Spring cleaning season is in full swing, and we have given so many tips to have your home in tip top shape. But what happens next? What do I do with all of this stuff I don’t need? If throwing away your old things feels wasteful and your local charity bins are overflowing with more hand-me-downs than they know what to do with, there are so many other things you can do with your old clothes and other items that might help someone and might save you some money in the process.
Most people automatically think of donating their unwanted items to their neighborhood Goodwill or Salvation Army donation center, however, not everything is likely destined for your local distribution center. Donation isn’t the only option, and even so, there are many other donation locations, but you also don’t have to throw perfectly good things away.
So, what should you do with all of your spring-clearout leftovers? Here are a few ideas:
Offer them up to locals.
Look for facebook groups created for giving away free or selling gently- used things. If you have things like old toys/ children’s items, furniture or décor, or even clothes and shoes that you don’t want to keep but are still in good shape, consider one of these local groups and offer them up. You can charge a few bucks for bigger-ticket items, but if you really want to get ride of things and send them to a good home, you can pass them on for free.
Give them to friends or better yet, swap out so you can benefit from the exchange.
Clothing swaps are one of those things that people talk about doing, but never do. But… just do it! You never know if you might fall in love with a top that just didn’t fit your friend just right.
Repurpose and DIY.
Maybe an old candle you ended up not loving the scent made its way into your garbage pile. What if you simply wanted to keep it because the container was cute? With a little patience and creativity, it could become a pencil cup for your desk, a container for your makeup brushes, a utensil holder in the kitchen, or any number of things. Same goes for so many other items you might find in your home.
Bring them to places that can properly dispose of them, or make them useful to others.
Donate electronics to organizations to will actually fix them up or will recycle their materials. Nursing homes always appreciate blankets and small knickknacks that can be used for play in bingo or penny auction. Scraps of fabric are appreciated at senior centers as many of them get together and make quilts to raise money.
Sell or consign.
It’s hard to let go items in your closet that you once spent a lot of money on and they just didn’t fit right at the time. You might be hoping one day you can squeeze into those skinny jeans. Why hang on to these items when you can sell them, make a profit, and buy what fits! Through websites and apps like Poshmark, ThredUp, Mercari, and Ebay, you can sell your gently used clothes and actually recoup a few bucks from your original purchase.
Local semi-annual sales such as WeeSwap and Dittos for Kiddos allows you to consign children’s clothing and toys as well as maternity clothing to make a profit.
Consignment stores are also a good way to make a profit, but it might take some time. These stores also charge a fee and are sometimes strict on what is allowed in stores.
Swap them in exchange for discounted merchandise.
Popular stores like H&M and Madewell are incentivizing donation by actually offering you something in exchange for it, such as discounts at their stores. Bring your bag of goods to an H&M recycling location, and get a 15% coupon to shop for something new.