Electronics: Technology changes so quickly that it often seems as if your devices are outdated soon after you’ve bought them. But donating outdated devices isn’t as easy as offloading clothes or books; many contain hazardous materials or are full of personal data. Herb Weisbaum from Washington Consumers’ Checkbook lays out some of the options for getting rid of old electronics in this piece, and he also includes tips for wiping identifying details, reselling your devices and recycling them safely.
Where to donate or recycle unusual items: Large organizations such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army are inundated with clothes, housewares and other items, but writer Laura Daily had a specific type of donation in mind: office supplies. In looking for an answer, she found other places with specific needs. Here are some organizations that want your old books, prom attire and accessories, business clothes and office supplies. In another story, Daily explored ways to recycle unusual items such as plastic bags, pet fur and human hair, corks and more.
Don’t burden organizations: There’s more to donating than filling a bag with items, dumping it in a bin and driving off, writes Amy Freeman. To avoid burdening organizations with a bunch of disorganized or unusable stuff, only donate items that are clean, in good condition and appropriate for the organization’s clients. Label items clearly, and consider donating during off-peak times.
Household clutter: Most people know how and where to donate clothing and food, but what about all of the little things that power our homes and live in our kitchen junk drawers? Responsibly recycling or disposing of items such as bubble wrap and lightbulbs can be done, but doing so takes a little effort. Professional organizer Nicole Anzia has tips for what to do with these items.
Consider clothing recycling: Have an old T-shirt that isn’t suitable for donation? Before tossing it in the garbage, consider whether it can be given new life as another item. Amy Freeman has the scoop on textile recycling, a nascent industry that aims to keep your old jeans out of the landfill.
Clutter into cash: Donating isn’t the only way to offload unneeded items. With a bit of planning and strategy, plus the use of online tools and forums, it’s possible to make some money off your old stuff. Jura Koncius shares advice for turning your vintage clothes, CDs and DVDs, housewares, toys and more into cash.