declutter and get rid of unwanted household items
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The onset of the new year may have you wanting to clean house in a big way and that may have you realizing you have a lot of unwanted household items.

Clutter can take over your home in a flash – especially if you’ve got kids. Life gets busy and things just seem to pile up – like those piles of outgrown shoes, stacks of old books or even unwanted furniture. This pile-up of unwanted household items can lead to chaos, and take away the peace and joy from your home.

So what do you do with those unwanted household items? Let’s talk about it.

The first step is to toss the items that are in poor condition. A large trash bin can often be your best friend in gaining control over your clutter. The more you throw away, the quicker you’ll experience the peaceful home that you crave.

Next let’s move on to donating and selling unwanted household items. Here are a few options to consider.

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Where to Donate Unwanted Household Items

1. Ask family members if they need anything. Your close family should get first dibs on the things you want to give away.

Announce the items that you’re giving away to your family and give them a time limit for getting back to you on whether or not they want them.

2. Check to see if a thrift store or charity has any pick up times slated for your area. Thrift stores look for new items for their stores all the time. Many of them will come out to pick up your donation. For example, Habitat for Humanity will come to your house to pick up large items or building materials. Many times area homeless, family or battered women’s shelters will also pickup used furniture or other large unwanted items that are in good condition.

Also consider contacting Pickup Please. Run by the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), this organization can pick up all your unwanted belongings within 24 hours. The organization then sells the items to generate funding for local, state, and national programs of the VVA. Pickup Please accepts clothing, household goods, appliances, electronics, shoes and more. All donors have to do is schedule their pickup online and leave the labeled boxes outside their door. A Pickup Please driver will pick up the donations and leave a tax deduction receipt behind.

3. Drive items to a Goodwill station. This can be the best solution if you’re in a rush to regain control of your home. And, you’ll be doing something good by choosing to donate. This is a good alternative if you’re not getting rid of much or you’re not getting rid of bulky, heavy items.

Remember to pick up a tax receipt so you can deduct the value of your donated items from your income on your income tax forms.

4. Donate to Dress for Success. Listen up ladies! If you have gently-used, work-appropriate clothing in your closet, consider donating it to Dress for Success. This international non-profit organization helps women thrive in the workplace by providing professional attire and development tools to those who need it. The organization accepts new or nearly-new suits, business appropriate apparel, shoes, handbags, cosmetics and jewelry. To donate your items, you’ll need to find an affiliate in your area.

5. Help a Mother Out by giving to Baby2Baby. If your home is overflowing with baby toys and supplies, it may be time to let go before the move – especially if your children have outgrown the items. Consider donating these baby belongings to Baby2Baby. This non-profit collects donated baby gear and distributes them to shelters, children’s hospitals and more. Baby2Baby accepts clothing, backpacks, diapers, beds, blankets, toys, car seats, cribs, high chairs, and diaper creams – among other baby items. To see if there is a Baby2Baby donation site near you, check here.

6. Join a website like Freecycle. Freecycle is a network you can join to give items away locally for free. You never know when someone else around you needs an item that you’re giving away. It’s also a great place to find items that you might need.

7. Give to Your Local Library! Looking to clear your bookshelves and make more space? Consider giving to your local library.

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Where to Sell Your Unwanted Household Items

1. Advertise your items on social networking websites. Let people know about the items you’re giving away or selling on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, or Facebook Marketplace. Your friends will instantly know about your items and you’ll save time by announcing your offer to everyone at once.

2. Mobile Marketplaces. Want to sell your stuff from your phone outside of a social networking site – yep, there’s an app for that! There are many ‘garage sale’ apps currently available in the Google Play Store or on iTunes. Start by creating an account, then upload pictures of the items you want to sell.  Users can comment on items they like, discreetly message sellers about items they are interested in and arrange a meetup when they decide to buy. As with online classifieds, transactions are usually paid in cash and in person.

Some other mobile Garage Sale Apps include: OfferUpNow, VarageSale, Let Go

3. Sell in classifieds. The web is full of online classifieds where you can sell unwanted household items. Craigslist and eBay Classifieds are some of the best known for local trading and selling. These sites are ideal for offloading appliances, children’s toys, furniture and other housewares to people in your area. Online classifieds are generally free, but check the terms of use before you sign up.

4. Sell your items with an online auction. eBay is a great place to hold online auctions for your unwanted items. You might be surprised at how much money you receive for them. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

While clutter can be overwhelming, there really are only four things you can do with any item. You can keep it, sell it, give it away, or toss it. Get started today, and you’ll experience a peaceful, clutter free home before you know it.

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