Performing a mass decluttering of your home means you must have a plan to get rid of everything that isn't staying. By having a plan from the beginning, you are more likely to get rid of the masses of items that you are sorting through. The following guide can help you decide what to do with everything.
Clothing you are getting rid of can go to one of two places. Items in good condition can be donated to a charity thrift shop, while those items better suited for use as rags can go to a clothing recycler. Recyclers use old fibers in a variety of purposes; for example, jeans can be turned into insulation. Wearable items that are accepted by thrift stores include shirts, pants, dresses and skirts, outerwear, and shoes. Underwear, socks, and badly damaged clothing is better suited for recycling. You can also donate linens and pillows, to either a thrift store or a recycler.
As a general rule, household décor should be donated, since it is highly likely that it will end up being a treasure to someone else. The exception is if it's irreparably damaged. In this case, it is most likely garbage unless it is made of a recyclable material, such as a paper print.
Most thrift stores won't take small appliances unless they can verify that they work. Non-working appliances can be given or sold to a scrap dealer, though. They will take apart the appliance to sort out any metals or other components that can be recycled and then they will dispose of the rest. Some scrap yards will also take large appliances directly, especially items like washing machines that contain a lot of metal scrap.
Cell phones, old computers, and other electronic gadgets can't usually be sent to a landfill. Instead, you need to see if your municipality runs an electronics recycling program. If not, then check with local and chain electronics stores, as they often offer drop-off of old electronics (though be aware that there may be a fee for this service). Some scrap dealers also accept certain electronics.
Old paperwork should be shredded, either at home or via a shredding service, to ensure to sensitive information is shared. Books can be donated or sold. Other types of paper, such as non-sensitive documents, magazines, and newspapers, can be recycled through a municipal or a private program.
All other items from a mass decluttering need to be taken to the dump. A junk removal service like Rid Right LLC can do this for you in short order so you aren't tempted to keep anything after decluttering. Some services even handle the above sorting and distributing items to donation sites and recyclers, so call around to find the best service for your needs.