August, 2013

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I’m getting organized… now what do I do with my “give away” pile?

Congratulations on taking your first steps in making your space more livable and organized! Now you need to decide how to get rid of things without putting everything in a landfill. There are actually a few things you can do: Sell it, Give it away, Recycle it, Trash it.

Sell it

You can sell some of your things for extra cash. It does take some extra effort and time to sell things, but it might be worth the time if you have things worth more than just a few dollars, or if you have a lot of things to get out of your house. Here are just a few things you can do to sell your excess things.

  • Hold a Garage Sale! If you have enough things to sell, it might be worthwhile to hold a garage sale to get rid of things in a day or two. You won’t necessarily get rid of everything, but it can be faster than listing each item online.
  • If you haven’t already tried out CraigsList, now might be a good time to start. You may have heard some bad press about people getting robbed, but those are extremely rare cases. In general, you can meet people at a public place (a personal favorite is Starbucks) and make the exchange (money for your stuff). Not sure how to price something? Do a search for your item first on CraigsList and price it competitively.
  • eBay is another place you can list things for sale, but it does take an extra effort to ship the item once someone purchases it.
  • – List all kinds of items, and pay a fee once the item sells
  • eStarland – Takes video games at great prices! Opt to get store credit or cash.

Give it away

If you tried to sell things and they just didn’t sell (or perhaps you just want to get them out right away), you can give things away. The list below is by no means comprehensive, but they are a few places that I have used to get rid of my own excess stuff.

  • Freecycle – give your items to other people in the local area. 
  • – Donate small items including clothing and books to a charity that will pick things up from your door. Charities include the Lupus Foundation, Multiple Sclerosis Association, and the Vietnam Veterans Association.
  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore – Donate home items, including some furniture. They will also pick up in some areas.
  • Goodwill – Donate things, big and small. Contact your local Goodwill to find out what they will accept.

Recycle it

If your local trash company won’t take it as a recyclable item, you can’t sell it, and you can’t give it away, you might still be able to recycle it.

  • Earth 911 has a great recycling search so you can find places to recycle things

Trash it

If you can’t sell it, give it away or recycle it, consider trashing it. What is trash is not always obvious, and it can sometimes be difficult to admit something is just trash. But you will feel so much lighter and free of clutter if you can let go!

If you need help with any of these areas or decisions, consider hiring a professional. How else have you gotten rid of your excess stuff so you can get organized?