All of us are guilty of stashing away outdated items that we just don't know what to do with. It could be VHS tapes or expired medicines or outdated phone books.

Here are five of the most common outdated items we have stockpiled away and solutions to help you get rid of them the right way.

Old tapes and more

When is the last time you popped in a VHS or cassette tape? GreenDisk.com is an online company that can help you out. They accept VHS tapes, cassette tapes, CDs and DVDs (along with a long list of other techno trash) and recycle it responsibly.

Portions that can't be recycled will be disposed of correctly. There is a small shipping fee. Other options are to check with your local library or Goodwill to see if they accept or recycle these items.

Old electronics

If you're holding on to a massive old computer monitor or a cellphone that's years old, it's time to get rid of it. They contain valuable metals that can be recycled and other hazardous heavy metals that should be handled responsibly. Instead, check out one of the many online trade-in websites, which pay you for the working ones. Apple and Best Buy are among many retailers that have recycling programs where you can earn gift cards by trading in old electronics.

Shoes

Don't trash those outdated shoes or ones you just don't wear anymore. Soles4Souls (www.soles4souls.org) is a charity that wants all gently worn shoes.

You can find drop-off locations near you and they'll be sent to people in need around the world.

If you have old athletic shoes, one option is Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe Program, where they are ground up and turned into running tracks, basketball and tennis courts, and even playgrounds.

Any brand of athletic shoe is accepted.

Phone books

There's no longer a need to have or get phone books with all of the same info available online. However, hundreds of millions of them are delivered to homes each year. You can put the entire phone book in many curbside-recycling bins.

It's also smart to stop them from being delivered to you in the first place. Call your telephone company directly or go to YellowPagesGoesGreen.org and they'll do the work for you.

Old medicine

If you have medication you are no longer taking or is past its expiration date, don't flush it unless it specifically says so on the bottle.

You can now buy a postage-paid envelope to responsibly dispose of many prescriptions and over the counter drugs.

The TakeAway Environmental Return System is now available online and in a number of national retailers. Or participate in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back day being held on Oct. 29.