This is a question we hear almost every day. We receive phone calls at the office, we get this question on our Facebook page and our clients and their families ask us daily what they can do with their gently used furniture and household items.
The sad reality is that most charities are becoming overloaded with items, especially at this time of the year during the peak moving season. Many people want their items to be reused by someone that can use them which makes for too many items for the charities to store, sell or donate.
There are opportunities that do exists and with a little research will find a good home for your items.
- Do an online search of local charities that accept furniture and household items. Not all charities are created equal and many do not have large storage facilities for the extras. When you do call them, ask if they will pick up the items or if you are required to bring them yourself.
- Many charities that pick up for free or a small fee become overburdened and have long wait lists, often as long as 6-8 weeks. If you are able to plan ahead, book your pick-up long in advance. This will ensure that you are not left looking for a suitable home for your items when it’s crunch time.
- There are services like 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Ottawa that will pick-up your items and charge a fee for bringing them to various charities. It really is as easy as one phone call and they will professionally and responsibly find reputable charities who will take your items. It might cost you some money to have this service help you but you are not left doing it yourself and you can rest assured items are properly donated.
- Posting to online sites like Kijiji or Craigslist may be another option. If you venture down this route, be sure to either have your items outside of your home, in your garage for example, or have someone with you when an interested party comes to you to pick up the items. Play it safe and you can find suitable homes for your items without it costing you to deliver them or hire a professional company to do it for you.
As the baby boomers continue to downsize and their parents continue to move into smaller homes, our local markets are becoming overburdened with furniture and household items. Hiring a service to do the work for you is one option. Giving things away is another, as is having a local charity pick-up your items on their schedule. Whichever you choose, plan in advance so that you are not caught struggling with where your items will go when you are ready to let them go and/or move.