Ask the Readers: How Do You Get Rid of Your Unwanted Stuff?

By Ashley Jacobs on 17 July 2012 (Updated 24 July 2012) 135 comments
Photo: David Stanley

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Autumn, kristina, and Tom for winning this week's contest! 

Everyone has items in their house or in storage that they don't need or want anymore. Whether it's an old TV that never gets used or items of clothing your kids outgrew, odds are you've either sold, donated, or thrown away things you no longer use or just don't need. Some people take the time to sell stuff on Craigslist or have a yard sale while others either donate or throw away their unwanted stuff.

How do you get rid of your unwanted stuff? Do you sell it on Craigslist? Have a garage sale? Donate it? Or do you just throw it out?

Tell us how you get rid of your unwanted stuff and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — one for random comments, one for random Facebook "Likes", and another one for random tweets.

Mandatory Entry: 

  • Post your answer in the comments below 

For extra entries (1 per action):

  • Go to our Facebook page, "Like" us, and leave a comment on this article telling us you did, or
  • Tweet your answer. You have to be a follower of our @wisebread account. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, July 23rd at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after July 23rd on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
Stefanie

I sell books at used bookstores and via half.com and amazon marketplace. I sell household goods and clothes via Facebook, Craigslist, and via consignment stores around town. Anything that doesn't sell within 1-4 weeks gets donated to a local youth homeless shelter and other progressive organizations.

We're actually in he process of doing all of this right now in earnest.

Guest's picture
Laura

Oh man, at the moment, Ive got three methods going for getting rid of my stuff this week:
1. I'm selling a tennis racket on eBay.
2. I'm taking my old clothing and towels to the farmer's market on Saturday, where a charity accepts donations and sorts items that are a)still useable for sale in thrift stores b)stained and torn for shredding and use as bedding and insulation.
3. I'm using the old "send it to the curb and some other Brooklynite will happen by and take it" method.

Guest's picture
Chelsea

My first try is with rehash (rehashclothes.com) for clothes, books, etc. I've gotten some really cool stuff this way. Otherwise I try eBay or Craigslist. If it really isn't with anything I donate it.

Guest's picture
Michael Rotem

Either eBay or Craigslist.

Guest's picture
JoAn

I donate books to our local library's book store, clothing and household items go to Goodwill or our local Lutheran Thrift Shop.

Guest's picture
JoAn

I follow on Facebook, too!

Guest's picture
MELISSA HANSSON

My friends and I have quarterly "naked lady parties." We all bring clothes, accessories and even housewares that we're tired of & we swap for new stuff. It's a fun reason to throw 4 parties a year and a reminder to clean your closet.

Guest's picture
MELISSA HANSSON

"Liked" on Facebook.

Guest's picture
Lynda

craigslist or donation

Guest's picture
Lynda

i like wisebread on facebook

Donna Freedman's picture

Like you (a lot) on Facebook.

Donna Freedman's picture

A few months ago I got rid of a bunch of stuff by donating it to a rummage sale called "Superfluity." I love that name.
Right now I'm getting rid of a lot of stuff via Goodwill. I don't have a car any longer, but fortunately Goodwill has a donation station about a mile from here, on the way to errands I must run (library, post office, bank). So I'll put a bag of stuff at a time in my little-old-lady shopping cart and roll it down there.
I've put a couple of things on Freecycle, too.
And some stuff (old newspapers, school papers, business cards from a job I left 10 years ago) did end up in the recycle bin.
Scary how much one person can accumulate in, oh, 36 years of adulthood.

Guest's picture
Nicholas

If it is useful to someone else and I have no value to it then I will sell it (unless I know the person then I usually just give it to them). Otherwise the items just get tossed. No use keeping it around if I am not going to use it.

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Nicholas

I have wisebread liked on facebook.

Guest's picture
Autumn

I'm making a big move soon, and sold some of my old clothes and jewelry at Plato's Closet. They don't give you much for your items, but it's great if you have a lot of things you no longer wear. Also, I've given some clothes, books, and toys to younger cousins. Great way to help out a family member, and get rid of your unwanted stuff!

Guest's picture
Raina

I've donated, sold on Craigslist, sold on Amazon, and just plain thrown away. It varies.

Guest's picture

Find forums relating to enthusiasts of the gear you're trying to sell. For example, DVXuser has a great used gear forum for audio/video production.

eBay also has a free classifieds section which is not as popular as craigslist but is another alternative.

If you're just trying to get rid of stuff that isn't garbage, I always try to donate it to a good cause. Our local fire station as a thrift store it uses to raise money. Very cool.

Guest's picture
Shireda Duncan

I have a uncertain life; I [sometimes] spend large and/or frequent amount of time(s) in hospitals as a inpatient. So, I lately I've worked seasonal jobs. I spit things up between salvation army, good will, and plato's closet. Salvation army gives me a ticket for tax deductions so I either don't have to pay alot or I recieve a little more money. (Every penny counts) Good will either gives you a tax ticket or 10-35% percent off store purchases; I mostly get replacement kitchen and clothes items. Plato's closet helps me swap clothes that I've never wore (due to my change in size due to illness). A lot of the times I can even get the charity organizations to pick up the clothes. I can clear my stuff and give to charity the best way I can.

Guest's picture
cwaltz

I usually donate it or give it away. Over the years many people have kindly helped us. I feel it is only proper to pass it on.

Christine

Guest's picture
kristina

I donate it or sell it on ebay.

Guest's picture
Sarah

Ebay for small stuff (clothes, jewelry, books, etc), Craigslist for larger (guitar, bookshelves), My single mom neighbor if she wants anything, and Goodwill for what doesn't sell or I don't give away... in that order! So good to 'recycle' and make money too sometimes. One person's trash, another's treasure...

Guest's picture
Kristin

Craigslist, craigslist, craigslist! It is less of a hassle than mailing on Ebay!

Guest's picture

We have a big yard sale, usually twice a year and most of what doesn't get sold goes up on freecycle.

Most of my son's outgrown clothes go to the school's Clothes Closet, which is used for kids who have accidents, aren't dressed appropriately for the weather, etc. I didn't even know about it until one day my son came home in a different shirt because he'd had a nosebleed. His bloody shirt was in a bag with a note saying where the shirt came from, and that it didn't need to be returned. I thought that was just a great idea so I donate to help keep it stocked.

I've also sold things on eBay and Craigslist, but tend to save those for higher-ticket items.

Guest's picture
Ang

I frist ask friends and family if they need anything. Then, if I have a lot of stuff, I have a yard sale, or if it's just a few things(especially if they;re of value), I might put it on craigslist to sell. After that, I'll take whatever's left to the the goodwill.

Guest's picture
Carmen

I do most of my selling through rummage sales. I've only sold a couple of things on eBay and tried several times on Craigslist but sold nothing (partly because we're a rural area?) I've also used Paperbackswap for books - but all you're doing there is trading for more books. The same goes for turning in books for credit at the local used bookstore. Anything we don't sell we donate to a couple of local charities. I try and only give items I'd be willing to buy - anything else goes in the trash.

Guest's picture
Sara N

I sell on ebay, craigslist or donate depending on the item and quality!

Guest's picture
Erin from Long Island

i give a lot away and sell some on craigslist

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Erin from Long Island

fb fan
erin neu

Guest's picture
Bethany

1. If it is lightweight and valuable, I snap a picture and ebay it.
2. Take the item to a consignment store or put it in a consignment sale.
3. I sell bulky items on Craigslist, so I can have the buyer transport.
4. If my item doesn't sell with the above options, I put it in my annual garage sale.
5. When all else fails, I donate. Space promotes peace!

Guest's picture
Debbie Fender

I usually take items to Salvation Army, but I have had garage also. I also give items to others who I know may need them before selling or taking to the Salvation Army.

Guest's picture
shari snider

My first choice is always to see if I can find a new way to use it. Empty ice cream buckets hold four, sugar, instant mashed potatoes, pasta, etc. Clothing that isn't usable for anything else is always good for the rag bag - everyone used to have one. If the mess you clean up with a rag isn't TOO bad, you wash it and reuse it. If it is really horrible, you just throw the rag away - at least the fabric has done it's duty at least twice rather than wasting paper. Nearly any clothing item can be remade into some other piece of clothing; turning a pair of pants into a skirt is super simple, larger items can be taken in or refashioned for someone smaller or for children. If you have the energy to put one together a garage sale is great - I don't have either the time or patience but there are many charities that will pick almost anything up at your door and make the stuff available to someone else who wants or desperately needs it whether it be sold in a thrift store or given to a battered woman trying to make a fresh start. In short, all it takes to keep almost anything out of the trash dump is a little creative thinking.

Guest's picture
Guest

craigslist and ebay for anything with a value of over $10, freecycle for the rest and what must go now.

Guest's picture
Whiskers

We donate to Salvation Army Thrift store what doesn't sell on Craig's List or on Ocala4Sale.com. Have donated books and video's to library and placed items in a free bin locally.