View Full Version : The Urge to Purge, Finding Good Homes for Unwanted Stuff

09-02-06, 06:02 PM
I started this thread because I have such a hard time getting rid of things in which I have an emotional or financial investment. It is much easier to pack it up and send it away if it goes to a good home.

I hate yard sales-the tax deduction is usually more than I would make when you consider the time spent "organizing" and holding the "event." I hate adding to landfills and some of my stuff is pretty good! I all a thrift store to come and pick-up clothes and other items that they can use. That way I don't have to do anything other than make sure they are clean and in bags or boxes.

Please share how you dispose, donate, or pry things out of your cold dead hands when it is time to let them go. Who knows-I might have something someone needs or wants.... or we can find places that really need our things.

Here are a few of my things to find homes for:
old computer equipment-like a Mac LCII-can't make it work anymore, monitors-those giant ones with tiny screens, and broken down inkjet printers

unwanted fabrics-not too many but some-especiallya big bag of polar fleece. I want to send fabric to quilter's who lost everthing in Katrina or other disasters.

Older homeschooling books-some are religious biographies from back in the day-would like to sell-any good place to do this online? Some of the info never goes out of date-some does.
If I knew what to do with this stuff it would be so much easier to get it out of my house!


09-02-06, 07:44 PM
try craigslist. you can trade, donate, sell, barter....

i always check it for free stuff, barter goods and furniture. am currently looking for a pool table, and sometimes people give them away if you'll just go and pick up....

09-02-06, 10:24 PM
Thanks Pem! I always like it when people can use things instead of just throwing them out!

09-26-06, 03:12 PM
NOOOO RADDmom, don't let my StepFather see this! He is a COLLECTER of random stuff. HE had a controll issuse and NEVER throws ANYTHING out! We have 4789725908699298379847859043701739893 little ketchup packets in my fridge!

I suggest you find someone who can fix the computers and then sell them. Everything else you should donate to people in the Ukraine (That's what my mom does)

09-26-06, 03:54 PM
Oy! Am I a collector. Although mine tends to center on a coupla areas...pieces of paper (cause you never know when you might have to show proof of least that's what I tell myself as I go through old manuals and receipts of stuff I haven't owned for years! LOL!)

But, I am moving in with my fiance in a few weeks, and am purging so combining our two single lives isn't as cluttered. I do NOT want to host a garage sale for many of the same's more work than the profit is worth.

We all know that Good Will and Salvation Army are good starting points, but here is some stuff I've garnered from my experience. deductions can often pay off better.

1.) Check with local moving companies for a way to get rid of old furniture. I learned that the movers I hired also take donations of old furniture for local shelters. I don't have to worry were I'm storing furniture I don't want...I know it will get good use...and how to get it to the charity is no longer a problem. It is also tax deductable for the merchandise if you get a receipt for it. Local movers' websites should have information if they participate in some kind of donation program.

2.) Old clothes and fabric are GREAT finds for community or school theater departments. The way educational arts fundings are being slashed these days, they appreciate any assistance they can get, and the creative kids can often put alot of stuff to use creating new costumes. Generally, this too is tax deductible. They also take furniture, but tends to be iffy if someone will come and pick it up.

3.) Local req centers are also happy to take old furniture off your hands. The times I've donated to them, they always had directors or other volunteers who were willing to come and get the stuff if you are willing to donate it. (in the midwest, you really can't swing a dead cat without finding some friend or acquaitence with a pickup truck! LOL!)

4.) Local food pantry's are ALWAYS happy to take non-perishables off your hands if you are cleaning out your kitchen. (my fiance's hates creamed corn and I hate baked beans. Our pantry is getting gutted as we combine our diverse tastes. lol)

Hope these help some folks find new ways to get rid of their old stuff.

09-26-06, 06:30 PM
Freecycle ( baby!

09-28-06, 03:45 AM
I have a horrible time getting rid of my kids toys and clothes, probably because of the emotional attachment I have to them. My three year old will play with about any toy that he currently owns, but our house it too small for all the toys he has aquired, which means...yikes...I have to make some decisions! Making decisions isn't my strong side, because I tend to see both the pros and cons of most everything, including which toys are the best for him to keep. Anyone have any good decision making strategies when one is feeling highly indecisive?

09-28-06, 09:27 PM
Older homeschooling books-some are religious biographies from back in the day-would like to sell-any good place to do this online? Some of the info never goes out of date-some does.
If I knew what to do with this stuff it would be so much easier to get it out of my house!

RADDSell the books on (

09-28-06, 10:19 PM
I like Book Crossing ( for unloading books in novel ways... :rolleyes:

01-08-07, 09:31 PM
I donate the majority of my stuff to Goodwill. They need as much as they can get, and it's nice to know you are helping people and not just throwing good items out and taking space in a landfill. I also sell a few things on Ebay and and have recently gotten into the freerecycle deal. That's a great program.

01-08-07, 10:12 PM
Freecycle ( baby!DITTO!!!

I love it!

I got oodles of stuff I needed and then in true pay-it-forward practice, when I moved I unloaded tons of stuff.

Also, I look at the "Wanted" on the list because sometimes it sparks a memory of something I have and had meant to do something with.

And best of all, it's all free. Everything.

ETA: Also, some freecycle areas post local charities in their database to keep people aware of what they need on a regular basis.

01-08-07, 10:47 PM
Sometimes you just have to throw some things out. Otherwise, you're trying to donate things that no one wants. And if the burden of finding places for things you don't want is making it well nigh impossible to start de-cluttering, throwing out some particularly unusable items can provide a jump start to getting on with it.

Use old fabric items for scrub rags, major cleaning, dealing with really nasty messes. Use clean rags to pack boxes for shipping.

When we lived in the city (Philadephia), people put non-trash items out early on trash day and it was understood that if you were walking by and you saw something you could use, you could take it.

01-08-07, 11:17 PM
I have gotten some great things from trash days. I like to refinish furniture items (picture frames, chairs, small tables, etc.), so I have had to invest very little into small furniture pieces. I am still hesitant about couches and such, but you can turn almost anything into new again with a little paint and inspiration.

I also give old towels, cat toys, etc. to the local humane shelters. I also give them extra pens, pencils, notepads, etc. as I seem to collect those! How many notepads does one person need?!

Domestic violence shelters and halfway houses are also great drop offs for clothing in good (and clean) condition of course.

But, like peridot said, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and just throw it out. I have had to do that a few times, just to get it out of my house!

03-11-07, 04:32 PM
I have to admit, finding the perfect recipient for my cast-offs turned out to be a major roadblock for me in de-cluttering. The whole process was fraught with pitfalls for a person like me and the stuff ended up sitting in my garage for months as I came up with increasingly complex schemes for eBay, yard sale, charitable donations, etc..

Now, we just bring everything to the swap shop at the local dump. I trust that someone will go thru it give it a good home. For furniture and the like, the local food pantry will pick up items to sell in their their thrift store.

I have also made the rule that no no items can come in without at least the same number of things going out.

03-11-07, 08:28 PM
I second Freecycle! I did it in San Francisco and here, in Scottsdale. Great way to get rid of stuff and help people who need it!

Of course, you must resist the temptation of the OFFER posts! bwahahahahaha!

Happy decluttering!