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Wisconsin Parent

Purge your Stuff: Getting Rid of the Extras in 2015

Jan 28, 2015 03:23PM ● By Tiffany Malloy
If  you're anything like 50% of the American population (okay, so I made up that statistic), you've used the turn of the year to jumpstart Project Organize. Project Simplify. Or if you're like me, Project Put All My Stuff I Don't Want In A Giant Pile. The easy part for me was to go through all of my house, but now I have no idea what to do with it. As we're now approaching February, I'm desperate to get rid of "The Pile."

And lucky for you, when I get desperate, I get researching. Here is a list of Wisconsin-friendly ways you can donate, sell, or recycle your unwanted items.


Goodwill: Donate stuff, create jobs. Goodwill sells your stuff which gives people in your community jobs—veterans, military families, single moms, developmentally challenged, etc. Goodwill takes most "good condition" items, but you may want to call your  local Goodwill if you have any special items you'd like to donate (mattresses, computers, etc.) as well as to find out drop off times and location.

St. Vincent de Paul: They sell your stuff in their thrift stores in order to provide food, clothing, shelter, and medical care to those less fortunate through their Service Center and Food Pantry. You can either drop your items off at one of their drop-off locations or they are happy to schedule a pick-up.

Salvation Army: Salvation Army funds their adult rehabilitation centers through the selling of your donations. They have drop off locations all over, or you can schedule a pick-up online.

Easter Seals Wisconsin: This organization supports the disabled in our communities through a huge variety of ways. To donate, simply schedule a pick up date online, and they will come and take that huge pile of stuff far, far away :).

Local schools: Don't overlook your local schools. Some schools welcome donations of sports equipment, winter gear, select clothing, etc.



Kid Consignment Sales: Sell your baby/kid/maternity items in a consignment sale and receive 70-80% of the profit. The rest of the money typically goes to a nonprofit organization in the community. Check out this list of Wisconsin consignment sales to find one near you! I've sold at these kinds of events a couple times and it's been a great experience.

Play It Again Sports: Sell old sports equipment for 30-50% of the value. You can take the money on the spot. Easy peasy.

Target Trade-In: Target will provide a gift card in exchange for old DVDs, Blu-Rays, Game Consoles, video games, etc. Check out the website to see how much your stuff is worth.

Half Price Books: Half Price Books is a great place to sell the books you no longer want. They take all varieties of books (adult, children, cookbooks, even board games and DVDS!). You wait in the store while they go through your items and offer you an amount. As an avid reader, our family does this about once a year!

And, of course, we can't forget the good 'ol fashioned yard sale or craigslist.


Best Buy has a great electronics recycling program—you bring your old electronics to them (like my tube TV!) and they will dispose of it for free. Yep, that's right. FREE. You can bring in up to 3 items a day. Check out their website for a list of items they accept.

Have a give and take party! Invite a few friends over, have some yummy snacks, and set up a "give and take" table where one person's trash is another person's treasure! I like this one.

Focus on Energy Appliance Recycling will pick up your old refrigerators/freezers for free, and give you a $40 cash reward for each item you want to get rid of. I'm thinking this one is a win!


Congratulations on organizing, simplifying, purging in this new year!