The end of 2018 will be here before you know it, so why not start your new year off right with a good ol' fashion clean out? But don't rush to the punch just yet. As the saying goes, "one man's trash is another man's treasure." You might not realize it, but your home is a treasure trove of goodies that you may not be using, but can actually help those in your community who need it the most. Here are five of the most common zones for clutter — and how you can straighen it up smartly.
1. Tackle the bookshelf.
Books are wonderful things, but they're not doing much good sitting around gathering dust. If you've got books you're never planning on reading again, then why not send them somewhere where they can be enjoyed? Your library will take them, or a local shelter. You can even pass your kids' old books off to a local pre-school or day care.
2. Clean out the pantry.
In every kitchen pantry, there are non-perishable foods that you never get around to eating or simply just don't like. Before they hit their "best before" date, grab a box and package them up for a charity who can put them to good use.
3. Organize your office.
Desk drawer overflowing with tangled chargers you used 10 years ago? If you're hanging onto your first smartphone, even though it's broken, you're not alone. It's time to recycle the stuff you haven't used in years. Worried about your personal data or your family's privacy? Don't stress — all data is removed in the recycling process. (Bonus: Some of those old electronics might be worth money.)
4. Refresh your wardrobe.
Going through your wardrobe and getting rid of that straw hat you never wear or the dress that doesn't fit is a great way to fall back in love with favorite clothes. There are many charities that take clothing donations. Find your local Red Cross or Salvation Army location and drop them off; just make sure everything is if good condition (no stains or holes).
5. Put your tools to use.
It's not uncommon to feel a little guilty about the number of DIY gadgets you have that just don't get used enough during the year. You can actually hire out your tools to your neighbors — who might only need it once or for a short time — and earn a little bit of cash for your efforts. Sites like Neighbor Tools can help you do it.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.