What to do with your unneeded items

Q: I own too much stuff, and it is daunting when deciding what to do with everything. None of my children nor grandchildren want my memorabilia, collections, furniture, or vintage kitchenware. Any suggestions?

A: For many of us, our homes are full of things we do not need or use anymore. As we get older, it’s not uncommon for our living spaces to start feeling a bit cluttered. From clothes to trinkets to outdated electronics, it can be tough to let go of things we once held dear. We hang onto things we don’t need or put items in storage simply because we do not want to deal with the hassle of getting rid of them. However, hanging onto things we no longer use makes our living spaces feel smaller and comes at a cost—both financially and emotionally. That is why it is vital to declutter your home regularly and eliminate unused household items. Here are some tips on how to do just that.

Up for sale

One option is to sell them. You can have a garage sale or sell items online. This is a great way to make extra cash while removing unwanted objects. People scour online sources to furnish their homes; and encouraging reuse of items is also a sustainable choice.

This time of year, there is particular interest in acquiring furniture to accommodate guests and unique decor or glassware for entertaining. If you are not using it, why not move it along to others in need? Just be sure to price your items reasonably—you do not want them sitting in your home for weeks.

Platforms like Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Craigslist make it easy to sell nearly anything—clothes, furniture, electronics, you name it. Just be sure to take clear photos and write detailed descriptions of the items to be sold. If you are unsure how to sell things online, find a trusted individual to help you, and consider offering them a percentage of sales as an incentive.

Make a donation

Another option is to donate them. There are many organizations that accept donations of household goods. Some examples include Value Village, The Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Donating is a great way to declutter your home while allowing others to enjoy the items.

Be sure to research the organizations you are considering donating to, ensuring they are reputable and that your donations will be used in the way you intended. Additionally, consider contacting a preschool, private or charter school to see if they are interested in using any items for playtime activities, props for theatrical productions, or for auction/fundraising events.

You may own moderately valuable items. In that case, you might think about nonprofits in your area that could use furniture in good condition, artwork, supplies, or kitchen ware in their office, or as essential fundraising items. 

Going, going, gone

Finally, you could always throw them away. This is not the most eco-friendly option, but sometimes it is the only practical option. If an item is broken beyond repair or unusable, throwing it away is probably your best bet. However, before you throw something away, find out if there are any special instructions for disposing of it properly. For example, electronic waste should be taken to special recycling centers. 

Worth the work

Getting rid of unused household items can be challenging, but it is worth it. Not only will decluttering your home reduce stress and help you save money, it will also free up space in your house. So next time you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff surrounding you, remember these tips and act

Karen Casanovas, PCC, CPCC, CLIPP is a health, wellness and simplified living coach practicing in Anchorage. If you have questions write to her at info@karencasanovas.com.

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