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Open House Recap: Shedding Unwanted Stuff

The list of 100 reasons to get rid of stuff that I discovered last week was pretty comprehensive, but somehow, I suspected that you all would have some more great ideas for getting rid of junk. So for last weekend's Open House, I asked readers to share your secrets for shedding unwanted books, clothes, home wares, electronics, and anything else cluttering up your house.


Not only did you guys give me some great ideas, but you're also inspiring me to do another major clean-out! Check out some of my favorites below.

  • Kendallina: I give old magazines to local women's shelters, and I save all of my books and give them to friends and family and encourage them to pass the books on after they've read them.
  • Omeletqueen: I take everything to the Swap Shop at our dump — that, or sign up for Freecycle!
  • SweetPeasMom: There are a group of girls here who want to have a clothing swap, which basically is where you take anything you don't wear anymore, and you and all your friends get to take whatever you want of each other's unwanted clothes. One girl's "this makes me look fat" is another's favorite item.

For lots of other ideas, read more

  • Loralei: Take it slow when getting rid of your once-prized possessions. It might be helpful to set small goals for yourself. "Today I will get rid of 5-10 things", etc... Stick to this rule: If I buy something new, something else is going to the donation pile.
  • Bea Arthur: Animal shelters are always taking old towels and blankets for the dogs and cats there.
  • Actorgirl21: I just donated a bunch of old clothing, knick knacks, furniture and just stuff to an community theater group. They're always looking for costumes, sets and props!
  • Sugardumpling: At my apartment, our lobby is a designated Give Away Zone... sounds tacky, but actually it's really cute. There's a table with a book shelf for donated books, compartments for donated clothes, and people put used chairs tucked into the table... I've found great stuff there as well as contributed a fair share.
  • ProperGray: I have a few friends that get together for room re-do's over wine at one person's house. It's kind of a shop at home thing. We all also bring 2-3 items we think they may like. Most get used and some come home with us.
  • Popgoestheworld: I hate having excess stuff and honestly I find the best way to avoid it is not to buy crap I don't need.
  • Mocelebgossisme: I know it's been done and said so many times, but I really believe in giving all my old clothes to either Dress for Success or women's shelters. I'm just so proud of women who take a stand and make a better future for their family! They deserve cute clothes too!
  • Vawilliams: I organize everything I've purged from my home by type, then I email my friends and family a list of everything I'm getting rid of. If I have time to take pictures I do, and include them in the email or direct them with a link to my flickr.com account.
  • CMPete: My office has a book exchange; we bring in books that we are done with to share with co-workers. It's a great way to weed out shelf-hogging titles and get to read the latest bestsellers. And it is fun to discover things you never knew you had in common with co-workers.
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