After receiving holiday gifts and with spring cleaning right around the corner, not to mention the 7% of U.S. families that will have an extra TV after buying a new one for this weekend’s Super Bowl, many households now find themselves with more than they need… WAY more. But what to do?
For many, the easiest option is just to make a pile of extra items in the driveway for the city trash collectors to come haul away – especially in the case of bigger unwanted items. It might be surprising to know, however, that there are other options for almost all the furniture, electronics, clothing, etc. that a family no longer needs, and a great deal of good can be done in the community by looking beyond one’s own driveway.
Here are ideas for giving unneeded items to others who can truly benefit from them:
- Try “ Freecycling.” Almost anything – from used mattress sets to old dishes to extra lemons from the tree – can be “Freecycled.” Freecycle is an online community in which users post items they wish to give away (for free, hence the name), and other users can contact the giver if they are interested in the item. Transactions are arranged through e-mail, and no addresses or other personal information is exchanged until a pick-up is scheduled with a designated recipient.
- Post on Craigslist. Many free postings are listed here, and it’s an easy and popular way to connect with a large audience of potential new owners for anything a person wants to part with.
- Call Furniture for Families. This is a wonderful local operation, run from Rancho Cordova, that will pick up used furniture and pass it along to needy area families.
- Contact the Salvation Army. In most parts of Sacramento, trucks will come pick up household items including furniture, appliances, and even old cars.
- Think of the thrift stores There are dozens of area thrift stores constantly in need of clothing, knick-knacks, books, and household goods. Drop off a bag of unwanted or outgrown apparel, and get a tax write-off as a reward for the effort. For a list of locations close by, click here.
- Find a safe place for broken electronics Many schools and churches offer electronics recycling as an occasional service project. Also, companies such as All Green will come pick up old computers, printers, phones and the like, for a nominal charge, or items can be taken to one of their facilities at no cost.
Before hauling the next load of junk out to the curb, destined for a landfill, think about these alternatives and consider the benefits of passing things along to others. As the adage goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”