What should I throw away and how do I get rid of all my unwanted junk?
We’ve just crossed the line into a brand new year, and spring cleaning is creeping ever closer. Along with the new “Kondo-ing” craze, it all adds up to many of us feeling obligated to get “out with the old and in with the new.”
Those of us with overfilled closets, attics, garages, basements, and schedules are feeling overwhelmed since cutting all the clutter is a huge hassle for us. Plus, there’s another big, scary monster looming that’s keeping us from taking action.
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How to Get Rid of Stuff in Your House
We all have at least one item in our homes that we once loved but no longer serves us. We’ve held on to these things for many years more than we should because we would feel bad about letting it go or just didn’t know what to do with it but don’t want to throw it in the trash either.
Believe it or not, you can get rid of the things in your home that are just taking up space now and find them a new home where they will be just as loved and well-used as they were when you first got them.
If your furniture is still in good condition, you should be able to donate it to a local charity. Call ahead to charities near you to find out if any of them are need of your unwanted furniture and whether they can pick it up.
Though some charities and nonprofits offer pickup of large item donations, you’ll likely have to haul your furniture to a donation drop-off center. This can become a problem if the furniture you’re donating won’t fit in your car or is too heavy for you to lift.
Be sure you have someone to help you if you decide to haul your furniture anywhere to donate it. Otherwise, you could be seriously injured trying to move it yourself.
If it’s not in such good shape, you may be able to have your old furniture recycled in order to keep it from ending up in a landfill. Most recycling services don’t offer pickup for bulky items such as a sofa or dresser, so you’ll probably have to find a way to get it there yourself.
Check with your local solid waste department or Office of Public Works before putting any unwanted furniture out on the curb.
Many people assume it’s okay to put a couch or futon on the curb to get rid of it, but there’s a good chance you’ll end up being cited and fined for illegal dumping or receive a surprise charge for special service when you leave furniture down at the street or behind a dumpster.
Having an old treadmill or elliptical that you never use just sitting around the house is a big waste of space. If you’ve got a newer model and the machine is of good quality and excellent condition, there’s a good chance you might be able to sell it.
Take some high quality, professional-looking photos and post them with a detailed description of the exercise bike to places like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Just make sure you set your price relatively low.
While you might be able to make a few bucks getting rid of something you no longer need, people buying things online in these yard sale type situations are pretty notorious for trying to scheme their way to getting it for free or as close to free as they can.
If you have a hard time moving that home gym on the web, you can also try giving it away to a friend or family member who might like to have it.
Alternatively, this is one of those items you may also be able to donate or have recycled, depending on the rules and needs in your area.
If you’re like me, you’ve got a bunch of random clutter around your house that you know you need to go through and get rid of.
Going through it all shouldn’t be too hard, but you’ve been putting it off because you don’t know what to do with all the stuff that’s got to go.
Linens like towels, sheets, blankets, etc can be donated to charities with thrift shops such as Salvation Army and Goodwill.
If your unwanted linens aren’t in any shape to be passed off to someone else, check with your local animal shelter. Animal rescue centers and shelters are always in need of these types of items to use for pet bedding or cleaning rags.
If you have any old plush toys your kids have grown out of, ask your local animal shelter if they would like to have those as well.
Any leftover toys that are in good condition can go to Salvation Army, a local childcare center, or women’s shelter.
For kitchen gadgets and utensils, check with your friends and family to see if they know anyone in need of kitchen stuff.
Kids going off to college, recent graduates moving into their first apartment, and newlyweds would probably love to have your gently used hand mixer or extra dinnerware.
The same goes for other household odds and ends. You may just be able to find a good home for that table lamp, antique mirror, curtain rod, and potted palm tree all at once.
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How to Get Rid of Stuff You Don’t Need
This section is all about the junk you’ve got but really have no excuse for keeping so long. It’s old, broken, outdated, or ugly but you still hold on to it and let it take up valuable space for whatever reason.
Well, friend; it’s time to let that stuff go.
If you can’t give away, sell, or donate your old electronics, you definitely need to have them properly recycled instead of throwing them in the trash.
Recycling your electronics instead of sending them to a landfill ensures that hazardous materials like lead, mercury, and cadmium are kept out of the local air, water, soil, and food supply.
Most cities and municipalities offer special e-waste collection days with your regular trash pickup. Call city hall or check your town’s government website or Facebook page to find out when yours is held.
You can also use those sources to find out about any upcoming electronics recycling drop-off events being held in your community. You’ll have to haul your old laptop or desktop PC there, but there is usually little to no fee to drop them off.
Another option is to use an electronics recycling program offered by retailers and manufacturers. Most electronics manufacturers will only take their own brand’s devices, but there are a few that will take any type or brand of e-waste.
However you decide to get rid of your old electronics, just make sure to delete any personal information or files first, even if you’re going to have them recycled. A factory reset and/or hard drive wipe wouldn’t be a bad idea.
It’s so easy to let all the random and outdated junk keep piling up in your home office space. There’s just so much to do, and by the time you’ve finished getting your work done, the last thing you want to do is spend even more time in that space working on decluttering and organizing your work.
Because most office items are so bulky and require special disposal methods, you’ll likely fare better by having a junk removal company pick up and dispose of those things.
That way, you don’t have to deal with figuring out the logistics and what needs to go where with shredding, electronics, hazardous waste, and so many other factors coming into play in the disposal of office equipment and furniture.
Appliances can be one of the hardest things in the world to get rid of. Major appliances are heavy, awkward to maneuver, and ought to be moved by a small team.
Plus, you can’t just throw an old or broken appliance out with the garbage since most trash collection services won’t pick them up.
If you’re buying a new appliance, ask your new appliance seller if they will pick up the old appliance when delivering the new one. Some will throw this in as part of a deal.
Also check with your local electric utility or state energy office to see if they sponsor any appliance pickup and recycling programs near you.
Before you can get rid of a refrigerated appliance like a wine cooler, refrigerator, chest freezer, or AC unit, you’ll need to hire a professional to properly drain any coolant that could be left inside.
This practice is the law in most cities and municipalities, and it ensures your physical safety from toxic substances when moving the appliance around for disposal.
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Best Way to Get Rid of House Junk
As I mentioned earlier in this article, with all this stuff to go through and get rid of, I just don’t have time to divide it all up and haul it all over town dropping off junk deliveries to 27 different places like some magical junk fairy. And I know you don’t, either.
For those of us living this reality, thankfully we have junk removal as a one-stop option for getting rid of all our old junk without sending it to the dump.
When you book a pickup with a junk removal company, these men and women come into your home or office and carry your junk from wherever it is out to their truck and haul it away to dispose of it responsibly.
Junk removal companies do charge a fee for their services, but when you consider how much time, energy, stress, and money you could save with their service instead of having to worry with everything yourself, it’s a small price to pay.
While most junk removal services take your stuff straight to the dump, there are some green junk removal companies out there that will haul your junk to a recycling center or donate it to charity so they can keep it out of the landfill.
LoadUp is a nationwide, eco-friendly junk removal company offering fast, easy, and affordable junk removal at prices that are about 20-30% lower than those of most other junk removal companies.
You get honest, upfront pricing before you even book, environmentally responsible disposal methods such as donation and recycling, and fast, easy haul away service as soon as next-day when you choose LoadUp.
At LoadUp, we’re excited to be leaders in the junk removal business with our custom technology platform, which provides our customers with great features like real-time notifications, live GPS tracking, and white label pre-calling so you’re always in the know about what’s going on with your pickup.
All of the independently contracted Loaders carry a $1M premium insurance policy and pass professional background and driving checks before they’re allowed to complete pickups on the LoadUp platform, so you know you’re in safe hands with LoadUp.