale Tips (Unexpected Treasures
Is an Estate Sale an Option? (Barbara Crews, About Home
Estate Sale Specialists: Information, Advice, Solutions From the Pros
Learn to sell on eBay (eBay)
How to sell at a flea market (Flea Market & RV Park at Menge)
Tips on Yard Sales (eHow)
Having a successful yard sale (Yard Sale Queen)
How to Word a Garage Sale Advertisement

Read these pieces with the eye of a potential seller:
Tips for Shopping at Estate Sales (Camilla Cheung, Wise Bread, 6-13-11)
The KINGDOM mirror– proving that you NEVER KNOW what is on the other end of a Craigslist ad. (Victoria Elizabeth Barnes)
3 Proven Ways to Save Real Money at Garage Sales (Linsey Knerl, Wise Bread, 8-26-10) (Chelsea Fitzgerald, e-How)
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