New Years Day and winter go together where I live. It’s hard to get that “fresh start” feeling when the windows are sealed shut and the garden is dormant. If I lived in Australia, I might spend New Year’s Day planting seeds – instead, I find myself checking closets and drawers and getting the Urge to Purge.
Nothing says “last year” like unused things. Magazines, electronics, household goods… items that have been upgraded, replaced, tried but disliked, expired – these misfit goods find homes in cupboards and drawers all around my house – and probably yours, too.
I’m actually very good about keeping “stuff” to a minimum and my home clutter free. If an item is unusable, it only takes a second to throw it away. But… there are things that I just don’t want to toss; they may be useful to someone. How can I get it from my house to theirs without a lot of trouble?
It’s Easy to Give It Away, Sell or Donate:
- Use CraigsList.org and FreeCycle.org. There’s no charge and you won’t have to ship your items. People will come pick them up. You can sell them or give them away. I have sold everything from toothbrush heads to a car.
- Use local consignment stores. Consignment shops sell the item for you and take a percentage of the sale – but you keep ownership of the item. For example, you might agree to leave it there for 90 days, and they’ll take a 50% cut if it sells. If it doesn’t sell, you can take it back home and try to sell it another way. Others might offer to buy the item directly from you to resell themselves. You may be familiar with popular chain consignment stores, like Play It Again Sports and Once Upon a Child but most towns also have small mom & pop consignments that sell everything from clothes to appliances.
- Donate items in good condition to an organization or charity. You can choose the usual places or find a local charity that serves a need that’s important to you.
We personally use some of the resources listed on my resource page. We donated a laptop through the Cristina Foundation, we bring our used CFL light bulbs to Home Depot, our eye glasses to One Sight, and our old towels and sheets to the local animal shelter. We also used a trade in program when we needed a new printer – knowing that our old one would be recycled. These are just a few examples, it would take too long to list all the ways we pass on items that can be used or recycled.
Check out the resource page on my website for more suggestions. If you have any resources that you use that would help others, please let us know and we will add them to the list.