Ask Unclutterer: Sell or donate?

Reader Amy submitted the following to Ask Unclutterer:

I’d love to see some advice on what to donate vs. what to sell when clearing out the clutter!

Amy, this is a great request. Here is the following method I suggest for deciding what to do with home and office items once you determine they no longer belong in your possession:

Step 1: Log onto eBay and find out how much money a similar item recently sold for on the site.

Step 2: If the item sold for an amount that you believe is worth your time and effort to sell (for me, this number is $50+), then sell the item. Websites such as eBay and Craigslist are perfect for online sales, and local consignment or pawn shops are wonderful brick and mortar alternatives. Garage sales are also good options.

Step 3: If the item sold for an amount less than your time and effort to sell number (for me this is less than $50), but is greater than zero, consider donating the object to charity or posting it on Freecycle.

Step 4: If you cannot find a similar item for sale on eBay and you think the item is junk, recycle or trash the item. A good rule of thumb is that you should not give to charity any item that no one is willing to pay money to buy. Charities are not depositories for junk.

Thank you, Amy, for submitting the first question for our Ask Unclutterer column!

Do you have a question relating to organizing, cleaning, home and office projects, productivity, or any problems you think the Unclutterer team could help you solve? To submit your questions to Ask Unclutterer, go to our contact page and type your question in the content field. Please list the subject of your e-mail as “Ask Unclutterer.” If you feel comfortable sharing images of the spaces that trouble you, let us know about them. The more information we have about your specific issue, the better.

51 Comments for “Ask Unclutterer: Sell or donate?”

  1. posted by Spring Cleaning Roundup | OMFG on

    [...] cleaned out the closets. What to do with the stuff you don’t want, but might not be trash? Unclutterer’s Ask Unclutterer: Sell or Donate? Brokelyn’s response to yours truly’s inquiry: Where can I get decent cash (or some [...]

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