move with ease


move with ease

In this MasterKit, you will find everything you need to stay organized and stress-free on the countdown to moving day (and the days beyond). From a weekend-by-weekend timeline to pro packing tips and advice on securing your new space, you'll learn everything you need to know to become a master mover.
piles of junk
List / 4 MINS

Cleaning House: Where to Get Rid of Your Junk

You're moving and have a bunch of things that you want to get rid of. Here's how to deal with all the stuff you can?t sell but don't want to toss in a dumpster.

Moving comes with its fair share of stresses, not the least of which is the dreaded de-cluttering process. It's a necessary but potentially painful project, especially for those homeowners who are admitted packrats. To make it easier to take stock of what you need to get rid of, any organizing professional will tell you to separate your stuff into three piles: keep, sell or donate, and toss.

That sounds easy enough, but the next step is figuring out exactly what to do with everything that ends up in your "toss" pile - and everything else that you can't sell or drop off to your local thrift store or donation center.

You have five options.
1. Donate It
making a donation
It should be fairly easy to donate most of your things; you probably know plenty of charities that will take furniture, books and toys. Most clothes can go to Goodwill or The Salvation Army. But if you're still stuck with unwanted items, try some of the donation options below before you head out to your trash bin.

You might have to hunt a bit for a local organization willing to take specific things, but there are also groups that will gladly take your items. For instance, Soles4Souls and One World Running will take shoes off your hands to repurpose for those in need, the National Cristina Foundation works with individuals and large donors to get used computers and tech equipment into the hands of non-profits and schools that can benefit from the free technology, and Music in Schools Today accepts instruments for the San Francisco Department of Education music program. You can also give:
  • DVDs, CDs, and video games to your local children's hospitals.
  • Functional electronics and books to schools, local libraries, and other nonprofits.
  • Old towels and bedding to an animal shelter or pet rescue organization.
  • Clothes, luggage, hats, and other period items to a small theater for props and costumes.
2. Recycle It
recycling center
You might be surprised at the number of household items that can be recycled. Even if you can't leave certain things in your curbside bin for pickup, many communities have centers for hard-to-recycle items, including:
  • Carpet
  • Tires
  • Chemicals
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • Mattresses
  • Styrofoam 
You might have to pay a fee to drop off some items, so call ahead if there's a center like this near you. Also, check your community's calendar for special recycling days, a few times a year they may take items they otherwise don't.

If you're looking to unload electronics, an entire cottage industry has built up around the recycling of outdated and broken phones, computers, TVs, and other devices. These companies take apart, reuse, and shred old electronics to get the most out of their parts. Big-box stores like Best Buy will also accept electronics for recycling.

Pro Tip: Whether you're donating, recycling, or giving away an old computer, always wipe the hard drive before you do it.

3. Give It Away
using a mobile app to give away items
Some of your things will prove impossible to donate or recycle. If you don't want to trash that bubble wrap and all of those boxes you just unpacked, someone who's moving will gladly them off your hands. And even if you can't find a buyer for your rusted bike or old rug, chances are somebody will snap it up for free if you post it on a site like:
  • Online classifieds
  • Neighborhood listservs
  • Facebook yard-sale groups
Or you could always just leave it on your curb (if that's legal in your neighborhood). If the garbage men don't pick it up first, chances are somebody else will. You'd be amazed at what people will take.
4. Dispose of It
hazardous materials
Next are the items that you must get rid of in a specific way. Potentially hazardous materials like paint, batteries, household cleaners, antifreeze, expired medications, motor oil, and pesticides should never be casually tossed into the trash, dumped into the sink, or flushed down the toilet. Each one will have a different disposal method, but there are some guidelines to keep in mind.
  • Follow the disposal instructions on the container. Most of these items will have detailed directions.
  • Keep the substance in its original container.
  • Don't mix two different hazardous materials together when disposing of them.
Your community might have a hazardous-materials collection center or sponsor drug take-back events. You could also pay a disposal service to take care of any questionable items.
5. Trash It
trash for disposal
Sometimes, one man's junk is just, well, junk. If you've done your due diligence and still haven't found a responsible way to get rid of certain things, you probably just need to head to the dump.
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