Free Stuff To Good Home
November 11, 2010 1:59 PM   Subscribe

Fastest way to get other people to come take our stuff?

After watching "hoarders" on that particular channel a couple of times, my partner and I are at the point of getting rid of everything.

What's the fastest way of getting this stuff out of our lives with the minimal hassle? Some stuff might have some value, like a table saw and some antique cameras. That sort of thing I'd prefer go directly to someone who values it.

We don't want to have to list items individually on a FreeCycle kind of thing. We don't want to make money. We'd prefer that nobody else make money, except for charitable orgs.

We're cleaning now. Want to be rid of everything by Monday.

What has worked for you? As giver or receiver.
posted by yesster to Home & Garden (22 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
craigslist free section, it's good to give a sense of what you have (e.g. "boxes of office supplies", minishampoos, etc...

sometimes before i move I have a "yard sale" where everything is free.

If you fell okay with it, move everything in the the front room by the door and let people come in and take what they want.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 2:03 PM on November 11, 2010

Call your local thrift store and schedule a pickup - they would love things like a table saw and antique cameras.
posted by InfidelZombie at 2:05 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

If you have enough stuff, most charity-run thrift stores will send a truck to pick it up. Goodwill, Purple Heart, Foodbank, etc. Just look in your local yellow pages and call em.

Flea markets can be a lot of fun if you want to sell the stuff. Give the winnings to your favorite charity.

Personally, I really like Freecycle now and then (especially when I was broke in grad school) but I can see how that's a big hassle if you have lots to dispose of.
posted by mr.ersatz at 2:10 PM on November 11, 2010

I don't know how I got cut off above, but basically tell them what it is, how tough it is to get it out of your place and offer to pay $20 unless somebody responds with a higher offer by a set time.
posted by Rafaelloello at 2:11 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

You have competing purposes -- you want to get rid of it quickly and you don't want anyone to make money off of it. People that are going to resell yourself *do* value it -- in fact, they know the actual monetary value of it. You can't really tell people what to do with stuff that you yourself are giving away. In my experience, free stuff on Craigslist is usually gone the same day.
posted by proj at 2:12 PM on November 11, 2010

I had a hard time with charity pick-ups, apparently i lived in on 'clothing only' pick up route or just too far depending on who I called. I ended up selling tonnes of stuff on craigslist listing as 'almost-free' (either $10, or $5 depending on item). I had photos of big furniture, and small things got taken by furniture-picking up people. It worked really well.
posted by bquarters at 2:12 PM on November 11, 2010

higher offers being, "I'll do it for $10", "I'll do it for free", "I'll pay you $10", etc.
posted by Rafaelloello at 2:13 PM on November 11, 2010

Oh yeah, and must take all. I'd leave the table saw for last after you make sure they didn't throw the real crap on your building's front lawn.
posted by Rafaelloello at 2:18 PM on November 11, 2010

When my dad died I researched various ways we could disperse his house full of stuff quickly. I came across many websites for businesses that will basically come in and take everything away. I didn't go that route, but there are definitely businesses out there who will come in and simply cart off your stuff. I'm sure they charge for this. Salvation Army and other charities, however, only require that you leave everything outside where they can find it. If it's metal - a metal scrapper will find whatever it is in your alley and take it away within minutes. Personally, I leave stuff in the alley all the time for people to find - lamps and small tables. We do a lot of that in Chicago. Google something like "empty my house for me!"- I'm pretty sure that's what I did. Good luck!
posted by marimeko at 2:20 PM on November 11, 2010

Oh, and esate sales - nobody has to die to have one of those.. there you will get some cash for your effort.
posted by marimeko at 2:23 PM on November 11, 2010

Response by poster: Smith Corona portable typewriter, electric, in really really good shape, with case. First meFi who wants it can have it. Probably from the mid-60's possibly earlier. MeMail me on this one.

Gonna probably call Goodwill, after we get everything together in one pile just inside the overhead garage door. Will they take everything? Partner is willing to make side runs to electronic recycling, hazardous waste sites, etc.
posted by yesster at 2:23 PM on November 11, 2010

Most will not take text books, National Geographics, and sets of encyclopedias.
posted by marimeko at 2:31 PM on November 11, 2010

There are things they won't take, but it will vary by place-- give them a call early and then make two piles.
posted by InfidelZombie at 2:41 PM on November 11, 2010

I got rid of tons and tons of stuff in one fell swoop by having a company that handles estate sales take it. They bundled it into an estate sale they were having that next weekend. They gave me a choice: they would pay me up front about 30% of what they thought they could get for it, or they would give me 50% of what it actually sold for at the sale. They were willing to take everything; apparently, not only are there people who will buy almost anything at an estate sale, but at the end of the estate sale, a company that specializes in the junkiest of junk would come and take away everything they had left for some pittance. I think it was a matter of a few days: they came to look at everything one day, hauled it all away the next day, I got a check the following week after they did the accounting for the sale.
posted by not that girl at 2:52 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: not that girl -- which option did you take? why?
posted by yesster at 3:00 PM on November 11, 2010

Goodwill in my area will not take TVs, because they are usually broken. They won't take mattresses or unwashed clothes either.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:10 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Fair warning: trying to GIVE THINGS AWAY on craigslist can be a full time job. Sometimes I think it's easier if you put a (competitive) price tag on your crap.
posted by thejoshu at 3:42 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would gladly take any antique cameras off your hands. :)
posted by BryanPayne at 4:37 PM on November 11, 2010

i moved once & put everything on a folding table out on the curb with a sign that said 'FREE STUFF!' at the end of the day all that was left was a little plastic mardi gras cup.

i'd moved north for a family emergency & got a place w/one of my brothers, who lives in san fran. neither of us wanted to haul stuff back to our home states when we moved, and we'd accumulated quite a few things in the 7 months we were there. we just hauled things out all day long as we were packing & cleaning. worked like a charm.
posted by msconduct at 5:13 PM on November 11, 2010

Personally, I leave stuff in the alley all the time for people to find - lamps and small tables. We do a lot of that in Chicago.

Yeah, this used to be common practice in my neighborhood before the recession hit (and a couple of local groups started actively working to buy or solicit donations of used furniture from college students in the area).

While it's still relatively nice outside (not too rainy or snowy) I'd just start putting things outside, preferably near a shared neighborhood dumpster or similar. This works best if you live on a block that's mainly apartments or condos, though; otherwise, it'd maybe be a little odd to put a whole lot of stuff outside your house. (Personally, I'd worry that it would invite thieves; that's not as big of a concern if you're in an apartment, though, since there are probably lots of other apartments around where the stuff could've come from.)
posted by limeonaire at 6:44 PM on November 11, 2010

I took the 50% option because they said people usually made more that way, and I was willing to wait a week or two for the money.
posted by not that girl at 4:40 AM on November 12, 2010 [2 favorites]

When I moved out of my last apartment, I had some large, cheap furniture items to give away, so I just put up an ad on FreeCycle telling people when I'd be there and what I had, so come and get it. It worked great and kept me from having to haul a futon down the damn stairs. I always have problems with FreeCyclers not keeping their appointments, so I didn't make any, just told people I'll be there for this block of time, I won't hold anything, and first-come-first-served. Of course, people asked me if they could come early, would I hold this or that for them, etc., but I just ignored these sorts of requests.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 10:54 PM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

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