Find out how to responsibly do away with the stuff you’ve decluttered

Should you’re into spring cleansing, you’ll have taken the chance to undergo all these tech units, books, previous garments, and different detritus that has piled up through the years. Or maybe you’ve upgraded a bunch of your possessions lately and have all of the sudden realized you don’t have room for the stuff you’ve changed.

Regardless of the purpose, if you happen to’ve received baggage of tech, clothes, books, and different stuff that it’s essential to do away with, you wish to do away with them responsibly. The place do you go from right here?

As you need to know by now, simply dumping it isn’t an possibility. Reusing and recycling previous and unneeded stuff has turn into an necessary facet of the push to protect the world’s setting. Many states and concrete areas are mandating the recycling of tech, metals, paper items, or different substances, however even if you happen to stay in an space the place the regulation doesn’t require it, you in all probability don’t wish to add extra to the world’s trash.

The issue is discovering how and the place you possibly can do away with your stuff with the best benefit to you and the least quantity of injury to the setting. This may occasionally have been harder than standard over the previous few years as a result of many assets for recycling have been suspended throughout the pandemic and a few have been gradual to come back again — or by no means did. Nonetheless, there are nonetheless plenty of on-line companies that may assist you determine the right way to responsibly do away with issues — and presumably make some cash within the course of.

Listed here are some websites to take a look at, relying on what you wish to get rid of and the way you wish to do it.


You might be questioning what you will get for that years-old iPhone.

Planning to purchase a brand new telephone or laptop computer? Earlier than you make the acquisition, take a look at any producer trade-in offers which are accessible in your Macs, Android telephones, and different units.

Should you don’t just like the supply from the seller, you possibly can promote your tech. There are on-line distributors that can take your used gadget off your arms and provide you with one thing for it. Decluttr, for instance, gives you a tentative quote in your telephone or tech. (It additionally takes CDs, DVDs, video games, consoles, and books.) It’s also possible to promote by means of a service like Swappa, which fees the customer, not the vendor, a charge. Finest Purchase additionally has a trade-in program, though cost will come within the type of a present card.

It’s also possible to give it to charity. There are a number of applications that give computer systems to folks or organizations that want them. For instance, Computer systems with Causes passes tech on to people who want them; World Pc Trade sends refurbished desktop and laptop computer computer systems to colleges, libraries, neighborhood facilities, and universities in growing international locations; Bridging Tech donates computer systems to housing-insecure youngsters, and Globetops allows you to select who will get your refurbished laptop computer utilizing on-line descriptions (or you possibly can simply donate your tech and let Globetops determine). As with all charitable establishment, it’s a good suggestion to examine them out earlier than giving. (There are a number of charity data websites on-line.)

Should you’ve received tech that’s so previous that no person desires it, then it’s time to get rid of it — in an environmentally aware approach, after all. The truth is, if you happen to simply throw away your pc or TV set, you could be breaking the regulation, relying on the place you reside. In accordance with a 2018 article written for the Nationwide Convention of State Legislatures, “25 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws establishing a statewide digital waste, or e-waste, recycling program.”

Should you simply throw away your pc or TV set, you could be breaking the regulation

Should you stay in an city space, likelihood is there’s some form of recycling program that’s accessible (and even necessary). In lots of circumstances, shops that promote electronics will even supply recycling (sometimes for a charge); all you need to do is convey your stuff to the shop. Finest Purchase, for instance, will recycle as much as three units per journey (with some restrictions); it additionally has a mail-in service (however you need to pay a nominal charge). Staples has a recycling program for all kinds of tech units. Or you possibly can attempt Earth911 to seek out the closest recycling middle. Nonetheless, at all times examine straight with the middle or retailer earlier than you go; hours and what they’ll deal with can change rapidly.

Disposing of batteries safely could be a ache. Call2Recycle will help you discover out the place to drop off that bag of batteries you’ve been accumulating and in addition affords delivery companies. If there aren’t any services inside attain of your own home or workplace, Cirba Options’ WeRecycle (previously BigGreenBox), will get rid of it for you — however not free of charge. Costs start at $44.95 for a field that can maintain as much as 12 kilos of batteries.

Sadly, if you happen to’re nonetheless holding on to your dad and mom’ previous BlackBerry PDA or Commodore 64 within the hopes you can donate it to a museum, don’t. A number of years in the past, there was an opportunity you may ship previous, attention-grabbing units to one in every of plenty of tech museums. However most appear to have disappeared, and any which will nonetheless be round aren’t accepting something however money contributions. The Pc Historical past Museum web site says it’s implementing a brand new database, so you could wish to examine again in some unspecified time in the future to see if it’s accepting donations once more.


You’ll be able to donate gently used clothes to charitable organizations.

You’ll be able to divide clothes websites into three classes: ones that deal with the most recent fashionable and costly clothes and jewellery; ones that deal with main middle-level manufacturers; and sellers in conventional low cost leftovers.

On the excessive finish are consignment firms that act as go-betweens for individuals who wish to promote designer clothes, jewellery, and different helpful objects and people who wish to purchase them. Some, equivalent to The RealReal, authenticate the entire merchandise which are bought by means of them after you ship your clothes to the corporate. Others, equivalent to Rebag and Vestiaire Collective, assess the merchandise through photograph. Most solely take latest fashions, so they aren’t the place you go to do away with that jacket that’s been hanging in your closet for 10 years. Nonetheless, if you happen to’re the form of shopper who buys the most recent types each season, these could also be the place you wish to promote and purchase.

A aspect notice: in case you have enterprise clothes that you just now not put on, there are a couple of organizations that settle for workplace put on in good situation for people who find themselves job searching. For instance, there’s Gown for Success for ladies. (There’s additionally Profession Gear for males, however as of July 2023, the web site didn’t look like accepting something however money contributions.) There are a selection of regionally based mostly organizations as effectively. One of the best ways to seek out a corporation in your space is to attempt charity guides equivalent to Charity Navigator or GuideStar.

For much less upscale clothes, you possibly can attempt websites like Thredup, which handles 1000’s of main manufacturers; you ship your gently used clothes on to the service, and if it accepts (and sells) your clothes, you possibly can select from money or credit score from both Thredup or an related retailer.

Many charities that used to simply accept worn or outmoded clothes have turn into pickier

If you wish to do away with your older clothes, you could discover it a bit tougher than it was once. Many charities that used to simply accept worn or outmoded clothes have turn into pickier, partly as a result of the enterprise of reselling previous garments abroad is waning. As well as, savvy shoppers have gotten cautious of the omnipresent drop-in clothes bins since many really belong to for-profit firms.

Should you can’t make it to your native Goodwill retailer, one place to attempt is Vietnam Veterans of America. Its web site will allow you to schedule a pickup (assuming it companies your space). GreenDrop has restricted areas in varied states the place you possibly can drop off clothes and family items. Give Again Field encourages you to make use of the field your new garments have been shipped in to ship your previous stuff to a charity of your selection; the positioning gives a pay as you go delivery label for $20.


How are you going to cope with your piles of books?
Photograph by Andrew Liptak / The Verge

Books made from paper slightly than pixels are nonetheless round, and if the piles are getting too excessive in your residence, you then in all probability wish to do away with no less than a few of them.

One answer is to promote your books by means of a website equivalent to Amazon, though that may get difficult. As a person (versus a enterprise), you need to arrange a vendor’s account and pay Amazon 99 cents per e book. And your probabilities of really promoting could also be slim to none; there are loads of skilled booksellers who use Amazon to do away with further stock, so they’ll promote their books for 99 cents plus the delivery charge, making it troublesome for people to compete.

Your probabilities of really promoting your books through Amazon could also be slim to none

It’s also possible to attempt common resellers equivalent to Powell’s or AbeBooks. You give them the ISBN and the situation of the e book(s), and so they gives you a quote. Then, you mail the books to them and reap your reward.

Should you’ve received textbooks you don’t want anymore — and everyone knows how costly these can get — you possibly can attempt AbeBooks or GoTextbooks. BookScouter will present you the costs provided by a wide range of booksellers, together with consumer rankings, and you may select which one to promote to.

Should you simply wish to do away with your books and aren’t nervous about getting paid, there are websites like Higher World Books, a for-profit firm with drop-off bins across the nation that makes use of a share of its earnings to advertise literacy. There are additionally specialised organizations on-line that show you how to ship books to individuals who want them, equivalent to Books for Troopers.

It’s also possible to go native. Libraries and used bookstores have historically been good methods for folks to unload books they now not need. Many libraries nonetheless take books that they’ll add to their collections, promote, or give away. (Many stopped that observe throughout the pandemic, so it’s a good suggestion to examine together with your library’s web site or name forward to verify they settle for donations.) Used bookstores will normally settle for books for both a small cost or for credit score towards e book purchases. One of the best ways to seek out out if there are any in your space is to go to Google Maps and seek for “used bookstores.”

Lastly, you possibly can construct your personal library. The Little Free Library website gives all the data it’s essential to begin a book-lending program proper outdoors your own home. And if one in every of your neighbors has already began one, perhaps you possibly can donate to them!

All the pieces else

There’s loads of stuff in your own home that you could be now not want.
Photograph by James Bareham / The Verge

Whenever you wish to promote your stuff, one of many locations folks nonetheless consider is eBay. And rightfully so: that is the place loads of patrons go once they’re in search of a deal. Individuals who promote on eBay vary from one-time-only of us to skilled retailers. Right here’s the way it works:

  • You rise up to 250 free listings a month for many product varieties; after that, it’s 35 cents per itemizing.
  • As soon as your merchandise has been bought, eBay collects 13.25 p.c of the ultimate worth as much as $7,500 and a pair of.35 p.c on any worth over $7,500 for many objects. There’s additionally a 30 cents per order charge.
  • There are a number of exceptions: 6.35 p.c for guitars and basses (with 2.35 p.c on any worth over $7,500); 3 p.c for heavy gear (with 0.5 p.c for values over $15,000), and 14.95 p.c for films and TV, apart from vinyl data (with 2.35 p.c on any worth over $7,500). There are different exceptions; you will discover all of them right here.

(Be aware that eBay additionally has completely different charges for varied ranges {of professional} sellers.)

Promoting on eBay takes time, effort, and endurance, however it might be price it. One of the best ways to begin is to do a fast search and see the vary of costs your object (or an analogous object) is promoting for.

There are different locations you possibly can promote your stuff. Should you’re on Fb, you possibly can promote stuff utilizing its Market. It’s best to promote regionally, the place you possibly can meet the customer to do the change or prepare for a drop-off. It’s also possible to prepare to ship your merchandise; in that case, there are a selection of guidelines to observe. Different websites that show you how to promote or give away objects regionally embrace Nextdoor and that previous standby, Craigslist.

For giveaways solely, Freecycle is a service that introduces native individuals who have stuff to different native individuals who need that stuff. As soon as you discover your neighborhood Freecycle by means of the primary website, you’re instructed on the right way to promote what you’re making a gift of. (It’s also possible to promote for one thing you need.) Anybody who desires the article replies, and after that, it’s as much as you to contact the particular person and prepare for the giveaway. BuyNothing works in a lot the identical approach, besides it operates primarily through a cell app: you discover your neighborhood, describe what you’re making a gift of (along with a photograph), and make preparations for the handoff.

Both approach, you’ve made two folks blissful — you and the fortunate recipient.

Replace July fifth, 2023, 1:33AM ET: This text was initially printed on January tenth, 2020, and has been up to date to account for modifications in accessible companies.

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