How to Get Rid of Unwanted Items

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Home Improvement

Do you dread the thought of cleaning and organizing your belongings? It’s time to declutter and get rid of items that you don’t need or want. Many people struggle with letting go of things for various reasons, such as sentimental value or the fear of wasting money. However, there are numerous ways to dispose of unwanted items without simply throwing them away.

First, sort through your belongings and separate them into two categories: keep and go. Once you’ve done that, you can decide how to dispose of the items you no longer want. Thrift stores like Goodwill are a convenient option, as you can easily drop off bags or boxes of items. Garage sales are also a possibility, but require more effort and a significant amount of items to be worth the time.

Thanks to the internet, there are now more options than ever to get rid of unwanted items. Sites like eBay and Craigslist allow you to sell items, while Freecycle is a great option for giving things away for free. There are also niche charities that may accept specific items. Recycling is another option to consider, as you don’t want your items to end up in a landfill.

Getting rid of your unwanted items may seem overwhelming, but with a little effort and organization, you can free up space in your home and feel a sense of renewal.

Should You Sell Your Stuff?

Are you considering selling your unwanted items but unsure if it’s worth the effort? There are a few things to consider before making your decision. Firstly, you need to determine if the item is in good condition and if it has any value. While there is a nostalgia wave for old toys, for example, it’s unlikely they are worth selling if they’re not in good condition. Similarly, cheap furniture that’s falling apart is unlikely to be of interest to buyers.

If you suspect you have an antique or something rare, it’s a good idea to get it appraised before you set a price. You have a range of options for selling, but two of the most popular are eBay and Craigslist.

eBay has a broad audience, making it easy to find potential buyers. It’s also user-friendly and offers completed listings to help set realistic prices. However, eBay charges fees for listings and takes a cut of sales. Additionally, long-time sellers have an advantage, and shipping costs can be high for larger items.

Craigslist is more like a classified ad in a newspaper and is used by locals. It’s free, but it can be challenging to determine the item’s value, and there is no guarantee of payment. Craigslist is a good option for larger items that buyers can pick up themselves. However, it’s not as easy to search as eBay, and fraudulent activity is more common.

Alternatively, you could consider consignment stores for high-ticket items, such as name-brand clothing or antiques. The store handles the sales, but they take a percentage of the profits, and prices can be marked down over time.

If you’re unsure if selling your items is worth it, or you don’t have the time or motivation, there are other options to consider.

Alternative Options to Selling Used Items

If you have items that you no longer want to sell but don’t want to throw away, there are still options available. You can donate them to a thrift store, which may donate its earnings to charity or employ people in need. Additionally, there are niche charities that may accept certain items. For example, libraries or schools may accept books, Habitat for Humanity may accept building materials, and animal shelters may accept towels and blankets. Freecycle is another option, where you can join a local chapter and offer items to others for free. If all else fails, you can try placing your items on the curb for others to take, but be aware of any homeowners’ association rules. Remember to act fast and decisively, and don’t regret parting with sentimental items – take a picture instead.

Author’s Note

Like many people, I tend to keep things that I don’t really need, just because making a decision about what to do with them takes time and effort, which I don’t have much of. I had a room that I wanted to turn into an office/guest room, but it had become a dumping ground for things that had nowhere else to go. I knew that I needed to sort through my stuff, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it all. So when I was asked to write a series of articles about spring cleaning, I suggested that I write about how to rehome items, as I knew that I wasn’t the only one who struggled with this.

Writing the article helped me to research my options. In the past, I would have donated everything to a charity thrift store, but now I have designated some items for eBay and others to a store that buys gently used items for cash or store credit. The rest I am listing on Freecycle. I once gave away a rusted-out barrel that I found on my property, which gives me hope that I can find takers for almost anything. If not, I will donate the items to a thrift store.

Related Articles

  • How to Determine Garage Sale Prices
  • Understanding Estate Sales
  • 6 Ways to Make Extra Money During a Recession
  • How Pawn Shops Operate
  • 5 Tips for Selling Used Books


  • Amster-Burton, Matthew. “Get Rid of Useless Crap.” Mint. Dec. 9, 2009. (March 5, 2012)
  • Cobb, Linda C. “The Queen of Clean Conquers Clutter.” Simon and Schuster. Dec. 1, 2002.
  • Consumer Reports. “How to Get Rid of Practically Anything.” March 2011. (March 6, 2012)
  • The Daily Green. “8 Ways to Get Rid of Stuff.” The Huffington Post. March 4, 2010. (Mar. 6, 2012) stuf_n_482025.html
  • Ma, Lybi. “Everyday Junk: The Clean Sweep.” Psychology Today. Sept. 19, 2011. (March 5, 2012)
  • Morrison, Kara G. “How to declutter and let go of sentimental items.” The Arizona Republic. Aug. 5, 2009. (March 6, 2012)
  • Reese, Diana. “18 Things You Can Get Rid of Today.” Family Circle. 2012. (March 6, 2012)
  • Schechter, Harriet. “Let Go of Clutter.” McGraw-Hill Professional. Dec. 4, 2000.


1. What are some options for getting rid of old items?

There are several options for getting rid of old items. You can donate them to charity, sell them online or at a garage sale, recycle them, or throw them away. It really depends on the condition of the items and how much time and effort you want to invest in getting rid of them.

2. How can I decide what to keep and what to get rid of?

To decide what to keep and what to get rid of, ask yourself if you have used the item in the past year and if you are likely to use it in the future. If the answer is no, then it’s time to get rid of it. Another approach is to evaluate the sentimental value of the item. If it has no sentimental value and is not useful, it’s time to let it go.

3. Can I make money from getting rid of my old stuff?

Yes, you can make money from getting rid of your old stuff. You can sell items online through websites like eBay or Craigslist, or you can have a garage sale. You can also take items to a consignment shop or sell them at a flea market. However, keep in mind that the amount of money you make will depend on the condition of the items and the demand for them.

4. Is it better to recycle or throw away old items?

It’s better to recycle old items whenever possible. Recycling helps to reduce waste and conserve resources. Many items, such as paper, glass, and plastic, can be recycled. However, some items, such as electronics and appliances, require special recycling methods. If an item cannot be recycled, it’s best to dispose of it properly by throwing it away in the appropriate trash bin.

5. Where can I donate my old items?

You can donate your old items to a variety of places, including charities, thrift stores, and community organizations. Some popular charities that accept donations include Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and the American Red Cross. You can also donate items to local shelters, schools, and libraries.

6. How can I make the process of getting rid of old items easier?

To make the process of getting rid of old items easier, start by decluttering one room at a time. Set aside a specific time each day or each week to work on decluttering. Sort items into categories, such as keep, donate, sell, and recycle. Label each category and keep items organized. Finally, be realistic about how much you can accomplish at once and don’t get overwhelmed.

7. What are some common mistakes people make when getting rid of old items?

Some common mistakes people make when getting rid of old items include keeping items out of guilt or sentimentality, not properly disposing of hazardous materials, and not considering the environmental impact of their actions. It’s important to be mindful of what you keep and what you get rid of, and to dispose of items responsibly.

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