Downsizing for Seniors: Get Rid of Unwanted Stuff

get rid of unwanted stuff

It’s time to get junk out of the house

After sorting through keepsakes and giving treasured mementos to loved ones, your senior has probably identified a lot of unwanted stuff that needs to go.

Now it’s your job to figure out how to get that junk out of the house! Here are 3 ways to get rid of unwanted stuff.


1. Donate to charities

Donating your older adult’s unwanted things to charity helps the community and reduces landfill waste.


  • Goodwill, the Salvation Army, AmVets, and Purple Heart are some of the larger charities that accept donations of used items.
  • Local organizations that support specific causes, like women’s shelters, humane society (old towels & linens), or soup kitchens may also accept used items.
  • Donation Town is a free service that helps you find a local charity that offers free pick up service.
  • Senior living communities and moving companies may have lists of local charities that accept donations.


  • Get a receipt to use as a tax deduction.
  • Some organizations offer free pick-up service for items left in front of the house or on the ground floor.


  • Many organizations sell the donations they receive, so they won’t accept everything. Check their websites or call ahead to find out what isn’t accepted.
  • If free pickup isn’t available, you’ll have to take the stuff to the charity location.


2. Hire a service to haul it away

When you don’t have time, a large vehicle, or strong people to help clear out old stuff, paying for a junk hauling service saves headache (and your back!). These also help you get rid of stuff charities won’t accept.



  • They accept a wide range of stuff, including trash and other hard to dispose of items.


  • You’ll have to pay a fee, which will depend on how much stuff you’re getting rid of. They’ll give you an estimate first.
  • They don’t accept hazardous materials, like paint, poison spray, motor oil, etc.


3. Sell to thrift shops, on consignment, or online

For items that are still worth something, it could be worth your time to try selling them.


  • Local thrift or consignment shops may buy or help you sell certain items.
  • Listing items on eBay, Craigslist (beware of scams!), FreeCycle, or NextDoor are good ways to sell or give things away, especially to locals.


  • You could earn some money!


  • This is definitely the most time-consuming option.


By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Your Smart Money Moves


You might also like:
5 Tips to Downsizing for Seniors: Keepsakes & Mementos
Senior Move Managers Take the Stress Out of Downsizing
Declutter Your Older Adult’s Living Space

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