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If you’re in the process of buying or selling a condo or house in Toronto, you’re likely taking the opportunity to purge: that lamp that doesn’t match your new couch, the lidless tupperware, the random textiles you brought back from your trip to Asia ten years ago and those clothes that you were sure you’d eventually fit back into. You don’t have to be a diagnosed hoarder to collect “stuff” – and moving is the perfect time to get rid of it once and for all. Here are our favourite places to help you part ways with the stuff you don’t want to pack:
Where to Donate Unwanted Items in Toronto
Canadian Diabetes Association
The CDA will pick up unwanted clothing, blankets, toys, books, computers, cellphones and household items or you can drop them off at one of their drop-off locations. Call 1-800-505-5525 or visit www.diabetes.ca
Gently used furniture can be donated to the Furniture Bank, where furniture is re-housed to people transitioning out of homelessness. They give in-kind tax receipts for donations over $100 and pick-up can be arranged online.
Goodwill takes clothing, household items, collectibles, textiles, books and more. Goodwill uses the money raised from re-selling your donations to help create jobs for people in our community including the young, the old, new Canadians and people with disabilities. You can find Goodwill locations throughout the city.
Habitat for Humanity Restores
You can donate construction supplies, furnishings, home decor, cabinetry and appliances at one of the various Restores in Toronto. Money raised through re-selling goes directly to fund new home projects. Click here to find a Habitat for Humanity Restore.
Freecycle is an online community that allows people to re-home stuff they don’t want.
1-800 Got Junk
If you have a lot of stuff, get in touch with 1-800-GOT-JUNK. They take all the stuff the City of Toronto doesn’t want to take, from mattresses and furniture to old appliances, construction debris and more. They provide same-day service and a 2-hour pick-up window (Rogers could learn a thing or two from them). Costs vary depending on what you have, but they’re an honest bunch (at least in our experience).
The Good ‘ol Curb
OK, I’m sure we’re not really supposed to do this, but try putting some random item on your front lawn with a free sign and watch how fast it disappears. It’s like people are just randomly driving up and down Toronto streets looking for free stuff. If it doesn’t work, you’ll have to drag it back in and all your neighbours will know the random things you own, but hey, it can be quick and almost painless (and you’ll be surprised at what people will take).
Selling Your Unwanted Items
If you don’t want to host and advertise your own garage sale, consider joining friends or convince your neighbours to do a street sale. You won’t likely make a ton of money, but it can be a fun way to meet your neighbours and get of all that stuff.
Craigslist and Kijiji
I love selling stuff I don’t want on Craigslist and Kijiji. You’ll be inundated with people wanting whatever crap you’re trying to get rid of, so don’t post your phone number on the ad (trust me, you’ll regret it). Expect that people will want to haggle and many won’t show up to actually pick up their item.
Really want to get rid of something FAST? Post the item in the “Free” section. If you’ve already left it on your front lawn, start the post with “CURB ALERT”…then start your stopwatch. Again, don’t ever post your phone number as we’ve sometimes received such a flood of people desperate for that thing you wanted to throw away it filled our inboxes instantly.
One of the fastest ways to part with a couch or dining table you don’t want is to simply post it on Facebook. You’ll be amazed at how fast your friends want your crap.
This list of where to donate/sell and get rid of your unwanted items is by no means all-inclusive. If you have a place that you love to donate to, please share it in the comments below.
So go ahead and seize the opportunity to make a fresh start in your new home.