My husband and I have finally arrived in Denver. After months of planning, weeks of budgeting and days of moving, we’re finally here and settled. Well, mostly. At least we have our couch up.
One of the hardest parts of moving is trying to get rid of stuff. There are so many things we threw out – clothes, sports equipment, toiletries, unused dog toys, and dishes. For each item, there’s a way to get rid of it. Is it trash? Can it be reused? Does someone else need it?
Here are some methods I used to get rid of our stuff:
I didn’t actually have a yard sale this year, but I considered it. The only downside to one is that you don’t sell your stuff and you had to get up early on a Saturday morning.
If you live on a busy street, putting out some stuff on a weekend can be all you have to do. Find some friends who also need to sell their stuff and set up shop together.
Craigslist is one of the best ways to get rid of stuff. You post the item and wait for spammers to quickly text you, offering to pay more if you accept a wire transfer.
Seriously though, I’m always amazed at the people who flood Craiglist sellers with obvious spam. If you’re lucky, you can find buyers for your items. Selling items on Craigslist is tricky. I’ve had good luck with more pedestrian items, like classical guitars and futons, but no dice with more specialized goods.
My other caveat about Craigslist is that you have to meet up somewhere to sell the item. I had one woman who said she was scared of driving on the highway and could I meet her 40 minutes away. If it’s something big like furniture, you have to let people into your house.
Some police stations allow you to do Craigslist transactions there, which is a nice alternative. I usually choose a McDonald’s parking lot or similar business. The busier the parking lot, the safer I feel.
Habitat for Humanity
I chose Habitat for Humanity to donate my furniture too. They didn’t take everything I had, but enough that it made moving out much easier. I gave them about a week’s notice to come and they were able to find a good time to stop by.
There are lots of nonprofits that accept furniture donations, so look around to see if you can find some that will take your stuff. Some of them donate your things to needy families or halfway houses, so your old twin bed could find new life in a foster child’s room.
The only downside is many of those nonprofits only take donations at a certain time every month. If you miss the window, they often can’t make exceptions. This isn’t a problem unless you procrastinate like I do.
Specialized and Consignment Stores
A few months ago I discovered a local store that sells used art and craft supplies. The items are in good condition (sometimes new), but cost 50% (or more) less than their retail price. Their inventory is based on donations. As someone who just set up a craft corner in her new apartment, I love the idea of buying sewing supplies for cheap.
I took a couple bags of thread, leftover fabric and embroidery floss to the store. It felt so good to find the perfect place to drop off my supplies, knowing that someone else will be able to create something new with them.
Clothing consignment stores are another way to sell your things without putting too much effort into it. They usually require you to bring in clothes on hangers and in like new condition. Depending on what you own, consignment stores can be a bust. My stuff is never designer enough to warrant a trip.
I try to sell clothes via ThredUp, which sends you a bag with a pre-paid shipping label. They take $9.99 off your total, but make it easy to get rid of your clothes, shoes and accessories. (Plus, I love shopping at ThredUp. If you want to try it out, use this link to get $10 off your first order!)
I’m a huge hoarder when it comes to hotel-sized toiletries. I finally decided that it was ridiculous to move cross-country with a Ziploc bag full of shampoo and body lotion. Luckily, there’s a women’s shelter near my office where I dropped off my leftover soaps and conditioners.
Women’s shelters often accept donations, especially items like toiletries. If you’re like me and carry body wash samples that you don’t use, consider donating them. It’s a simple process and it’ll make you feel good knowing you’re helping vulnerable people.
I’ve been selling stuff on eBay for a few weeks now, and while it’s fine at first, it’s a hassle once you get closer to your moving date. Toward the end, I was too tired to hunt for free boxes and stop by the post office every week.
If you plan to resell some of your things before you move, put them on eBay before you start packing. Once that happens, you won’t have enough energy left to deal with annoying buyers and items that won’t sell.
Goodwill is my last go-to when I’m getting rid of stuff. I prefer to sell the things I can or donate them to a more appropriate place. But if there’s anything that doesn’t fit those two categories, then I put it in a Goodwill pile. Donations are easy and it’s simple to find a location near you. Plus, if you itemize your taxes, that donation is tax-deductible.
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