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Living Space: How to get rid of almost anything

Diana Reese, BHG.com on

The key to finding happiness in your decluttering efforts is answering this question: Once you decide to ditch your stuff, what do you do with it?

Unless your soon-to-be-former possessions truly qualify as trash, you won’t want to set them out at the curb on pickup day to clog up your local landfill. Instead, the key is to decide whether to give your stuff away, sell it, swap it or recycle it. Here’s how to deal with a variety of items.

Books, music, games, movies

Donate books to your local library or to programs that will ship books to soldiers overseas or to prisoners. If your town has a Little Free Library program, you can leave books in a location near you.

If you’d prefer to sell these items, consider selling them at your next yard sale. You can also sell books and music to a used book store or record store or through online marketplaces.

Clothing and shoes

 

Clothing in good shape can often be sold or donated, and formal wear and professional clothing may be especially in demand. Give your fancy dresses a second life by donating them to groups that provide prom dresses to high school girls who otherwise won’t have a gown. Donate gently used professional clothing to organizations that provide professional attire to job seekers to wear to interviews.

For regular day-to-day clothing, including warm coats and accessories, your local homeless or women’s shelter may be grateful for clothing. Many churches also organize clothing donations to organizations in need, and charity thrift shops use clothing donations to raise funds for programs. Some charities will even accept clothing that’s too worn or stained to sell — they turn it over to clothing recyclers.

If you have kids’ clothing and shoes, consider hosting regular clothing swaps with families in your neighborhood who have kids of varying ages. You’ll get rid of clothes your kids have outgrown and get some larger sizes in return.

Building supplies and appliances

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