Purging this Spring? Here’s What to Do With All Your Old Stuff
If the longer days, chirping birds, and blooming flowers have you thinking spring, you may be getting the urge to do something that moms through all of time have done as soon as warm weather beckons us:
To clean all the things.
I'm not sure where the science behind spring cleaning exists, but I do know that it's a real thing. It's barely even breaking 40 degrees in my hometown, but even the slightest thaw in the air has me dreaming of throwing out all of my kids' toys, scrubbing the nooks and crannies of my house, and starting fresh. To me, purging and cleaning out old stuff is a lot like therapy. It feels downright invigorating to get rid of items in our home that we aren't using anymore and it feels even better to know that they can get new life elsewhere.
But what exactly is the best way to ensure your old stuff is getting new life somewhere else and not cluttering up a landfill somewhere? Here are some suggestions for what to do with everything from that spring clean purging!
Use online swap sites
One of the quickest and easiest ways to start purging your old stuff is to utilize online swap or sell pages. You can use a site like Craigslist, for example, or a local community swap group on Facebook to find people local to you. These types of pages might be more useful for “big ticket” items that you want to get rid of, like strollers, furniture, or home gym equipment.
Host your own flash sales
If you are a mama with fashion, you might have good luck hosting your own flash sale online. I've seen a lot of mamas do this with great success. You just simply start an Instagram account (or other social media) to sell things with, let your current followers know what's happening, and then place individual items up for auction. It helps to have a starting bid and flat rate shipping to keep things simple, but it's a great way to get rid of higher-end clothes, shoes, and accessories.
Donate to crisis pregnancy centers, homeless shelters, or foster placement offices
Many people automatically think of giving away their old stuff to Goodwill, but your stuff may get more use out at an organization that can truly use it. Crisis pregnancy centers, homeless shelters, or foster placement offices, for example, are often in need of necessities such as clothes, new toiletries, and gently used baby gear and toys. Your items may get more life being used through donation than re-sold for profit at a thrift shop.
Schedule a Salvation Army pick-up
You can choose pretty much any donation or thrift shop to take your gently used items, but many people prefer using Salvation Army because of the company's philosophy and convenience. The Salvation Army is an awesome choice especially after a big spring cleaning purge because you can actually choose an online scheduler to have the organization to come directly to your house and do a free pick-up of your stuff. That's incredibly handy, right?
Try an app
There are a myriad of apps out there, completely dedicated to helping people sell or donate their unwanted items. For example, the app letgo, available on Android, lets you both sell and buy used items, including furniture and small things like books or CDs.
Utilize Facebook Marketplace
Maybe you haven't noticed it slip in through the 10,000 other social media updates recently (SnapChat, I'm looking at you), but Facebook is now offering a marketplace option where users can both sell and purchase items from each other. I am a big fan of the Facebook marketplace because it's super easy to use and it automatically tailors to people in your area, so it takes some of the work out of it. Just be careful, because shopping on the marketplace can get addicting. I even found a full indoor bounce house for my kids for 50 bucks recently. Score!
Know what can't be given away
I won't tell you what you can and can't give away, of course, but in general, it's helpful to have at least some sort of overview of what kind of items can't be recycled or given away, such as:
- Any kind of car seat that has been involved in an accident.
- Baby gear that is more than 7 years old. Most baby gear expires after 7 years, but, of course, you should always check the individual item before donating just to make sure it hasn't expired.
- Baby cribs, because safety regulations can change so often.
- Most household appliances, especially fridges and stoves, TVs, and carpets cannot be donated.
Are you purging this spring? What do you typically do with your old items?