As a realtor I am always advising clients of the same thing before listing their home for sale: de-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter! Many of my clients, after ruthlessly minimizing their "stuff", realized that a- they never really used most of that stuff anyways, and b - wow- does the house ever look amazing when it's not so cluttered- why did I wait so long to do this? Even if you're not planning to sell your home, why not take an opportunity to do some "Fall Cleaning"- minimize your clutter now, before your winter nesting instinct kicks in. But what do you do with all that un-needed stuff? You don't want to just put it in the garbage, it’s still perfectly good, after all.
A few weekends ago, the City of Ottawa had its annual Hidden Treasures Giveaway Weekend. This is where you take that stuff, clearly label it as "FREE", and put it out to the curb on Saturday and Sunday. That ‘stuff’ could be anything - books, CD's, small kitchen appliances - just as long as it's still usable for someone. It just might find a home and reduce items that end up in the garbage.
So - what can you do with your stuff now that the city wide de-cluttering weekend is over? Well those unfound treasures can be donated to charitable organizations, many of whom will pick up items at your home- you just have to leave it outside for them at a designated time. You can list items on eBay, usedottawa.com, Ottawa Freecycle Network, FullCirclesOttawa, Craigslist and Kijiji. Facebook has a "freemarket" where you can post items you want to get rid of, for free. Garage sales are typically a summertime event, but some of the braver bargain-hunters might check it out if the weather allows. And why not post items online during the winter months? Many friends have had great success both buying and selling on the local sites (used Ottawa, kijiji, and craigslist).
Obviously, as with any interaction with a stranger, you always want to be cautious about arranging pickup and/or drop-off. Most people are honest, but you still want to take precautions. For home decor items, there are several consignment stores where you bring the goods to them, and they will sell them (for a percentage of the sale price.) And that eliminates the work part for you- all you do is drop the items off – and your clean uncluttered home is a fait accompli! And with a few extra dollars in your pocket, maybe you can justify that new pair of boots you've had your eye on.
Sales Representative The Paul Rushforth Team