As a 20-something living in Manhattan with two roommates, we have little space to store excess stuff. To make the most of precious space, we’re constantly ridding ourselves of knick knacks, clothes and all variety of household goods and accessories. But where to send them so that they don’t end up in a landfill? Following are some inventive ways I have found to get rid of excess stuff without being wasteful.
1. Sell it. Pretty much anything can sell. Marketed with the right web-post tactics on the right website with an attractive photo, even something that seems useless to you might be a rarity to another. This is particularly useful for city-dwellers, where there are thousands of potential buyers in one dense neighborhood. Craigslist and eBay are two excellent selling sources. Some things that I have sold via Craigslist include beat up luggage, pots and pans, mini-dv tapes for an outdated video camera, and even a box of coffee sleeves (for only 5 cents, but this still kept them out of the trash).
2. Swap it. It’s quite simple to find someone in a city who would like that no longer needed book, CD, or kitchen gadget, and chances are, they’ll have something you’d like in return. Multiple websites cater to the needs of those who want to swap instead of sell (and avoid payment issues with online buyers.) Swap.com is a personal favorite of mine.
3. Salvation Army it. Whatever they don’t take, chances are there are several other organizations in your area, including used bookstores, consignment stores, Goodwill, and Habitat for Humanity, who will gladly “recycle” your little used household items, toys and even un-opened toothbrushes, to those in need.
4. Sidewalk it. If you live in a neighborhood that is anywhere near as crowded as mine, hundreds of people walk down your block each day; surely one of them will snap up whatever you choose to put in their path. Creativity counts, though! Put your things curbside soon after the trash has already been collected, clearly labeled with a post-it that says “Free! Please Take Me”. I have used this method for plastic storage bins, old belts, and even a bottle of shampoo. Chances are, within minutes someone will grab your abandoned article. Score!
What inventive ways do you get rid of stuff while ensuring it doesn’t go to waste?