Written by: Kiana Wright
Did you know that you may be able to help your community and the environment the next time you move?
Many people find that preparing for a move is also the perfect time to purge unwanted items from their home – getting rid of old furniture they are replacing in their new home, cleaning out closets of clothes that haven’t been worn in years or emptying out boxes of items that have been collecting dust in the attic or basement. Reducing the amount of ‘stuff’ being moved can save a lot of time and money!
A big question that comes up during this process is, “What do I do with all of this unwanted stuff?”
Donating unwanted items to a community thrift store is a great option for many reasons. The items you no longer want may be someone else’s new found treasure. By donating these items, rather than having a ‘junk hauler’ come take them away, you’re making an environmentally friendly choice that can also provide a charitable deduction come tax time!
According to OneGreenPlanet.org, “The number one, and most obvious, reason to love thrift shopping is its gentleness on the environment. Something that might have ended up in a landfill, refusing to biodegrade and wreaking general long term havoc, can now have a second chance at life in your closet, on your wall or in your kitchen.” Giving your unwanted clothes and furniture is a good way to go green!
Sorting Things Out
Of course not every unwanted item in your home is suitable for donation. As you start to put things aside, it is important to know what types of items a thrift store typically will and will not accept:
“Donation-worthy” items (assuming the items are in good condition)
- Wood, plastic or glass furniture
- Rugs & curtains
- Bedding, linens and towels
- Decorations (including seasonal)
- Lawn & garden equipment and other tools
- Clothing, shoes, and jewelry
Items that CANNOT be Donated:
- Broken or overused furniture
- Chipped or cracked glassware
- Old Appliances (washer, dryer, fridge..)
- Blankets or clothes with stains or rips
Find a Worthy Recipient
There are many great local non-profit second hand stores and donation facilities nearby. (Some of them will even pick up items from your home!) To find them you can do a quick online search or visit Donationtown.org. Also, you could try contacting your local Chamber of Commerce. They will assist you in finding some charitable organizations that could use your items to directly help people in need in your community. If you are hiring a moving company you can also ask if they provide donation delivery services. Some of them do!
Destinations for Non-Donations
For items that can’t be donated, there are a number of ways to dispose of your unwanted things. If you only have a few items, they can likely be discarded with your weekly trash & recycling pick-up. Some towns even offer curbside pickup of furniture, but keep in mind that the number of items may be limited and you may need to make arrangements through your town office. For larger disposal projects it may be worth renting a dumpster, hiring a junk hauling company or asking your moving company if they offer disposal services. You’ll be paying a bit more to have the junk hauled away, but you’ll save a lot of work and protect your home by having professionals do the heavy lifting!
Whatever method you use to get rid of unwanted items, you’ll be glad you took the time to ‘clean out’ before you move out!
And don’t forget to visit our blog for other great resources, tips and tricks for making your move easier!