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Clear Out the Clutter Challenge: Do Something With Your Clutter!

Clear Out the Clutter Assignment #5: Get Rid of Your Clutter!

Now that you’ve purged your closets, drawers, shelves and home of unnecessary, unloved and unused things, it’s time to do something with your clutter. Don’t just pile it up somewhere or stuff it into boxes, get rid of it!

Here are some ideas for what to do with your unwanted clutter:

1. Donate

If you don’t want to hassle with selling stuff and you itemize your taxes, than donating your clutter to charity is a great option. Not only are you helping others out, but you can might be able to get a tax break for doing so.

2. Recycle

Instead of just dumping things in the garbage, consider recycling it. If RecycleBank operates in your area, you can earn free coupons and more for your recycling efforts.

3. Sell

There are a multitude of opportunities to sell your unwanted clutter including: eBay, Craigslist, garage sales, consignment sales, Cash4Books, and more.

4. Trade

Did you know you could trade in old electronics and gadgets for cash or store gift cards? Erin from CouponCravings recently wrote an extensive piece on many of the programs available.

What are you doing with your clutter? What other ideas do you have for getting rid of your clutter or making money from your clutter? Tell us in the comments.

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37 Comments

  • BT says:

    I cleaned out all the unnecessary stuff, and let my babysitter have a look at it. She comes from a minority which is struggling here, so she took it all. I know it will get share amongst her friends. So I get a clear house out of it!

  • Katie says:

    Our family goes by the “pay it forward” motto for clothes (especially for little ones in the family who don’t stay in one size very long)! We pass clothes back and forth as new blessings are born!

  • Jennifer says:

    I have started to prepare for our yard sale next month. I have decided that whatever clothes don’t sell I will go through them and see if they are worth listin on craigslist or donating to a local pregnancy center. I have a goodwill close to my house, but I would rather go a little futher and give these clothes away to a person who really needs them (and will get them for free). I like how someone commented on one of your other posts about taking a picture of what is left and listing it on craigslist. My house is in a heavy traffic area so I bet that it would go fast if I list it there with either FREE or cheap. Thanks for being such an inspiration for me and all the other readers 🙂

  • Corissa says:

    I culled over 40 books. I posted them on PaperBackSwap and within 2 days had requests for 24 of them! I’ll use the credits to get homeschool materials that I would be getting anyway.

  • Alea says:

    Our homeschool co-op has a trade table each week. Anybody can leave anything they want to pass on i.e. clothing, books, toys, garden surplus, etc. Anybody can take something they need or want from the table. It is a pretty nice system. I took 2 large boxes of kids clothes and a big box of toys and books and it was all taken by the end of the day.

  • Alea says:

    I have also had very good luck with selling book and electronic equipment on half.com. I find it easier than ebay and the money is automatically deposit into my checking account fairly quickly after a sale.

  • Betsy says:

    I usually take my “stuff” to Hope House–associated with our church–provides the gospel, food, housewares, clothing, etc…. I detest having yard sales, but am having a big one tomorrow. My son and his girlfriend are missionary interns in Australia this summer and I told them they could keep all of the procedes. Let’s pray the rain holds off!!

  • Sarah says:

    I am going to have 2 yard sales in May. One is a neighborhood yard sale and the other is with a friend. Whatever doesn’t sale will be donated. When I am clearing out clutter for a yard sale, I often give things away to my friends and family that I think they would like to have. My friends and I like to go through each others things before a yard sale and we usually trade a bunch of stuff.

    A good thing I have noticed this year is that I do not have NEARLY as much stuff to get rid of as I usually do. I have cut way back on impulse buys and just cut way back on spending in general (Thanks to you Crystal!). This tells me that I am doing a much better job of managing my money-or at least I much better with HOW I spend it.

  • I donate and freecycle because we live in a low traffic area that doesn’t do well for having yard sales. I also pass things along to people I personally know who need them.

    I did sell one large-ticket item (a stand mixer) on Craigslist this year.

  • Courtney says:

    We just donated two carloads of stuff to the Parent-Teacher Organization garage sale at our kids’ school. I already have a box started for items to give them next year! We’ve also gotten about $100 from Cash4Books in the past few months.

  • Bobbi says:

    Join Freecycle.com in your area and give away what you no longer want to keep. That way stuff doesn’t go into the landfills.

  • Jennie says:

    Simply give. I’ve found a friend who has a daughter younger than my three. She has been thrilled to receive my daughters’ old clothes. I have been happy to bless her with these clothes and glad that they will continue to be worn. She just told me that she doesn’t plan to buy any clothes for her daughter this summer or fall. So many people have given my girls their girls’ old clothes over the years–I think it’s a great karmic cycle to be part of!

  • Maura says:

    Another good website for trading media is swaptree.com. You list books/CDs/DVDs you’re willing to trade and post a list of ones you want to receive. The site matches you with trading partners. You only pay to ship your item out. The only downside is that you have to respond pretty quickly to trades and be willing to accept nearly all trades anyone initiates with you or they freeze your account. So don’t put anything on your “want” list that you’re not willing to accept right away.

  • Mary Catherine says:

    I had a yard sale today! It will contuine tomorrow. Today I made $200 on what my non frugal husband would have tossed in the trash! I hope I do as well tomorrow!

  • Lace says:

    Another place you can sell your items online is Ebid.net. It’s a great place, much better than Ebay.

  • Lisa says:

    I am giving my stuff to Northsides Thrift Store. They do so much for our community.

  • WilliamB says:

    Don’t forget REGIFTING. Normal regifting rules apply: item has to be in good shape, something appropriate for the recipient (ask yourself, would I spend money to buy this for this person?), and – for most people – the person shouldn’t know it’s regifted.

    Most of my excess gets donated, given away, or freecycled. I toy with the idea of reselling but so far I haven’t surmounted that learning curve.

  • Michelle says:

    I am still struggling with going through my kid’s toys. I have 4 children:8, 6, 4 and 2 years old. When I think about going through their things and getting rid of stuff I realize the 2 year old might like it still. How do I get rid of their things or at least keep it contained? Honestly, I need to go through my stock pile and give away some things.

  • jan says:

    Our public library is having a clothes swap- I can’t wait!

  • I wish I could have a yard sale, but it feels really hard to coordinate it right now, so I’m just donating everything we’re getting rid of. Except, I might try to sell a few items on Craigslist, like a diaper pail and a barely-used baby jumping swing.

  • Margery says:

    Don’t forget the wonderful resources at Freecycle. We have found new homes for many things here, which allows us to bless others. Additionally, we’ve been recipients of other’s generosity through Freecycle, too. As a great bonus, it keeps good stuff out of landfills!!

  • Vanessa says:

    For the last six years I give my stuff away.I have 4 children and since I started doing this the only clothes I have to buy is underwear,socks and afew times a pair of shoes.Everyone that I give to always try to give back.It is a win win situation.

  • Wani says:

    We did some major spring cleaning a couple weeks ago. We broke our stuff down into piles: Goodwill/donations, craigslist and resale shop. Obviously we didn’t make money on the donated goods but we do use it for tax credit. We made $75 on the craigslist items. And got $45 for a bunch of toys that the resale shop bought. Not too shabby for stuff we were not using anyway!

  • Joy says:

    With the clutter I have collected from our house I am giving some of the items to my sister in-laws, donating some to a charity, and selling the rest at a consignment shop.

  • Freecycle is great for getting rid of things. People post what they are getting rid of, or what they are looking for.

    Cha ching queen

  • Emily Smith says:

    I filled up two boxes with clothes from my closet using the “if you haven’t worn it in two years, get rid of it” guideline. I also post books on PaperbackSwap and have gotten in return several books I really wanted but were out of print and hard to find. It may be psychological, but as I clear out one area of the house, I’m inspired to move on to bigger and better stashes, like the attic and garage. Get out of the way when I’m in a clean out mode, I’m hard to stop. 🙂

  • Jenna says:

    Give/donate. I pass on my clothing that no longer fits to my younger sister. We give our daughter’s toddler clothes to my sister and her toddler. We gave our entire 0-12 months boys’ wardrobe to a friend of a friend, who had a newborn and little clothing. Just dropped off a big bag of clothes to Goodwill.

  • Amy says:

    I filled up the back of my van yesterday and delivered it all to the Salvation Army.

  • Andrea says:

    Cleaning out my mom’s house last week- 15 large trashbags of clothing went to Purple Heart and 2 carloads went to Goodwill

  • We donated all the clothing to our school districts clothing closet
    everything else that was worth keeping is boxed and labeled and stacked neatly in the garage awaiting warmer weather for a garage sale
    all else was trash
    thanks for the motivation

  • stacy says:

    We are lucky to have city recycling so we recycle as much as we can. I also have been donating and consigning as well.

  • Kim says:

    By going through my children’s clostets/attic, I put aside tons of clothes. I can give away a lot of it to friends/family, sell some on Craigslist, and donate the rest to Goodwill.

  • Earl D. says:

    Earl here from Cash4Books.net Anyway, thanks for the mention here. I hope your readers will find us to be useful in their de-cluttering. A lot of customers say for the books we don’t end up buying that they end up donating them to libraries or the Goodwill/Salvation Army. It’s a great way to help others, I think. On a personal note, I just like the sound of “Clear Out the Challenge”. It just makes cleaning and going through your stuff sound so much more fun. Well, good luck everyone with the challenge!

  • robin says:

    I have noticed that the Goodwill Stores only take baby / kids clothes. All other items car seats/cribs/toys/anything but clothing and some of it get throwed in the dumpster. They are not allowed to sell or give away those items. So please find a better source in your community to donate them to whom will give away to needy families. When I needed such items it was a blessing to find at thrift stores or be given the items free or inexpensive. Just a note to let people know! thank you

    • Ashley Anderson says:

      @robin, A great place for these items is your local pregnancy crisis center that focuses on educating young women on their non-abortion options with an unplanned pregnancy (such as adoption, etc). They give parenting classes, etc. In my area the ladies who attend the various classes earn ‘credits’ that they use to shop the supply ‘store’ for much needed items like carseats, toys, clothes and bottles. It’s a great program!

  • You probably already have a re-cycle bin. Take this concept outside– Put a covered trash bin in the garage, or under an awning/shed. Line the bin (this is key to keeping it easy) and whenever you find items in the house that can be appreciated by someone else, put them in the bin. When the bag is full take it to your local donation drop-off.

    Idea #2 is to have a clothing swap with your girlfriends. Everyone brings non-damaged/lightly used clothes, accesories, shoes, etc. Then everyone gets to shop for free stuff. Whatever is left goes to charity. This is such a fun idea people keep asking me, “When’s the next clothing swap?!”

    party on,
    Nonnahs

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