Let’s Make Every Day ‘Give Your Stuff Away Day’

TV, computer monitor and other items available to new homesOn May 12, everyone is invited to give away unwanted stuff by putting it out on the curb. Image: Eric Bartholomew/Flickr

We have five ways to help your junk — er, nice stuff — find a new home.

When you buy new stuff for your home, do you put your old stuff in the garage or the basement just in case you might still need it? Mike Monroe really wishes you’d stop doing that. Or tossing it so it ends up in a landfill. The creator of Give Your Stuff Away Day, Monroe wants people to give away their excess stuff by putting it out on the curb this Saturday, May 12.

“I’m a minimalist,” he says, “but I like picking things up. I was distressed about the stuff we throw away and the stuff we store.”

He started promoting the idea of Give Your Stuff Away Day on Facebook more than a year ago, hoping to get some municipalities to join in his campaign. That hasn’t happened because politicos believe the stuff that isn’t picked up would be an eyesore for the neighbors — and not so popular come election time.

I lived in a townhouse neighborhood where renters moved out at the end of almost every month, often leaving behind a pile of what I’ll politely refer to as “stuff.”

Since the county didn’t take bulk items in the trash, the leftovers would sit and sit until the home owners association convinced the landlord to remove them — or, more often, until the one of the neighbors gave up on that happening and drove the stuff to the dump.

Since your crap might not be someone else’s find and can muck up your curb appeal, opt for other great ways to give away your stuff all year long:

1. Use Freecycle. You join online and post a description of the stuff you want to be rid of. Members email telling you they want your stuff and when they can pick it up. My friend has gotten rid of old interior doors, a couch, a ficus tree, and unwanted chocolate-covered cherries she got for Christmas this way.

2. Organize a swap meet where neighbors trade sporting goods, clothes, or even Halloween costumes.

3. Post a picture of your stuff on Facebook and ask if any of your friends could use it.

4. Post a free online notice to either give away or sell your stuff on Craigslist. While you’re there, check to see if someone is giving away stuff you need, rather than buying new. Today in Baltimore, folks were using Craiglist to give away backyard playgrounds, landscaping rocks, and a hot tub.
 
5. When you remodel, donate the fixtures you’re replacing to Habitat for Humanity’s Restore. When you’re dropping off your stuff, you can check out salvaged building materials to use in your next home improvement project
 
What have you put out on the curb in the hopes someone would take it? What have you picked up?