6 years ago, as we prepared to move to a new house, my wife and I decided to 'declutter'. Since then, we have been in permanent declutter mode, because having too much stuff around is a pain. Not only that, but as the saying goes "one man's trash is another man's treasure." Well, not so much trash, but if I'm not using it, it may was well be trash.
In order to get rid of household items, we utilized a variety of services. The most well known would be Craigslist and Ebay. After all, you can make a few bucks while in the process of getting rid of useful things you consider junk. However, my wife also stumbled on Freecycle.
We use it through Yahoo! Groups, but you can join on the web. It's free, it's easy to use, and you do nothing more than post what you're offering and what town you're in. The person then picks it up at your door.
When I was on my way to the airport one early morning, my cab driver told me she was recently divorced and havig a rough time. She had picked up several things from us on Freecycle saying "you people have been a godsend." Another person sent me an email telling me that the barely used Heelies (kids wheeled sneakers) were the hit of an otherwise difficult Christmas. For our part, we rarely take, but last spring somebody posted "As many perennials as you can dig," and we wound up spending an hour digging up plants which now fill a previously bland portion of our backyard.
If you haven't tried it, or aren't familiar, Freecycle (Yahoo! link) can help you clean up as 2012 begins, while helping out others at the same time. It's not for everybody, but I'm a devotee.