Unclutter my life!
December 18, 2010 11:47 AM   Subscribe

TorontoFilter: How do I get rid of my extra stuff?

In a turn of shitty landlord behavior (which I'm sure will be asked about in upcoming months), I have to leave my apartment in March and find a new one. But, I'm trying to turn this into a positive thing and looking forward to a nicer, better place, and also using this as an opportunity to get rid of the mountains of crap I've accumulated over the last three years since the last major purge I did. But how to best accomplish this in a way that's beneficial to me and the community?

The furniture I dragged in from the streets in the pre-bedbug era can just go right back where it came from, the bigger pieces of furniture I no longer want can go on craigslist, but what about all the tiny detritus that might have some worth?

Books: I have a lot of books. decent books. where is the best place to sell used books here? I haven't done much book shopping since I lived in another city an am unfamiliar with the scene here.

CDs: are these things totally useless or what? I have a couple hundred of 'em, sitting untouched in a cabinet for the last three years when I just put it all on my computer. I'll probably keep the local stuff or the stuff with really nice album art, but for the most part CDs just bum me out and take up space. Any new music I buy now is in the form of vinyl + mp3. Where do I get rid of these things, and is there a way I can go about this without dragging the entire lot around with me? I'd kind of like to get a little $$$ for them.

Clothes: it is SO not garage sale season. My friends are sick of clothing swaps. Even though I work next to a Value Village, I don't want to give these nice-but-not-consignment-nice clothes to a for-profit thrift store. Any links to the best women's organizations to donate them to? (extra points if they will pick them up?)
posted by custard heart to Society & Culture (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: OH, bonus fact: I have no car.
posted by custard heart at 11:48 AM on December 18, 2010

Various organisations will pick up your clothes. CD's aren't worth much but there are still a few shops around. You can ask your local library if they want the books, if not, they can direct you to places that do.
posted by saucysault at 11:55 AM on December 18, 2010

She Said Boom at College & Bathurst gives a pretty good price for used books (I've sold books for $2-5 each there, depending on the title). Let them pick through your books and name a price for the ones they want, then you can negotiate an extra lump sum for the books they don't want as much.
(So if you bring 20 books and they say, "We want these 10 for $15", you can say, "Ok well I don't want to take the others back home.... would you take all 20 for $20?")

For one-trip shopping, there are 4 places to try to resell, all within a block or so of Bloor/Bathurst. BMV takes books (there are several locations but Bloor/Bathurst is the biggest one so it's your best bet), and so does Seekers (sometimes they won't give cash but they'll trade for store credit). There's also a smaller used bookstore just south of Honest Ed's on Bathurst; I don't know what it's called, but they might also take stuff in exchange for cash or store credit.
CDs, records, and DVDs can go to Sonic Boom (Bloor/Bathurst).

If I were you, I'd throw things into a big backpack (or even take a cab) and do the lump-negotiation (let them pick through, then offer a slightly higher price to take it ALL) just to get it over with. Also be sure to call the day you're coming to ensure the buyer's actually there.

One more tip: the order in which the clerk sees your stuff matters. Show your best goods first, so they see you as someone with value to offer.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 12:07 PM on December 18, 2010

Freecycle, Criagslist free section, Kijiji free section. Salvation Army donation. Donation bins if your city has them. Put at the curb the night before garbage day with a 'free' sign.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 12:08 PM on December 18, 2010

For your CDs - I think Sonic Boom (Bloor & Bathurst) buys everything, so you'll likely make a bit of money there. This might be a good option to get rid of anything you can't sell elsewhere.
posted by backwards guitar at 12:09 PM on December 18, 2010

Drop it all off at Goodwill at Richmond & Jarvis.
posted by Kololo at 12:49 PM on December 18, 2010

Toronto Public Library can be picky about the books it accepts as donations. If you are on good terms with your branch library, you can run things by them (“I have these kinds of books: [description]”). You can then bring small quantities of books to your local branch to donate them, again only if they know you already. Don’t just show up.

Reference Library and North York Central have bins (hard to find; main floor) you can just shove items, including of course DVDs and CDs, into. They will then select which items to retain. The difference is you supply everything up front and they sort through them later. If you have a relatively large quantity, you could ask them to unlock the lid so you could dump everything in with one fell swoop.

With prior arrangement, you can deliver very large quantities to the Reference Library loading dock on Asquith Ave.

Implicit in the above advice is the fact that the resale market for any individual item has essentially disappeared. I recommend you just donate everything. It’s merely a recommendation.
posted by joeclark at 12:55 PM on December 18, 2010

BMV is very good for dvds and new hardcover best-sellers, but they have become very stingy (and not too polite) about taking other stuff.

CDs I can't see you getting much for. You may be best listing them in a bulk listing on Craigslist as a 'here is my list, make me an offer' type thing. You may just have to accept that they served their purpose in your life and you got your fair value of them, and now the best place for them to be is in the goodwill box where maybe someone can get use out of them.
posted by JoannaC at 12:59 PM on December 18, 2010

Whenever I'm in this kind of situation, I turn to Oasis Clothing Bank. They'll come to your place and pick up all your stuff (solo or even better, organize a drive within your building before you leave -- I always do this every spring and the entire building seems to take advantage of it) or you can take it to them. Check their website for a list of stuff they'll take, but basically what they do is give things to those in need directly, or sell them and put the money to the same kind of use.
posted by modernnomad at 1:32 PM on December 18, 2010

I've donated all kinds of stuff to clothesline - they come pick it up.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:30 PM on December 18, 2010

Contact the women who run the $2 clothing sale at Walmer Church (the2dollarclothingsale AT gmail DOT com). I am pretty sure they have a method of sorting through clothes where the best stuff is offered to women who need work wardrobes, etc. and is given to them free of charge. Everything left over is sold. The proceeds of the sales are then given to a women's aid organization (like Sistering, but not Sistering). They price better pieces higher than $2 and they are not-for-profit and volunteer-run. If you have a lot of things, they will likely do a pick up for you.
posted by Felicity Rilke at 9:05 AM on December 19, 2010

Sonic Boom is the absolute WORST place in Toronto for selling CDs - I say this from experience. Pro: They will buy anything. Con: They will pay $0.25 for the vast majority of CDs, and only a couple bucks for unique indie fare. If you have unique indie-type CDs, I'd highly recommend going to Vortex on Yonge and Eglinton first. They'll buy only a handful of disks, but pay you $5-$6 for the decent ones. Then, bring the leftovers to Sonic Boom, and sell your remaining 200 or so CDs for the cost of a couple DVDs.
posted by evadery at 8:37 PM on December 19, 2010

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