13 Ways to Get Rid of Your Clutter


sale-sign2You’ve done it! You’ve gone through your garage, your closets, or whatever problem area you had, and decided which things just don’t make sense to keep any more.

Now what? How do you best get rid of these things? Here are 13 options.

Sell them.

1. Sell them on eBay or craigslist.

2. Sell them through a consignment store.

3. Sell them through an auction house; here’s just one.

4. Sell them to a store handling this specific kind of thing; sell books to a used bookstore, for example.

5. Have a yard sale, tag sale, garage sale – whatever you want to call it.

6. Hire a pro to run the yard sale for you; you’ll give up part of the proceeds, but also all of the work!

7. Use one of the many swapping web sites to exchange your stuff for something more useful.

Give them away.

8. Give them to charities; depending on the item, that could be everything from Goodwill and The Salvation Army to your local Humane Society (which can almost certainly use any blankets or towels you have).

9. Give them to family and friends if you are sure they want them.

10. Give them away on Freecycle.

Let someone else figure it out.

11. Hire a hauling company; many of them will recycle what they can rather than taking everything to the dump.

For things with no remaining value: Recycle what you can and trash the rest.

12. Recycle those items that can be recycled. For toxic items, be sure to follow your local procedures for household hazardous waste.

13. Put the remaining items in the trash, or take them to the dump. Sadly, sometimes the only real answer is to send something to landfill.

Photo credit: Meg Dougherty


11 thoughts on “13 Ways to Get Rid of Your Clutter

  • June 23, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    What a fabulously comprehensive list of what we can do with our clutter! With your links to related sites, you enable your readers to take action! Great article!

  • June 24, 2008 at 9:12 am

    For any used books, you can easily check their value on BookScouter.com and see if any companies are willing to pay you for them. Most of the sites provide pre-paid shipping labels, so you don’t even need to pay for shipping to get rid of them.

  • June 25, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Books, tapes and movies can also be donated to your local library.

    It’s a tax deduction for you and VERY helpful to them in these days of reduced budgets.


    This will also probably make people throw thousands of rotten tomatoes at me – but –

    …there are people (like ME!) , who when you add another few steps to getting rid of something, become overwhelmed and and stop organizing or decluttering.

    Just do your best, and don’t beat yourself if it’s not done “perfectly” – we’re only human and sometimes you have to save yourself before you can move on and do everything “the right way”.

    I’ll be very honest here. When I first began getting stuff out of my house, it was all I could do to either take things to the thrift/donation store or toss things in the dumpster. Even those two steps were extremely difficult for me.

    As time moved on, I was more and more conscientious about how I got things out of the home, but at the beginning, adding even a single additional step could/would have stopped me in my tracks.

    Tink, (who had to learn to simplify, be organized and uncluttered)

  • June 25, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    BTW, I’m NOT saying to ignore the suggestions here, as they are excellent.

    I am saying, don’t let additional steps keep you from getting on the right track – take care of yourself the best way you can, the rest will follow in time.

    The organization and peace in my life now is worth MUCH more than what I may have earned had I sold those items back in the beginning of my quest.

  • June 25, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    No rotton tomatoes here – I UNDERSTAND!

  • June 25, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Bev, thanks so much for the kind words.

    Brandon and Tink, you both raise good points about used books. For more ideas about finding new homes specifically for used books, you might want to look at my list: http://jdorganizer.blogspot.com/2007/07/10-ways-to-find-new-homes-for-your.html

    Tink, I’m actually in total agreement with your point. Trying to find the absolutely best new home for your things can slow anyone down too much.

    And when it comes to selling things, it’s easy to underestimate the effort and overestimate the probable proceeds.

    Jeri Dansky’s last blog post..Ethical Question: Donate the Baby Bottles?

  • June 25, 2008 at 5:30 pm


    Great ideas there for the books.


  • June 25, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    crud – spelled your name wrong – sorry:)

  • May 19, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Just looking around and located your site – thanks for the share.

  • May 20, 2011 at 4:32 am

    I cannot thank you enough for this post.For a long time now I have been ignoring this MASSIVE trunk in the closet that contains newspapers, old toys and stuff that looks unrecognizable as an object.I just needed the right push and I just got 13 ways of how I can get rid of all that mess..

    They say an uncluttered home is a sign of an uncluttered mind, If this is true I should atleast pretend to have an uncluttered mind with the 13 ways that you just showed us 😉

    Thanks again !

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