If you’ve been working to simplify your home, know you are not alone. I’ve shared our family’s journey to a more minimal lifestyle, and as we continue along this path, we continue to find more and more ways to minimize the inventory in our home.
If we’ve learned anything throughout our own personal process of simplifying, it’s that the decluttering process is never complete. Especially with a growing family, it has been important for us to maintain an overall decluttering mindset.
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We have found great inspiration from both:
Maybe you’re just getting started with the initial minimizing process or maybe you’re like us, and you’re continuing to learn how to best maintain the areas you’ve worked so hard to simplify.
Either way, you may be asking yourself what to do with the stuff you declutter.
Of course, I always recommend returning new/unused items right away, but what about things that can’t be returned to the store for a refund or a merchandise credit?
Do you have a way to quickly sell them? An upcoming yard sale? Are you fast at listing things on Craig’s List or Marketplace and having them picked up off your porch right away?
Returning items and selling items can be great for the wallet. I always recommend those things, but maybe you’re looking for some ideas that go beyond that.
If so, I’ve got ya covered! I’ve broken a typical home down into areas/categories and have compiled a list of ideas – maybe some you’ve never thought of before – for what you can do with many of the items you declutter.
These idea lists mostly focus on places where you can give your items. Of course toss your trash in the trash…but the good stuff that others might enjoy or benefit from in some way? Let’s chat about some ideas for that stuff!
- These can be helpful to shelters of all kinds.
- Include in gift bags for the homeless.
- Donate to shelters that accept them.
- These can be helpful to some schools/churches in your community.
- Kitchen appliances seem to sell fast on Marketplace, but maybe you’d rather give them to a friend who is setting up a new life in a tiny home or travel camper.
- Know someone who owns a vacation rental property? Could they use any of your extra items in their cabin or condo?
- Is there someone in your life who is getting ready to step out on their own? Would any of your items be helpful to them as they set up their new place?
- How about a trade with a friend or relative? They don’t want their Instant Pot and you don’t want your Air Fryer – would they be interested in swapping with you?
- Share with a friend or family member who would put them to good use. Hand-me-downs have saved us loads of money over the years.
- Check with local shelters, nearby children’s homes, mother/baby pregnancy centers, church clothing closets, etc.
- Looking to part with your gently used maternity clothes? To many of the pregnancy centers across our country, these are considered gold!
- Our local Christian mission has a consistent need for new/unopened packages of underwear and socks. Do you have any of these on hand that are no longer eligible to be returned from where you purchased them?
- Prepare to participate in a local consignment sale.
- Sell on Craig’s List or Facebook Marketplace – They will probably sell fast!
- Donate to a local program that provides furniture to foster families. Or do you personally know a fostering family who would appreciate the items you’re looking to share with someone?
- We have a local charity in our community that offers whole-room setups to families to crisis. Do you have a similar outreach opportunity in your town?
- Not sure if the non-profit you have in mind accepts these types of items? If you can’t find people who can use them, animal shelters always seem to be in need of these types of items.
- Over the years, I’ve had success selling these items on various online platforms, but some of the ones I once used are no longer around – maybe you’ve checked out some new options!
- You can also sell these at consignment stores that stock books and media. In our area, we have used book stores, homeschool consignment shops, etc.
- Looking to donate? Your church library or local Christian school library may be in the market for some new resources.
- Sometimes doctor’s offices are looking to refresh the items in their waiting room. Give them a call to see if they have a need you can fill.
- Do you have a nursing home or retirement community in your area? Would they be interested in adding to a library they make available to their residents?
Toys/Kids Activities Declutter
- Know another mom who would appreciate some new activities for her kids? Or maybe a grandmother who would like to have some activities on hand at her house for her grandkids when they come to visit.
- Are any of these items new? Would they be a good fit for your Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes? Hop over here to check out how we set aside a bin for this and add to it all throughout the year.
- Do you have a teacher friend who could use the items in her classroom?
- My daughter’s therapists have appreciated when I’ve passed along various games, activities, etc. they can incorporate into therapy sessions with their clients. Know of a clinic nearby where there are therapists works to help others? Just to name a few, consider:
- Speech Therapists
- Occupational Therapists
- Play Therapists
- Music Therapists
- Physical Therapists
Craft Supplies Declutter
- Be sure to ask those same teachers and therapists you’ve thought of about these items as well!
- That nursing home or retirement community you thought of earlier? They may also be able to use these.
- Is there a children’s home in your county? Call them to see if they would be able to use the craft supplies you no longer need.
- What about an afterschool program in your area? They may appreciate a fresh batch of resources to keep little hands busy in the afternoons.
As you’ve read through these suggestions, did another idea pop into your head? I would love to continue adding to this list as we all seek to find creative ways to give a second life to items we know are no longer serving us.
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