In my experience, I have found that while it’s easy for me to declutter, figuring out what to do with the items I’ve decided to let go of is difficult. It’s especially hard when the items have enough value that you’d like to get some money for them. It would be so nice if there were a magic button you could push at the end of a big tidying spree that would magically take all the items away!
So, let’s break down the three general options and when each is most appropriate:
Sell – I personally prefer eBay for this option. Living in a small town, there’s no Craigslist and few local buyers. I especially appreciate how eBay has the buyer pay shipping costs and you can purchase and print out the shipping label at home – no trip to the post office needed. However, it’s a lot of work and not an option for larger pieces such as furniture.
I also used Phobio.com to trade in my old iMac. Although the initial online “paperwork” to get an estimate and shipping to them (they send you a pre-paid box – super easy even with my 27″ iMac) was great, I have not received my estimated payout yet, so cannot fully give them a glowing reference yet.
Some people may also consider holding a tag/yard/garage sale for all of their items large and small all at once. In general, the large amount of time and labor involved is not worth the small amount of money you’ll make. (In per hour terms, well under minimum wage.)
My rule of thumb is I only sell single items, and only those I’ll get at least $50 for. Otherwise it’s not worth my time and I will just donate.
Donate – Another good option, although some places can be very picky about what they will accept. I am very lucky that the local animal shelter holds an annual tag sale to raise money and are happy to accept anything reasonable year round for it.
Clothes: These are actually very difficult as the “fast fashion” industry has created a global glut of clothing and many places won’t accept them. Definitely ask first before dropping off at the thrift store. There are charities that accept prom dresses and business/interview clothes for those less fortunate. Here’s a great article on options: https://www.moneycrashers.com/where-donate-clothes-charity/
Books: Libraries and hospitals.
Toys: Preschools and children’s hospitals.
Baby Items: Women’s shelters
Unused Toiletries: Shelters
Old (Ragged) Blankets, Bedding, and Towels: Animal shelters (Used for bedding.)
Cellphones: Wipe the data and send to a soldier or domestic abuse survivor: https://www.whistleout.com/CellPhones/Guides/Donate-your-old-cell-phone-to-a-good-cause
Toss – This is obviously the last resort, but some things (like old CRT televisions, BELIEVE ME I HAVE TRIED) just can’t be sold or even donated. Recycle what you can (sometimes breaking down items into components will help with this – I was able to recycle most of an old humidifier this way), and bring the rest to the dump to make sure it is disposed of properly as some things (like refrigerators and other things with freon) have to be disposed of properly.
Hope this helps in your decluttering journey!
Hugs from Hobbiton,