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Getting rid of all the clutter in your home

February 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
For some households, spring cleaning never actually gets done. But if you're up to your neck in clutter - don't despair.

If you'd like to clean up the clutter in your home, Consumer Reports can tell you how to get rid of practically anything. A good place to start is with old computers and TVs.

"They can contain hazardous compounds, so don't just throw them out," said Consumer Reports' Kim Kleman.

Stores like Staples, Office Depot, and Best Buy will recycle old gear, although there can be a small fee. And they also take old cell phones.

"Before you donate any phone, remove all your personal information. Manufacturers' websites can tell you how to do that," said Kleman.

Don't let your old books die a silent death. Instead, go online to sell your used books at sites like Cash4books.net and BookScouter.com.

If you have toys or baby gear, before you donate an item, make sure it hasn't been recalled by checking recalls.gov.

"Hundreds of children's products have been recalled in just the past year alone. You don't want to pass off an unsafe product to someone else," said Kleman.

If you have old stuffed animals try a local animal shelter, as they can be a lot of fun for cats who are waiting to be adopted.

Old batteries are another thing that people put off throwing out, so they end up adding to the pile of clutter. You can put alkaline batteries in the trash, but rechargeable batteries should be recycled.

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