Moving is an opportunity to take stock of what you’ve been holding onto in your life. It’s the perfect moment to objectively step back and think to yourself, ‘Do I really need this?’ It’s human nature to hold onto useless things simply because we have them. For more serious cases, hoarding, there’s an emotional attachment, a sense of comfort and security that goes along with all this stuff. But for the normal, non-hoarder there’s still plenty of junk we just keep around because we don’t care to spend time evaluating its necessity to our lives, much less the effort of actually getting rid of it. Until you have to pack it all into boxes and move it to an entirely different house, city, state, or even country.
Where your stuff end up, however, is equally important. Yes, last resort there is always the trash can. However, you should avoid overloading your dumpster – and later the landfill – with your unwanted stuff. Conservation goes beyond saving water and electricity. You also aren’t limited to just the Salvation Army. Here’s our list of places that will take your unwanted items and repurpose or recycle them for the betterment of society at large.
The easiest thing to get rid of – and what we all have plenty of – is clothing. Now, with Thanksgiving here and gift-giving holidays right around the corner, is the absolute best time to empty your closet as you’ll be able to take advantage of sales and probably receive some gift-cards in your stocking. Before you go Goodwill, we ask that you first look for shelters in your area that accept clothing donations. Most – if not all – of them will readily take your clothing.
Let’s hone in on something more specific: job interview appropriate clothing. This is an absolutely vital donation item to shelters that house the homeless. While it’s possible that you can be homeless and still have a job, there are many in shelters that don’t have either. Donating your lightly used work appropriate clothing provides a stronger opportunity for someone to get back on their feet.
It sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t this time. Several clothing retailers will take your clothing and shoes and recycle them, often giving back to other institutions such as Habitat for Humanity and Nature conservation groups. Not only will they take your clothes off your hands, but they will give you a reward of a percentage or specified money amount off towards your next purchase. Some retailers include H&M, Levi’s, The North Face, and Madwell.
Especially if you live in boomin arts community, some of your unwanted junk may be an artists treasure. Old pieces of metal, wood, glass, electronics, you name it, they may just have a purpose for it. Find your local artists community and ask if they’re taking donations.
Electronics and Paint
Just like with clothing, retailers like Verizon will take your old electronic devices and ensure they are recycled properly. Paint stores will take care of your old paint and supplies, though we recommend keeping your tools for the many paint projects you’re likely to embark on in your new home. You can also do a search for community operated E-waste recycling centers. It’s an additional trip, but worth it to save the environment and closet space from all that waste.