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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How do I get rid of my stuff?

Q: I am moving into a much smaller apartment and I need to get rid of most of my furniture and knickknacks. What can I do to get rid of my stuff?

A: As I have said before, getting rid of stuff is not an easy task these days. There are very few charities who will come and pick up for free and take all your things. Time is your best friend or worst enemy for getting rid of things. Here's my advice:

1. If you even think you will be moving anytime in the near future, start searching for homes for your things NOW. Query your family and friends to determine who will want what and then get them to come and get it.

2. Search out local charity groups or families in your neighborhood who might need a dresser or a sofa and plan a drop off day. Many neighborhood gardeners or housekeepers will take and/or distribute your things.

3. is an internet resource for giving things away. However, you will not know who is coming by your house to pick these things up.

4. Garage Sales are always a great way to let the neighbors haul away your stuff. Do not haggle over prices - if they are willing to take that 5 ton table, let them!

5. Be realistic about the condition of your items. If your sofa is 25 years old and the cat has used it as a scratching post, no one wants it! That dresser that just needs a new knob, a sanding, a painting, a new a candidate for dumping.

6. Be prepared to pay dump fees - however, many of the dumping companies are hooked up with local charities and will recycle as much of what you have as they can.

7. Salvation Army and St. Vincent De Paul's still pick up in most areas - but they will probably not take everything you put out, so be prepared.

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