Over the years, several clients have expressed their desire to properly dispose of collections of old paint (typically stored in basements here in Michigan). Letting go of old paint can be a really easy decluttering project with the potential to free up a large amount of space. Every house I have ever lived in has had paint cans in the basement, many left from previous owners.
If you do not plan on using extra paint around your space, please be sure to dispose of it properly to protect our environment. Check the label on the can to see if the paint you want to get rid of is latex or oil/solvent based.
Most household paint used these days is latex based. To dispose of latex-based paint simply leave the lid off (away from pets or children) so the remainder dries up. Alternatively, you can add kitty litter to the can. The kitty litter will soak up the remaining paint and solidify. Once the latex paint is dry you can dispose of it with your household trash.
However, if you have oil or solvent-based paint, stain or other household toxins, you will need to dispose of these properly at a collection site in your community. In Washtenaw County, there is a collection site for residents on Zeeb Road just north of I-94 (see photo above). From April through November, the home toxins collections center is open from 9 a.m. to noon the first three Saturdays of every month (excluding holidays). For more information, check out the Home Toxins Reduction Program.
If you have other common household items that you are ready to part with, but are not sure what to do with, please feel free to contact me for some ideas.
Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. To receive a free copy of Carolyn's "Secrets of a Simply Organized Life" and a monthly subscription to the e-newsletter "Your Simply Organized Life" sign up here.