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Should You Sell, Donate or Recycle Your Clutter

So now that you have decluttered the closets, garage and kid’s rooms, it’s time to decide what to do with all the stuff that you don’t want. Do you give everything to a local charity or do you sell it? If you don’t need the money then the most obvious answer would be to donate it all. But in today’s economy it can be hard to give away all your stuff.

There are five questions you can ask yourself to help decide if you should donate, sell or recycle an item.

  1. How much can you sell the item for? Are similar items already for sale?
    Browse popular websites like amazon.com, craigslist.org and ebay.com to see how much others are selling the product for.  Keep in mind if other people are selling the same item, you will need to list your product at a competitive price to sell.
  2. How much time do you want to invest in selling the item?
    Before making the decision to sell, think about how much time you have and are willing to put into it. Will you make the time to post the item on craigslist.org or will you be able to ship the item when someone buys it on amazon.com? This is a big deciding factor for me, if nobody in the house is willing to take the time to post it on a resell site there is no point in keeping it around.
  3. Are you willing to take the time to ship the item?
    Keep shipping costs in mind when posting stuff on amazon.com and ebay.com. Amazon provides you a flat fee for shipping which is often less than the cost of shipping the item. So keep that in mind when pricing your items.
  4. Is the item in good condition?
    Only sell items that are in good working condition. If you a selling locally then the buyers will want to test out the product before they buy. If you use an online reseller like amazon.com, you stand the risk of the product being returned.
  5. Is it taking up valuable space?
    If space is an issue then you may want to donate or recycle the item quickly. We have several items in our garage that my husband was supposed to be selling however they are still there three months later taking up space. If you want to clear stuff out quickly, you may want to call a local service to have the items picked up.

When we moved over the summer we did a combination of all three. We sold high-end items like electronics, strollers, baby equipment, and appliances.  We donated clothes and toys that the kids outgrew and trashed and recycled broken and damaged items. Keep in mind that most donation services will not accept used mattresses and furniture however; you can call the city and ask for bulk item pickup service.

What do you do with all your unwanted items?

Still having trouble getting rid of clutter, check out the following articles.

Kick Your Closet Clutter to the Curb
9 Tips on how to Declutter Your Office Space
8 Ways to Organize Your Recipe Collection 

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