What to do With All that Clutter


Many of us have been cleaning and decluttering this month, but what do you do with all the junk?

1. Throw it away

Broken, worn out, too old to salvage items need to find a home in the garbage can. Do not donate or pass along things in poor condition.

2. Recycle

Visit your city’s web page and see what items they recycle. You might be surprised at the amount of items that can be recycled these days. If your city doesn’t recycle, you can find the closest facility and take it yourself.

3. Donate

Many organizations will come to your house and pick up your unwanted stuff! The following organizations may pick up items in your area.

4. Yard Sale

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? Yard sales are a lot of work, but it is a great way to earn some extra money. Money Saving Mom has a great post on how to have a successful yard sale.

5. Craig’s List

Craig’s List is a great way to get rid of just a few unwanted items. It works especially well for bigger items that you don’t want to haul away yourself. I posted some tips last year for buying and selling on Craig’s List, it is my favorite place to shop!

6. eBay

eBay is a good option when you want to sell higher value or unique items. Just remember eBay charges fees, so take that into consideration before  listing an item.

7. Pass Along to a Friend

Many families are blessed by hand-me-downs and second hand items. I know when I was first married almost everything we owned came from someone else. We couldn’t afford to buy anything new and we were very thankful for the generosity of others.

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  1. ~*April*~ says:

    Freecycle. Go to http://www.freecycle.org and find your local online group. You post it online, someone responds if they want it, you set it out on your front porch and the other person picks it up. It’s an amazing way for a community to recycle their things! 🙂 Enjoy! ? ~*April*~

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      Thanks April- I don’t know how I forgot about Freecycle!

    • Was just going to suggest Freecycle also. I’ve had great experiences w/it and have been able to pass along some things that I honestly was surprised to get any replies! More proof that one man’s trash really can be another man’s treasure!

    • I am so glad you mentioned freecycle. My family has been blessed because of it. I was in need of a file cabinet, my oldest needed a clarinet since she was using the school’s and would need one to continue playing during the summer. My husband posted for each. When we picked up the file cabinet the woman told us she had also seen the post for a clarinet and knew some people who may be able to help. She put up a post on facebook, and a friend from h.s. whom she had not seen since graduation 25 years ago responded by buying my daughter a brand new clarinet.

  2. Wonderful tips for getting rid of all the stuff we clean out!

  3. Christine says:

    How do I get myself to get rid of gifts people have given me through the years? what is the best method of getting rid of old cleaning solutions from under the sink? Without flushing it down the drain.

    • Christine, Check with your city to see if they offer a local hazarous waste drop off. Ours does during our annual community spring clean up. We’re able to drop off chemicals like cleaners, old paint, etc. It’s all collected by a group operated by our county where you can drive a little bit further and drop chemicals off year round.

  4. Don’t forget your local resale and consignment shops, especially for good kids’ clothing. I just took a large tote of my three daughters’ excess spring/summer clothing to the local children’s resale shop. I made sure everything was clean and in good condition. The owner will call me next week with an offer after she has had a chance to look through them. I will have a choice of cash or store credit. More is given if store credit is chosen, but since my girls still have too many clothes, I will probably go for the cash. It’s much easier than having a yard sale!

  5. Christine, You might consider taking a picture for sentimental value, then pass it on in a way that makes it a blessing to someone else. My family has been moving alot in the last couple of years, (click on my blog for more on that!) and I’ve learned that anything that is not directly a benefit to my family is a detriment. However, time and again, I’ve watched others’ faces light up when receiving those same objects that would have weighed us down.

    Thanks for this article. I’m going to save it. We think we’re settling and emptying our storage unit this year. I know there is stuff in there that we shouldn’t have kept in the first place, and I’ll need several ideas to clear it all out!

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