What's the Deal: Ways to declutter

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It takes no time to accumulate many things, but often we need help in how to declutter when it becomes too much.

Megan Collins is sending her daughter to college and turning her bedroom into a guest room.

"We're getting rid of a little stack of electronics, everything from computers to curling irons. There's a stack of CDs, there's old books, there's some of her tennis equipment," Collins said.

For books - Pop your titles into BookScouter.com and compare dozens of book-buying sites to find the one that will pay the most for your books. Got used textbooks? Get cash for them at Cash4Books.net.

If you have small appliances in good condition - like an air conditioner, they can find a new home through your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Vietnam Veterans of America or other charities.

For non-working appliances and electronics - your township or county government might have a recycling program.

If you have an old mattress, avoid hauling it to the curb and having it end up in a landfill. Donate it to your local women's shelter or homeless shelter instead.

Bed linens and towels can go to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. But if they're worn, your local animal shelter would love to give them new life as bedding for pets.

Sell sports equipment, small furniture or instruments on Craigslist instead of eBay, because it's no shipping. Take good photos to get the best price, and meet in a public place.

Many police departments in the Delaware and Lehigh valleys now offer their parking lots as designated Craigslist safe zones. Most are well-lit and have 24-hour surveillance, but still go with someone, and when you arrive, snap a picture of the person and their license plate.

And Consumer Reports says if you're getting rid of a laptop, perform a fresh installation of your computer's operating system as dictated by either Microsoft's or Apple's website, and remove all personal files, apps and settings.

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