So you have chosen to keep everything that generates joy, and now you have all those bags with technology, clothing, books and other things you need to get rid of. Where are you going from here?
First of all, keep in mind that dumping is not an option. Reusing and recycling old and unnecessary items has become an important aspect of the effort to protect the world's environment – to the point that junk food manufacturers are testing reusable packaging. Many states and urban areas require the recycling of technology, metals, paper products or other substances, but even if you live in an area where the law does not require this, you probably no longer want to add to the world's waste.
The problem is finding out how and where you can remove your stuff with the greatest benefit for you and the least amount of environmental damage. Fortunately, there are a number of online services that can help you figure out how to get rid of things in a responsible way ̵
Here are some sites that you can view depending on what you want to remove from and how you want to do it.
Do you want to buy a new telephone or laptop? Before purchasing, review the manufacturer's trade-in deals that are available for your Macs, Pixels, and other devices.
If you do not like the seller's offer, you can sell your tech. There are online suppliers who take care of your used device and give you something for it. For example, Decluttr gives you a provisional quote on your phone or technology (CD & # 39; s, DVD & # 39; s, games, books, and Lego are also required). You can also sell through a service such as Swappa, which charges the buyer, not the seller, a fee (but the seller must pay PayPal's transaction costs). Amazon also has a trade-in program, although the payment will be in the form of a gift voucher.
You can also give it to charity. There are various programs that give computers to people or organizations that need them. Computers with causes, for example, pass on technology to different organizations; World Computer Exchange sends refurbished desktop and laptop computers to schools, libraries, community centers and universities in developing countries; and Globetops you can choose who gets your refurbished laptop using online descriptions (or you can just donate your technology and let Globetops decide). As with any charity, it's a good idea to view them before you give them (there are several charity information sites online).
If you have technology that is so old that nobody wants it, then it's time to get rid of it in an environmentally conscious way of course. If you just throw your computer or TV away, you may be breaking the law, depending on where you live. According to the National Council of State Legislatures, "25 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation establishing a statewide electronic waste or e-waste recycling program." (Do you want to know what happens with your recycled waste? View this e-waste article from New York City. Or discover the dark side of e-waste recycling.)
If you live in an urban area there is a good chance that a sort of recycling program is available (or even mandatory). In many cases, stores that sell electronics will also offer recycling; all you have to do is take your things to the store. Or you can try Earth911 to find the nearest recycling center.
Disposing of batteries safely can be difficult. Call2Recycle can help you find out where you can drop off the bag of batteries that you have collected. If there are no facilities within the reach of your home or office, BigGreenBox will throw them away for you – but not for free. The company is sending a box with a capacity of 43 pounds of batteries and will safely throw it away for $ 63 (including shipping).
Finally, if you still hold your parents' old BlackBerry PDA or Commodore 64, you may want to see if you can donate it to a museum. There are not as many technical museums that accept contributions as before, but if you have something old and / or unusual, it is worth paying the tax benefits. The MIT Museum has a form that you can fill in. The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, has postponed its donation program until January 2020, but you can review it afterwards.
You can divide clothing websites into three categories: locations that handle the latest stylish and expensive clothing and jewelry, locations that handle large medium-sized brands, and dealers in traditional leftovers with a discount.
At the top end are missionary companies that act as intermediaries for those who want to sell designer clothing, jewelry and other valuable items, and those who want to buy them. Most of these, such as TheRealReal, Rebag and Vestiaire Collective, authenticate all products sold through them and only accept recent fashion, so they are not the place where you can remove your coat that has been hanging in your closet for 10 years. However, if you are the type of shopper who buys the newest styles every season, you can go here to sell and buy.
A side note: if you have corporate clothing that you no longer wear, there are a number of organizations that accept office clothing in good condition for people looking for a job. Most of these are locally based; for example, in the NYC area, there is a bottomless cupboard for women and career equipment for men. The best way to find an organization near you is to try charity guides such as Charity Navigator or GuideStar.
For less luxurious clothing, sites like Tradesy use both luxury clothing and clothing of average price, shoes and jewelry. Tradesy offers a simple commission, although it will check if there are questions about the authenticity of the label. You can also try sites such as ThredUp, which processes thousands of major brands; If it accepts your clothes, you can choose to be paid after the sale or get a lower price with an immediate payment. (If the clothing is not accepted, it will be recycled.)
If you want to get rid of your older clothing, you can find it a bit harder than before. Many charities that used to accept worn or outdated clothing have become more picky, partly because the sale of old clothing overseas is declining. In addition, smart consumers are wary of the ubiquitous drop-in clothing bins, as many actually belong to profit-making companies.
If you cannot reach the local Goodwill store, you can try Vietnam Veterans of America. You can schedule a collection on the website (assuming it serves your region). GiveBackBox advises you to use the box in which your new clothing was sent to send your old stuff (you are asked to send five or more items) to a good cause; the site offers a prepaid shipping label. And the aforementioned ThredUp will send you a bag for all your unsaleable clothing. In return, you get $ 5 for a charity of your choice and you get a tax reduction.
Books of paper instead of pixels are still there, and if the poles get too high for your house, you probably want to get rid of them at least Some of them .
One solution is to sell your books through a site such as Amazon, although that can be complicated. As an individual (as opposed to a company) you have to set up a seller's account and pay Amazon 99 cents per book. And your chances of actually selling may be small. there are many professional booksellers who use Amazon to get rid of extra inventory, so they will sell their books for 99 cents plus shipping, making it difficult for individuals to compete.
You can also try popular resellers, such as Powell & AbeBooks. You give them the ISBN number and the condition of the book (s) and they give you a quote. Then you mail the books to them and reap your reward.
If you have textbooks that you no longer need – and we all know how expensive they can be – you can try AbeBooks or Bookbyte. (Chegg, who used to buy books, now only accepts them as donations.) BookScouter shows you the prices offered by various booksellers, along with user reviews and you can choose which one you want to sell to.
If you just want to get rid of your books and don't worry about getting paid, there are sites such as Better World Books, a profit-making company with drop-off boxes across the country that provide a percentage of its revenue used to promote literacy. There are also specialized organizations online that help you send books to people who need them, such as Books for Soldiers.
You can also go locally. Libraries and used bookstores have traditionally been good ways for people to unload books they no longer want. Many libraries still carry books that they can add, sell or give away to their collections. However, it is a good idea to go online and consult your library's website to check if they accept donations. (You can also go really old-fashioned and call them.) Used bookstores usually accept books for a small payment or for book purchase credit. The best way to find out if there is something in your area is to go to Google Maps and search for & # 39; used bookstores & # 39 ;.
You can finally build your own library. The Little Free Library site provides all the information you need to start a small book lending program directly outside your home (or how to find the nearest one).