Now that you have decided to clear out the clutter in your home, what should you do with all of this stuff that you are ready to get rid of? You have some options depending on where you live.
1 >> Find a charity. As I've mentioned in other posts, Goodwill and other similar charities will accept gently used items as long as they fit into their guidelines. If you live in a city or town you can usually get them to come and pick up the items from your home. Check your local charities for pick up programs and any fees that may be associated. Be sure to get a receipt for a tax write off and talk to your tax advisor if you have questions.
2 >> Consult your garbage pick up service. Each city has their own rules but in some cases they will pick up larger items for free. I have Waste Management and they will pick up tires, mattresses and even electronics (up to three a year) for free with a separate scheduled pick up. I tried donating our old giant tv and no one would accept it, not even my local church, school or library. I would have had to pay to have it recycled if it was not for my garbage service.
3 >> Hazardous waste. Just like your unused prescriptions I mentioned in a previous post: your first closet, hazardous waste and some electronics need to be recycled in special facilities. You may have to do a little research to find out where to bring those items to have them properly disposed of. In most cities there is a designated drop site where they will take items with identification to prove you live in that county. Most county's have a website where you can start as a first step.
4 >> Make some money. If you have a little bit of time and energy, you can even make some money by posting things to sell on craigslist or having a garage sale. If you do have a garage sale, advertise it well with signs. Consider having a group sale with friends, neighbors or family to attract more attention. Be ready for people to come right when the sale starts (if not slightly before) as they know that the good stuff will go right away. Having a few helping hands, a change box and some shade will help if you plan to sit outside and it is sunny. Here are a few more helpful tips from Real Simple on how to have a successful garage sale. And a few more from Angie's list. Just make sure that none of the "for sale" items make their way back into your house. Take all unsold items and put them in your car to drive to a donation center or call for a pick up.