Considering downsizing? That means where can I re-home or recycle all my items I no longer need?
Its amazing how much stuff we gather as time goes on. Even a minimalist house will gather items over the course of the the seller's ownership. If you're considering downsizing, getting rid of these items will be necessary. Many of today’s smaller homes or condos don’t have lots of storage. Younger families are looking more for “experiences” rather than “things." For clients that are selling, the conversations often starts with "Well, what do we do with ____? (Fill in the blank with your choice of: the exercise equipment we don’t use, an unused piano, classic board games, the record collection, the books collecting dust on the shelves, the china we no longer use that the kids don’t want.)
Believe it or not, it has actually gotten harder to get rid of things you no longer want around the house. COVID-19 has restricted the places that will accept donations and the reality is: often, no one really wants that stuff any more. That said, there are still a few options:
Q; I think my things are actually worth something...where can I sell them?
A: You’re probably right, but how much work you are willing to put in to selling them will determine how much you will get. There are the standbys: eBay, CraigsList, NextDoor, etc that require you to take photos and either meet with or ship to buyers. Other options include Facebook Marketplace and LetGo.com. For women’s clothes, try ThreadUp or RealReal. Replacements.com resells fine items like china, crystal, silver, collectibles, etc but typically pays you a wholesale price and you do need to ship the items to them. Kuzaks Closet offers a paid service that can help when needing to clear an entire home. They are at: https://www.kuzakscloset.com
Q: What if I don’t need to make any money, I just hate to throw things away. What can I do?
A: This is often the best solution and my suggestion is to start with those closest to you and then expand your net into larger and larger circles until everything has been given away. Start by asking your family, extended family, neighbors, closest friends, etc. If that doesn’t work, think about people who might have college age kids or someone staring a new family. If you have a gardener or housecleaner or barber/hairdresser...sometimes they know someone who needs things.
Q: I’ve asked everyone I know and no one wants anything. Now what?
A: There are a number of places to try. Here are a few suggestions:
Books: Almost every local Library has a drop off. Some will even take Sheet music, CDs or Videos. Ecumenical Hunger Program (EHP, in E. Palo Alto, www.EHPCares.org) takes most anything. They even have a pick up service for some things. Call them for details. PARCA also has a route driver that will pick up certain things. Go to www.PARCA.org. Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc are good options. Hope’s Corner in MV (Hopes-Corner.org) is another good local place.
Q: I’ve tried everything and I am having no luck. Now what?
A: Sometimes, a simple “FREE” sign taped to your items at the end of your driveway works but don’t leave it out too long to mess up the neighborhood. Most garbage companies provide 2 free pick ups a year at your curbside...reach out to them for details.
Thanks to Owen Halliday for contributing to the article.