Declutter into the New Year

If one of your resolutions for the New Year is to have a clutter-free space, you are not alone! Use this guide to help you figure out what to do with the things you do not need — one room at a time!


  • Toiletries (unused)

Shampoo, soap, and other personal care products that are unused can be given away or donated to a nonprofit. 

  • Toiletries (used)

Is a family member or friend able to finish the remaining amount? If not, empty contents into the trash and recycle the plastic (usually plastic #2 – HDPE, which is accepted in Stockton’s curbside recycling program). 

  • Dried up hair, skincare, or makeup products

Nail polish, makeup, gels and hairsprays can dry up and become unusable. Check to see if your products are considered household hazardous waste or qualify for any recycling programs before disposing of in your garbage.


  • Damaged clothing
    • Is your clothing able to be repaired? If not, clothing beyond the point of repair can be repurposed as cleaning rags. Otherwise, place in garbage. 
  • Shoes
    • Donate what is still usable and in good condition; otherwise, check out the Recycling Guide for potential recycling programs that will accept your old footwear!
  • Bedding
    • Donate bedding that is still in good condition. Otherwise, use as drop cloths for house projects or cut up to use as cleaning rags.


  • Office supplies
  • Items such as binders and notebooks may be donated to thrift stores or schools. 
  • Ink-based supplies
  • Test your ink-based supplies such as pens and whiteout and throw out what no longer works. 
  • Magazines, newspapers and mail 
  • Not sure if you’ll need certain print materials again? Scan or take a picture of the item so you have a reference, then recycle it.


  • Scraped or damaged cookware and dishware
    • Throw out what is no longer safe to use. Otherwise, donate what is still usable and in good condition.
  • Food Storage Containers
    • Before disposing what no longer has a matching lid or bottom, see if containers can be repurposed for other uses.
  • Pantry
    • Packaged food that has not expired may be donated to a food pantry or used as inspiration for a new recipe.