I was going through my place doing a little spring cleaning (in spring, can you imagine?) and I ended up with 3 different categories of items:
- Items I want to sell (and I think i can)
- Items I want to sell (and I think they are pretty much worthless)
- Items I just want to get rid of
If you can believe it, there are actually very specialized places to do business with all three of these types of items. For items that actually have some value and could fetch a fair amount of cash, I usually head straight to craigslist, ebay or amazon. I can then list the item, wait for someone to buy it online and ship it, or pick it up through craigslist. Pretty simple, now here comes the interesting stuff…
For items I want to sell, but are usually too small or worth to little to actually make any kind of money off of, I consider trading them for something I would want of equal value.
There are several great sites that cater to this type of trading. For books, music, dvds, and games (pretty much all media or entertainment stuff), I head over to SwapTree. Here you can sign up and swap that overplayed DVD for a new one, or even swap up by trading 2 or more items for a better single item. It works on the simple principle of supply and demand through bartering and trading.
For clothing there is a fairly new and upcoming site (still in beta, but growing nonetheless) Dig n Swap. Here you can swap clothes, purses, shoes, accessories and more. A great way to keep your wardrobe fresh and changing without having to buy more clothes!
For those things you just want to get rid of, first try donating them to your local charity. Most charities accept clothing, furniture, and other items. If that doesn’t work, give freecycle a try or list it in the ‘free-stuff’ section of craigslist.
For those items that just have no chance of anyone ever wanting them, even for free, follow the ‘rules of discarding’: If you can’t give it away, recycle it or dispose of it properly. Many items you wouldn’t think of as being hazardous, actually are. Televisions, computers, electronics, batteries and fluorescent bulbs all are considered to some regard as hazardous waste and need to be disposed of properly. These items tend to have toxic heavy metals like mercury or lead which can leach into and contaminate our drinking water.
Many places accept batteries and small handheld devices, including a mail service from batteryrecycling.com. For more information on electronics donation and recycling programs, check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s website for programs in your area.