How to Get Rid of Junk

in Moving on by

The moving process, or any house/apartment-cleaning process, usually results in two main piles: keep and toss. You know what to do with the “keep” pile: box it up for the moving truck or put it back in its place in your house. But what about the “toss” pile? Should you really chuck it all in the dumpster? Can’t you get some money for these (once-) prized possessions? How should you handle getting rid of all that junk you’ve piled up in the corner of your living room?

Once upon a time, you would have had to load it up and haul it to the dump or the dumpster. Thanks to many new junk disposal companies and the magic of the internet, however, it’s now possible to get someone to pick up—and sometimes even pay for—your old possessions.

Oust it Online

At the center of the new internet junk-selling phenomena is craigslist.org, a community bulletin board available in most US cities and many locations abroad. It’s free to browse and free to post, and there are entire sections devoted to the various kinds of junk you might have lurking in your home: books, bikes, electronics, furniture, and more. There’s even a “free” section where you can post ads looking to find someone who will just come pick up your junk and take it away. As the old saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and nowhere does this become more clear than craigslist. Whether it’s an old baby swing, a broken television, or your old collection of oven mitts, someone is sure to take your unwanted item off your hands.

Auction it Off or Keep it Classified

If you want to explore alternatives to craigslist, there are many other online options for selling your stuff. Though eBay does charge for listings, it’s a huge website and almost anything you post there is sure to attract at least a bid or two, leaving you a little bit richer than you were before. Check out the website for your local newspaper and consider placing an online or old-fashioned print classified ad. While placing a classified ad may cost money, it can also reach a wide audience and may be very effective in getting rid of your stuff.

Make it a Community Effort

Newspapers inevitably seem linked with garage sale ads; you can certainly have one of these if your junk collection is extensive enough and you have the time to price and sort everything you own. A better option might be to have a community garage sale if your neighbors demonstrate interest and initiative. A garage sale can be tough to organize and not worth the effort of selling three dozen old records at 25 each, but if you like to know meet the person who’s buying your things, it may be the option for you.

Give it up for a Good Cause

Many charitable organizations have garage sales or sell items in order to raise money, and your junk might be able to do some good for these positive groups. Organizations such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, and many others accept donations, and will sometimes even come to pick up your junk and take it away. The Vietnam Veterans of America also hold regular drives to pick up items. You can call 1-800-95-TRUCK to inquire about having the Salvation Army pick up items from your home, though be aware there may be a minimum donation required.

Pay To Make it Go Away

The final option, if you can’t sell or donate your items, may be to simply get rid of them. You can either haul your stuff to the dump yourself or pay someone to toss your things for you. There are many junk disposal services available, including 1-800-GOT-JUNK, TrashBusters, and more. You can check your local yellow pages for additional trash removal providers. Fees may vary depending on the amount of items you have to haul away. Taking an item to the dump yourself may be free, but you might have to pay a small fee depending on what and how much you’re getting rid of. Call your city government to investigate the situation before heading out to the dump.

Special Situations

Make sure you know the rules for disposal of unusual items. Electronics and some chemicals or other hazardous substances may need to be disposed of in special ways. Check with your local health department regarding the removal of potentially dangerous substances. The store or company that sold you your computer or electronics equipment may be able to assist in recommending a way to dispose of or possibly donate those items.

With a little luck, planning, and resourcefulness, the huge pile of junk in your house can turn into a small or even good-sized pile of cash. With a little less luck, you may be able to get rid of items for free. If you’re distinctly unlucky, you may have to pay to get your unwanted items hauled off—but at least they won’t be looming in the background of your immaculate apartment any longer.

10 Responses to “How to Get Rid of Junk”

  1. September 16, 2006 at 6:22 pm, Guest said:

    We’ve been a bit frustrated actually. We have a sleeper sofa couch that we are trying to get rid of. It’s got some wear and tear, and as a result all the charities you mention refused to take it. 1800-GOT-JUNK will charge us $125 to get rid of it. You know, we threw a blanket over the back and it was just fine for us — too bad that everybody needs things that are in perfect condition before they’ll deign to take them.

    Reply

  2. September 27, 2006 at 8:06 am, Guest said:

    often times you can keep your eye out for a dumpster in front of a house in your neighborhood. Offer the homeowner $20 to throw a couch in it. They will usually be glad to do it because they rarely fill it anyway and hey, it’s $20.

    Reply

  3. November 01, 2006 at 3:27 am, Guest said:

    EcoHaul is a great company that’s the best of both worlds. They’re environmentally friendly, meaning they don’t just take your stuff straight to the landfill, and they’re a lot cheaper than most of the other legit companies out there. We’ve used them twice and highly recommended them to our friends. Check em out at http://www.ecohaul.com , or call them at 1-800-ECOHAUL (1-800-326-4285).

    Reply

  4. November 17, 2006 at 11:10 am, Guest said:

    Isn’t Eco-Haul false advertising? Don’t they go straight to the dump? My friend works in the industry and sees their trucks there often.
    Try a transfer station, Eco-Haul!
    (At least it will really get sorted out there instead of going straight into the Earth.)

    Reply

  5. November 17, 2006 at 11:11 am, Guest said:

    freecycle.org is great!
    -> find a home for perfectly good stuff!

    Reply

  6. January 03, 2007 at 1:22 pm, Guest said:

    Eco Consumer Beware. After all the sorting is done, they use the same dumps (waste transfer centers) as all other eco-friendly law abiding junk removal services, but charge you more. Clever name and lots of green in their ads, but not worth paying more for. EcoHaul Spams Craigslist with their posts and that alone shows me that they don’t respect the community they seek to serve. In addition, they always post a coupon for 20.00 off in their advertisements, this is an old gimmick. Eco Consumer Beware.

    Reply

  7. July 13, 2008 at 12:50 pm, Guest said:

    Donate it to the people that may need them. There is another sive that provide venue for this: donateyourjunk.com

    Reply

  8. August 14, 2010 at 2:05 pm, College Hunks Hauling Junk said:

    I am the owner of the College Hunks Hauling Junk franchise in Raleigh, NC and I would encourage you to use our service to get rid of unwanted items. We have relationships nationwide with Goodwill and other charities to ensure that every item that can be donated, recycled or reused, is. Here is some information about our company:

    College Hunks Hauling Junk is an Eco-Friendly Junk Hauler. As an Energy Star Partner, we recycle over 60% of the items we remove, and everything else is disposed of in the most environmentally friendly manner available.

    You can be confident that our prices are always transparent, competitive and explained clearly before we perform any work. Our pricing is based on volume — how much space your items take up in the truck determines the cost of the load. The price is all inclusive of labor, disposal fees, and travel time. There are never any hidden fees or unexplained surcharges.

    Reply

  9. February 04, 2011 at 5:53 pm, BettyJean Viecelli said:

    I heard on the radio that there is a company that pays for your ‘junk’ and hauls it. The ad was on 104.7 am talk radio, Pittsburgh. I did not get the number in time. There is alot of stuff. Have any ideas?

    Reply

  10. September 29, 2011 at 9:52 am, raleigh labor said:

    Its such as you read my thoughts! You seem to know a lot about this, such as you wrote the ebook in it or something. I think that you simply could do with some % to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, that is fantastic blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

    Reply

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