So by now you should have amassed quite a pile of #$@! that you are releasing from your home. It feels pretty good doesn’t it?! It will feel even better when you finish the job and completely get rid of your stuff. You now have a choice to make.
Here are the four basic ways to get rid of your pile of stuff:
1. Trash – If it is of no use to anyone else and can not be recycled it needs to be trashed. Don’t feel bad about killing the environment or being wasteful. You already have this trash and it is not going to disappear just because you keep it. This is a learning experience. Just remember how much you are throwing away and try your hardest not to bring more trash INTO your home.
2. Recycle – If you are ready to trash something, check first to see if it can be recycled. If you flip over that broken plastic kitchen set it might have a little recycling triangle that says “recycle me” (okay not really but the number and the triangle will tell you how to recycle it). Feel good about recycling anything you can instead of sending it to a landfill somewhere.
3. Sell – Please use this option with caution! Just because you think it has value does not mean that other people will. Even if you do have things with monetary value, the value needs to outweigh your time and effort spent selling these items. Use this option carefully for your most valuable items only.
Selling can be done in a number of different ways.
Garage Sale – The most common and the biggest time commitment, but good if you have an amazing pile of releases and live in a good location and think this is FUN. I personally hate it and am overjoyed that because I don’t have a garage, I have a great excuse to NEVER have a garage sale. As with all of the options, people do make money and you are able to sell all of your items from your big ticket items like furniture and tools to small inexpensive items like clothing and household tchotchkes. This is sometimes a good way to convince your kiddos to part with their stuff because they see the immediate return of cash for their junk, but be careful because they might see all of the things you are selling and bring a lot of it back in the house when you aren’t looking. If you do this option mark your items at a really low price (you do want to get rid of this stuff!) and have a donation agenda for the very next day to prevent this pile from returning to your house.
EBAY (for just about everything) or Etsy (for homemade or vintage items) – Easier than you think if you have never done it. Also more time consuming that you think if you have never done it. Usually better money than a garage sale on a per item price – unless the item you are sending is expensive to ship. If you would like to try this option you may contact me (or my mother who is the pro) for more details.
Craig’s List – Buy-Sell-Trade – other online sales – See Ebay but most don’t have the fees that ebay does (they also don’t usually have the traffic that ebay does)
Resale shops – Shops are available that specialize in furniture, appliances, books (Half-price books), clothing (children, teens (Plato’s Closet), womens, and mens (not as often), sporting gear (Play it Again Sports), electronics, video games (GameStop), and all things music related (Record Den). The shop sells your item in exchange for a percentage of the selling price. Every shop operates just a little bit differently so ask a lot of questions before you proceed. Be careful not to spend your earnings at the shop unless that is your plan ahead of time. Some are a great way to make quick cash (video games, teen clothing, and books) and others will not give you money until your item sells. The quick cash ones are a great gateway to get your kids to let go of some of their stuff!
It feels good to give. You are blessing others with your left overs. If you think a friend might like your cast offs, have the courtesy to ask first and respect their wishes if they say they don’t need or want your items at this time. They might be trying to clear out their excess as well. However, please offer your items, sometimes it might be just the blessing they needed! Choose your charity based on your own moral guidance. Most charities try to make this type of giving as painless as possible.
Charity shops (Goodwill, Salvation Army) – You bring your things to the store and they take them – done. You can get a donation slip for tax purposes if you like. Usually will not take certain items like upholstered furniture, Christmas items, or non-clothing baby items. Each store is a little different – call ahead for details.
Charity dumpsters – (you know those colorful dumpsters you pass just about everywhere – keep an eye out for them – they might come in handy!) You can leave anything there – most have a requested list of what they are looking for but usually you can leave some of the other stuff too (baby items, books, Christmas decorations) However, no donation slip.
Pickup charities – Some of them advertise when they will be in your neighborhood with a postcard. Some you call and schedule a pick-up. They come to your house and pick up your junk!!!! You can get a donation slip if you ask for it. Win, win.
FreeCycle – Like online selling, only quicker, easier and well, FREE
Wait there’s more – Give Back Box – Allows you to mail your donations for FREE – Go to their site and get a free prepaid shipping label, print it out, stick it to any mailable box and send it on its way. Thank Christine E. for this idea. I haven’t used it yet, but I like it!
The weird stuff – You can google “what do I do with ——?” and get lots of options. Here are just a few of the odd ones:
Batteries, phones, and old ink cartridges – look for boxes at schools, grocery stores and the mall
Eyeglasses – vision care centers
Car seats – can sometimes be used for a trade in coupon at baby and toy stores – if you aren’t in the market for a new car seat, know that other families may give you a little money for your old one to save them money on their new one
Cribs (especially those with the wide bars that are now a safety risk – that we all somehow lived through)- are hot in the repurposed craft field – people make beautiful garden items and other decorations with these.
Please note that I give shop, online, and charity names as an example and am not endorsing these companies unless I specifically say so! It is just easier to give a name than try to supply a definition of the type of company they are 🙂
Get going and TOTALLY RELEASE these items from your home. You will thank me!