How to Reduce, Recycle and Reuse When Decluttering Your Home for Sale

Kevin Vitali is a Tewksbury MA Real Estate Agent covering Essex and Northern Middlesex Counties in Massachusetts. 

Posted on Wednesday 11th September 2019
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Often when you meet with a real estate agent to sell your home, they put a heavy emphasis on decluttering your home.  The purpose of decluttering your home when it comes time to sell is to have home buyers focus on the features of your home and not your “stuff”.

So whether you have been there for a few short years or thirty, you may have accumulated a lot of home décor, furniture, appliances, knick knacks and more…

Many of these items could be in perfectly good condition and working order.  Of course, you could rent a small dumpster and purge. 

But, with many people becoming more green conscience and wanting to recycle and reuse perfectly good items rather than throw them away, we will look into some options to recycle and reuse those items cluttering your home.

Here are a few suggestions to help reduce, recycle and reuse those household items that are no longer needed when decluttering your house for a sale.

The Tried And True Tag Sale

You can always start with the tried and true tag sale or garage sale that have been going on for weekends forever!  You can pass your items on to someone else and maybe pocket a little cash.  A tag sale is one of the few ways you can move a lot of items fast.

But think out of the box.  Tag sales have a new twist.  You can market the heck out of them on the internet while including pictures of your very best items.  No longer are you reliant on just the classified ad and directional signs.

Start marketing your tag sale 10 days ahead of time.  Absolutely use Facebook, advertising on your personal page and asking your friends to share.  But also seek out community pages, and town tag sale pages and create an event.  Remember, Facebook is visual.  Show pictures of your best items or collections to gain interest. 

Craiglist reigns supreme in tag sale advertising.  While once free it does now cost a few bucks to advertise but it is worth it.

Also check out this article that share the 6 best sites to advertise your tag sale

Estate Liquidation

If the thought of organizing and holding your own tag sale sounds like too much work, consider bringing in an estate liquidator. 

Estate liquidation, might be considered if you have a large amount of items with some value. 

A liquidator is not going to be interested if you just have a lot of knock knacks you bought at Home Goods.  They are looking for good quality pieces of furniture and items to make their time and efforts worthwhile.

If you qualify for an estate sale, while the liquidators take a hefty fee, it can be completely hands off on your part.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is a great way to advertise individual items that may have some value. 

With Facebook Marketplace you will find buyers searching by items.  And it is good for larger items like desks, couches, appliances etc…  It puts your items in front of buyers that are looking for very specific pieces for sale. 

I recently moved and had about 30 items I wanted to pass along. The items were in perfect shape but I had no use for them…. bunk beds, dressers, couch, chair, air conditioners, etc…  I had items priced between $15 to 250 dollars.  More than anything I struggled with throwing perfectly good items away.

With in two weeks, I sold almost all of the items and put almost $1200 dollars in my pocket. 

You can also advertise free items on Facebook Marketplace as well.  For example, I had two window air conditioners and a pretty old couch.  I couldn’t sell them not even cheaply after a couple weeks.  My thought was, give them away and I don’t have to carry them down the stairs or try to get rid of them.  It worked.  With in days of posting free, they were carried out of my second floor home and I didn’t have to touch them.

While the downside is you have to be available to meet at your home, the upshot is you can move larger items pretty quickly, since many buyers will search keywords like couch, dresser etc….  Unlike a tag sale where they are browsing, Marketplace users are searching for a specific item.

Ebay

Ebay is a great place to get rid of smaller, valuable items.  It is another avenue where someone may look for more obscure items on a national level.  Large items don’t work because of the cost of shipping, but ebay can get you top dollar on smaller, more valuable items, like electronics, collectibles and more.

Listing and answering inquiries take time.  While you can move less expensive items as well, the whole point is to move a lot of items fast and posting pictures of $5 items and shipping them out are not an effective use of your time.

Craigslist

Craigslist is another great way to list specific items for sale. There are many specific categories to post under to catch a person eye for a specific item.  Craigslist also has a section for free items as well.

Craiglist posts locally so you will only be getting local buyers looking and picking up items for sale.  Craiglist for years has reigned supreme in selling used items.

Donate

There are many National and Regional non-profits to donate items to.  You have Restore, Goodwill and the Salvation Army on a National level.  Around me there are also local church charities and organizations like the Wish Project in Lowell MA.

Many of these charities are very selective of what they will take.  They want basic household items in good shape.  They won’t take knick knack and décor items.  But of your looking to get rid of gently used items like bedroom sets, desks, dining sets, couches side tables, kitchen appliances etc…  Donating could be a good way to go.  Plus you get a tax right off for the value of the items you donated.

Also consider your local church who may have families needing help setting up a home.

Donating could be a good way to go.  Plus you get a tax right off for the value of the items you donated.

Advertise For Free

Maybe converting some of your items to cash is not as important as making sure your perfectly good items are recycled and reused.  There are plenty of sites to advertise free items for sale.  Craigslist and Marketplace can certainly be used to advertise free items.

But try sites like Freecycle and Letgo to get rid of your free items.

Curbside Pickup

I recently had the opportunity to help my girlfriend clean out a family members house.  One of the more amazing techniques we used was advertising a curbside pickup.

You basically advertise free items put out on the curb, in our case we also said enter the house and we had everything layed out on the first floor.  Everything was free.  With in two hours, 80% of the items were gone that we could not sell at a tag sale, on Facebook or Craigslist.  Attendees were also taking half used

While It didn’t convert some of the stuff into cash, it did allow a lot of perfectly good items to get recycled and reused.  On top of it, it prevented many trips to the dumpster.

Use any and all of the sites I have listed here to advertise free curbside pickup.  Don’t forget to post pictures of the best items.

It’s a great way to move a lot of stuff fast and avoid throwing away items other will use and find value in!

Summary

When decluttering your home for sale, instead of just throwing perfectly good items away think about passing on those items and putting your unwanted items to use again.

You could convert some of your more valuable items into cash but what you can’t sell consider passing those items on to be recycled and reused.

Not only are you taking steps to protect the planet by reducing, recycling and reusing, you are helping to make your home sale a more successful one.

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