How to find a new home for your old junk

Is there something in your house that you no longer want? Are you interested in downsizing, or need to clear out a house? Here’s some tips on getting rid of your excess junk in the least wasteful way possible.

  • “Free” box on the curb. This works really well in dense urban neighbourhoods but probably not so well in rural or suburban areas. When I leave a “free” box (write on the box with permanent marker, or tape a sign to it) on the curb a lot of the stuff will be gone within hours, sometimes even minutes or seconds. Make sure you do this when there’s no rain in the forecast, otherwise the items might get ruined.
  • Donate to charity. This is a great option, particularly for clothes and general household items. On the other hand, I can say first-hand that second-hand stores (pun intended) throw out many donated items, some more than others. So, it might not be the best way to unload usable stuff that might not make it to the shelves. Also, they won’t deal with scrap metal or items that need repair. Some charities might be willing to pick up, especially if you have lots of furniture.
  • Craigslist / Kijiji free section. Freecycle is also a good option though I’ve never used it personally. This is a great way to get rid of things like scrap metal, old magazines, or stuff that needs repair (for instance, an old stove or coffee maker). It also works great for larger items like furniture. I’ve had success using this method in the past, though it probably doesn’t work as well if you’re living in a rural area.
  • Yard sale / moving sale / estate sale. The best option if you have some quality items and want to get money for them. If you have lots of expensive stuff you might want to hire a company to do this for you, otherwise you’re probably better off doing it yourself.
  • Yard sale “free” box. If you have enough decent stuff for a yard sale, you can always put the less valuable items out as well. Probably the best option for things like half-used pantry items, mediocre silverware, and still usable (but not exciting) dollar store type items.

Do you have any other ideas? Let us know in the comments!


3 thoughts on “How to find a new home for your old junk”

  1. There’s also

    which started in Arizona

    “The Freecycle concept has since spread to over 85 countries, where there are thousands of local groups representing millions of of members — people helping people and ‘changing the world one gift at a time.’ As a result, we are currently keeping over 500 tons a day out of landfills! This amounts to five times the height of Mt. Everest in the past year alone, when stacked in garbage trucks!
    By giving freely with no strings attached, members of The Freecycle Network help instill a sense of generosity of spirit as they strengthen local community ties and promote environmental sustainability and reuse. People from all walks of life have joined together to turn trash into treasure.”

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