Getting Organized: What to Do With Your Old Stuff


Getting organized is always a popular New Year's resolution. There's something incredibly appealing about starting 2010 with a clean slate. Once you've gone through all your drawers and closets and decided what gets to stay, though, what do you do with the trash bags full of old clothes, toys and other household goods that have to go? You could put them out by the curb as garbage, but there are lots of things you can do with your gently used junk other than throwing it away—and it might even make you a little extra money. From selling their old stuff to donating it, here are some ways that GardenWeb users are disposing of the things they don't want anymore.

"I finally found Beanies for Baghdad this year and got rid of the kids old used Beanie Babies that I didn't just want to throw out, and I don't think consignment stores will take. This is a win-win because I really thought someone could get some use out of them. The kids loved them but were done with them and I think this is a great program (I ended up adding other sporting goods & school supplies that we had around to the box)." —rjvt

"We take everything to the thrift store if it is in good shape and can be used by someone else. Furniture and other big items the thrift store will not take, we post on Craig's List." —colorcrazy

"Our thrift store is associated with a shelter for battered women, so they will take unopened toiletries, etc. that the women can use. If you don't have a similar place, there is always Goodwill and the Salvation Army." —colorcrazy

"I've become a Goodwill champion! I bag or box things up until the container is full, then load the container into the back seat. On my first trip anywhere near a Goodwill, I drop the box at their back door donation area. Ring the doorbell and they'll come get it. If you're interested, they will give you a receipt for the donation for tax purposes." —lissa_z9b

"I just take everything to my local YWCA Thrift Shop. They keep track of what the items sell for, and they send an IRS-approved form at year's end with the amount I can use for a tax deduction." —western_pa_luann

"I've been selling some of my nicer stuff at a charity home consignment store. They keep 50 percent of the selling price and donate it to an outreach council that helps people in our community. I feel good about that. The stuff that isn't worth pricing, I donate to a church thrift shop that does a really good job helping people in the community." —seagrass

"When I decided to get rid of my dining room, I had a complete dining room set (including china and buffet) to get rid of. I gave the table, chairs and china to the animal shelter. They have a booth in the antique mall where they sell stuff and keep the proceeds. All clothing goes to the church 'closet'. They have food and clothing giveaways monthly." —idie2live

"I usually put it on Freecycle and when someone inquires I will put it outside by the garage for them to pick up. When I have had many things that I wanted gone that day I put an ad on Freecycle for [a] free garage sale. Within 30 minutes everything in my driveway was gone." —dd50

"Habitat [for Humanity] ReStore[s are] an excellent place to donate all of those extras that you have leftover from remodeling like paint, doors, windows, shingles, etc. I made my wood floor guy leave the extra adhesives and leftovers and donated those too." —adellabedella

More ways to get rid of old stuff from GardenWeb.

photo: john-francis bourke/getty images

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