Cleaning out household junk is a big undertaking. But once you know what to get rid of comes the harder part – where to get rid of it.
There are many places you can dispose of household junk. You can sell or donate items in good condition and dispose of or recycle items in poor condition.
Host a Yard Sale
For those with lots of in-good condition items, hosting a yard sale is a possible solution. A yard sale will allow you to make a little money off the things you no longer want, plus you don’t have to worry about hauling them to the dump or recycling center.
The downside to getting rid of household junk through a yard sale is that it’s a lot of work for no guarantee. If you’re more worried about getting rid of your old stuff than making money, price your items to sell. Ensure everything is clean, and advertise your yard sale on local social media groups.
If you don’t like traditional yard sales, list your working items in Facebook yard sale groups or on Marketplace.
For those who want to pass on their items but aren’t worried about making money, list your household junk in buy nothing groups (find them on Facebook), FreeCycle, and Craigslist.
Donate Workable Items
You can donate most household items as long as they’re working, stain and rip-free, and don’t have bad smells.
Goodwill and The Salvation Army accept small working appliances, furniture, Christmas trees, decor, and books. You can donate larger appliances and in-good-condition building materials to Habitat for Humanity Restores and Building ReUse centers.
Recycle What You Can
Some types of furniture, like mattresses, aren’t donatable. You can locate mattress recycling options on your state’s EPA website or Bye Bye Mattress.
In many cases, you can recycle mattresses and appliances by having the company you purchased from take them when they deliver your new items. You’ll need to make these arrangements when you’re scheduling the delivery.
You can cash in appliances containing metal at a metal recycling facility. If you don’t have the means to do this yourself, list the items for free in Facebook groups, and a local metal scrapper will likely come to pick them up.
Put them at the Curb with Your Regular Garbage (Schedule it First)
You can throw away most household junk with your regular garbage. But to do so, you’ll need to contact your trash service and schedule a ‘bulk item’ pick up. You’ll incur a small fee for disposing of bulk items, which they’ll add to your trash bill.
Bulk items include mattresses, furniture, carpet, and appliances. To reduce the transmission of bed bugs, your trash service may require you to wrap your mattresses and box springs in plastic before pickup.
Construction debris (bricks, shingles, flooring, etc.) is unsuitable for regular trash pickup and doesn’t qualify as a ‘bulk item.’
Haul it to the Landfill
If you have many large items to dispose of, haul your household junk to the landfill. You’ll incur a fee – about $20 – $50 per ton of waste you dump. To find a suitable landfill, visit the website of your trash pickup service or search for landfills in your area.
Hire a Junk Removal Service to Take Away Your Household Junk
When you have a lot of household junk to get rid of and don’t have a big enough truck to transport it, a junk removal service might be worth the money. These services will come to your home, load up all of your junk, and dispose of it. In many cases, junk removal services look for the most eco-friendly disposal methods.
You can use a large chain like 1-800-GOT-JUNK or hire a local service.
Rent a Dumpster
If you’re in the midst of a large house or garage clean-out, renting a dumpster is an ideal solution. You’ll have it available to use as you go through items, making the clean-out process easy. You can rent a week-long ten-yard dumpster for $200 – $400.