So You’ve Decluttered — Now What Do You Do With the Stuff? — September Sweep
This is it—the final day of the September Sweep. Whether or not you’ve been on the whole journey with us, I bet you’ll get something out of today’s post. It’s all about taking all the old things we set aside all month and giving them a new home.
So all that stuff — whether it came from the monster zone, the basement, the living room, the closet or anywhere else — grab it and let’s get going…
Collect your “sell” and “donate” piles and deal with the gear inside.
Your donation pile is likely a mixed bag of things from canned goods to books and clothes. Zealous Good is my absolute favorite resource for finding great local charities that need exactly what I’m offering, but here are a few specifics to get you started:
- Food: Search for a nearby food bank via the Feeding America website or AmpleHarvest.org.
- Housewares and Furniture: Your local Goodwill or Salvation Army would love to take your gently used housewares from you, or pass them on to your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore to support their mission.
- Bath and Beauty Products and Tools: For items like unopened makeup, toiletries, styling tools or extra towels, homeless shelters and women’s shelters are a great destination. If you don’t know of one nearby, the Homeless Shelter Directory and WomenShelters.org can help.
- Clothes: Chances are you know of a local church, shelter or shop where you can drop of a box of clothes, but you might also consider donating specific types of clothing to more specialized organizations. For instance, Dress for Success will take your professional clothes and pass them on to disadvantaged women for job interviews, and you can send your formal wear (like old bridesmaid dresses) to your local outpost of The Cinderella Project to be given to local girls unable to buy a prom dress.
- Books, Movies and Magazines: Many libraries, hospitals or shelters welcome good entertainment in good shape, but you can also consider Books for Africa or Operation Paperback, which sends new and gently used books to troops overseas and to families of troops in the U.S.
During your decluttering, if you set anything aside to be sold, it’s probably because you feel like it still has some value—it still works well or looks great, but not for you. So you want to get it into a new home and make a little bit of cash in the process.
Local consignment and thrift stores are great for when you have a lot of one type of thing to sell. If you have a box of clothes in good shape, for instance, you can search online for a local consignment clothing boutique that might buy much of it off your hands, or sell it on your behalf.
Craigslist, Apartment Therapy Marketplace, LetGo, OfferUp or any other online resale sites are great if you have a few small but valuable things. You can list your best stuff separately on resale sites and connect with individual buyers directly. Selling your things off individually takes more time and effort on your part, but it can pay off if you stay sharp when you’re selling.
4 Smart Tips for Selling Your Stuff Online
OfferUp connected Apartment Therapy with interior designer Justin DiPiero, who recently reorganized and redecorated his Williamsburg studio, using the site to sell a bunch of things he wanted to pass on to another home.
What didn’t make the cut? A few end tables and candle sticks, throw pillows and an IKEA bed frame. Justin shared some of his secrets for getting top dollar for your old stuff:
- If you need help deciding what to keep and what to sell, Justin says to keep trends in mind. “It’s intrinsically more exacting to sell used goods, so make sure you are putting your best foot forward, so to speak,” he said. “Think of what’s currently out there and try to pander to public opinion.”
- Set your personal feelings aside. “Just because it’s something that you love, doesn’t necessarily mean that others will feel the same way.” Justin’s advice: “Try to find things to get rid of that are more universally appealing or useful to a broad audience.”
- Take good pictures. If you want to get the biggest bang for your buck, Justin notes that photos are key. “People want to picture what an item will look like when they own it. Taking quality photos of an item will help the buyer get a sense of what you’re selling.”
- Be descriptive! Justin advises that nothing is too specific. “You’d be surprised how many people don’t, for example, include the dimensions of their dresser. Your buyer will want those details because they need to know if it will fit in their space.”
It’s Friday, and the final day of the September Sweep, so you can take all weekend to get your gear off to its new home. But first, leave a comment and let me know how it went! What assignments had the biggest impact on your space? What areas could still use some work?
And finally—most importantly—thank you so much for joining me on this journey! I hope your home is feeling happier and healthier than ever.
The fun doesn’t have to end…
We’re committed to keeping the decluttering momentum going all year long, with more tips, tricks and resources dedicated to helping you stay on top of things at home. And the easiest way to stay in the loop is to join our daily email and have the best of Apartment Therapy delivered direct to you:
We just wrapped up, but if you want to catch up with Apartment Therapy’s September Sweep decluttering plan, you can see all of the month’s assignments right here.