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Open House: Secrets for Shedding Unwanted Stuff?

On Friday I found a very extensive list of 100 reasons to get rid of stuff, including all sorts of creative charities that I had never heard of before. We're all waging a constant battle against excess stuff, and everyone has different ways to get rid of it. In San Francisco, for instance, you can put a couch out on the sidewalk, and chances are, it will be gone in an hour.

So for this weekend's Open House, I want to hear your best secrets for shedding unwanted books, clothes, home wares, electronics, and anything else cluttering up your house. The more creative and obscure the method, the better; just leave your ideas in the comments section below. Then next week, I'll compile our CasaSugar list of secrets for shedding stuff. Let the open house begin!

Join The Conversation
Ejmcmis Ejmcmis 9 years
I put an old desk outside and that was also gone . I rememebr when my mom was changing rooms around, she pulled out an old dresser. While my mom and I were taking outside the old drawers, these people walk by our house and are like "are you throwing that way?" and we were like "yeah" and they took it walking with them and they came back with a friend to take the dresser. (It was white shiny formica, all kinds of ugly, but hey, it went on to a better life.)
Ejmcmis Ejmcmis 9 years
WE often collect stuff around the house that is still good and oput it in an open box. By the next day, it is normally gone.
books-and-shoes books-and-shoes 9 years
At least once a year, I scale down my closet and give clothes to my girlfriends or bring them to Platos Closet. Ebay and craigslist whatever else is in demand there. For the rest, I really try to find a charity that I have an interest in instead of just Goodwill. I give books to Friends of the Library and other things to a local charity that I'm fond of. And then throw out the other junk!
CMPete CMPete 9 years
My office has a book exchange - we bring in books that we are done with to share with co-workers. It's a great way to weed out shelf hogging titles, and get to read the latest bestsellers. AND it is fun to discover things you never knew you had in common with co-workers....
My local library has a "magazine swap" area and I bring all my old magazines there so other people can enjoy them. As for clothing- I put everything in bags and invite my friends over to "shop", which they love. Anything that is left gets donated to Salvation Army. My local SA takes furniture and house goods as well, so after my friends have perused, everything goes there. Every one wins!!
wingweaver wingweaver 9 years
I just cleaned and redid my "studio". I called all of my friends and told them to come over and take what they wanted from the things I was getting rid of. Worked like a charm!!!
vawilliams vawilliams 9 years
I organize everything I've purged from my home by type (clothes in good condition, clothes needing maintenance, household goods in good condition, etc.), then I email my friends and family a list of everything I'm getting rid of and their condition, offering it to them providing they can pick it up. If I have time to take pictures I do, and include them in the email or direct them with a link to my account. If a couple people are interested I try to get them to come over at the same time and make a get together out of it, what a great excuse to catch lunch or a cup of coffee together. Families and friends should be about helping each other when we can, so this is my little way of doing it. I bring whatever is leftover to my local charity. While I'm sure it would be more profitable to sell things on ebay, donate to charities for tax-writeoffs, or just toss everything in the dumpster just to save time, it's the opportunity to correspond with and see the people I love that makes it worth it, even if it's over a taffeta bridesmaid's dress in pea green :)
CestLaVie CestLaVie 9 years
I have a bag that I keep in my room that I toss things into that I haven't used/worn in awhile and after a few months, if I haven't had to pull the item out, off to eBay or Salvation Army it goes! Being one of the younger ones in my family, I am often the recipient of "unused" goods from my parents and sister- dishes, a vacuum and recently a dining room light (which I installed by myself thankyouverymuch!) so it's time I do some sorting!!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Haha ok this is what I usually do: thorw everything I DON'T WANT into a box and then let me sister go through it haha! She finds things that I have grown out of (but are eprfect for her) and anything left over we sort into trash and things that can go to the Salvation Army!
mocelebgossisme mocelebgossisme 9 years
seriously...i know it's been DONE and SAID so many times, but i really believe in giving all my old clothes to either 'dress for success' or women's shelters...the first is where i send nice work stuff i've tired of....and later, DEF everything! these women leave their homes, scared for their life and for their children, and i'm just SO PROUD of women who take a stand, and break the cycle against domestic violence and make a better FUTURE for their family! they deserve CUTE clothes too! wink wink! ;-)
dguillenm dguillenm 9 years
my favorite is before I am allowed to bring something new in I have to take something out. There is this place I go to locally that buy your gently used clothing and resell. what is great is you get money or in store credit. it is targeted to females late teens to thirties always a great find and a great way to clear room. Old magazines i take to them to be recycled.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years rocks but they're not everywhere so you kind of have to check to see if there is an org in your city. Otherwise I donate to goodwill. I hate having excess stuff and honestly I find the best way to avoid it is not to buy crap I don't need :)
ProperGray ProperGray 9 years
I have a few friends that get together for room re-do's over wine at one person's house. It's kind of a shop at home thing. We all also bring 2-3 items we think they may like. Most get used and some come home with us. I also have some young coworkers that recently moved to town. I found them very interested in perusing items that would otherwise end up at the Salvation Army. They are just starting to furnish their places and weer appreciative for the jump start.
sugardumpling sugardumpling 9 years
At my apartment, our lobby is a designated Give Away Zone... sounds tacky, but actually it's really cute. There's a table with a book shelf for donated books, compartments for donated clothes, people put used chairs tucked into the table... the only time it's an eye sore is when a mattress is left behind, but thankfully these never last more than a day. I've found great stuff there as well as contributed a fair share. People always comment on how cute it is, too!
actorgirl21 actorgirl21 9 years
I just donated a bunch of old clothing, knick knacks, furniture and just stuff to an community theater group. They're always looking for costumes, sets and props!
bea-arthur bea-arthur 9 years
Animal shelters are always taking old towels and blankets for the dogs and cats there. Take old dishware, books, and clothes to thrift stores: you'll feel good about doing the right thing, and sometimes you get a tax deduction too!
pargie pargie 9 years Sell it or give it away!
loralei loralei 9 years
Take it slow when getting rid of your once prized possessions. It might be helpful to set small goals for yourself. "Today I will get rid of 5-10 things", etc... You'll likely gain momentum and want to clear out more as the week rolls on. Once you've weeded out items in your closets and cabinets, (If it doesn't all doesn't fit something has to go!) stick to this rule: If I buy something new, something else is going to the donation pile. Another tip is to immediately add items to a bag or bin in the trunk so you'll be less tempted to reclaim items before you dispose of them.
LauriJon LauriJon 9 years
Recently, we've had friends who have moved to town and got rid of a queen size bed we had in our storage shed. Another friend is divorcing and moving into his own place and we're donating a CD player. When my daughter grows out of stuff we donate it to friends with younger children or drop-off center like goodwill.
SweetPeasMom SweetPeasMom 9 years
There are a group of girls here who want to have a clothing swap, which basically is where you take anything you don't wear anymore and would like to get rid of, and you and all your friends get to take whatever you want of eachother's 'unwanted' clothes. One girl's "this makes me look fat" is another's favorite item.
kendallina kendallina 9 years
*I give old magazines to local women's shelters. *I save all of my books and give them to friends and family to read and encourage them to pass the books on after they've read them. *I donate old clothes to Salvation Army or Goodwill at least once a year. If I haven't worn it regularly, cannot fit into it, etc. I put it in the donate pile.
omeletqueen omeletqueen 9 years
I take everything to the Swap Shop at our dump - that, or sign up for Freecycle!
sgdish sgdish 9 years
If you have the time, and need the money, EBay is a great way to clean your closets. If not, the Salvation Army or local charity can tell you if they can use some of your things!
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