Ashley Cook

Downsizing for the big reno

Over the past 3 (?!?) years I’ve been doing bits and pieces of the house renovation. Small projects here, a room or two there. It has been slow and steady but there’s only so many small things you can do with wood paneling. Now I’m ready for some big changes to happen. As I prep to renovate the first floor (all together, one shot!) one of the first steps is to clear off the level of the house.

For this upcoming renovation I need to clear off an entire level of my home which has more than just small items. I had planned that this would eventually occur and had a lot of furniture that I wouldn’t be sad to get rid of. And that brings me to what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks: removal of all furniture items from my first floor.

Cute but lots of stuff & wood paneling.

It’s really hard to not accumulate stuff. One of my ways to manage this is to keep a tub in the basement year round and when I decide I don’t want something it goes straight into the bin! Annually my neighborhood association has a big yard sale which is a perfect opportunity to empty out my bin and catch up with my neighbors. This works well for small things and to keep extra stuff from accumulating. But still I look around and there was a lot of furniture, freebies, things gifted from friends and family, impulse purchases, and magazines!

Eek who has a good photo form any yard sale.

So how exactly do you get rid of all of that furniture and unwanted items? You can either trash it or find it a new home. I can call the city and they’ll take up to 3 large items for hauling to the dump. While that’s easy, I have more than 3 large items and they’re still good furniture, just not things I want to incorporate in my final design. There’s a number of way to sell these items and I’ve used a number of different means over the years.

  1. Yard Sales
  2. Online
  3. Word of Mouth

This time around I didn’t do any yard sales but rather focused on online sales and word of mouth. I was able to offload a lot of the furniture to a mutual friend who was moving a needed a lot of items which I could conveniently provide for cheaper than buying new (throwing in delivery was a huge plus too!). For the rest of the items (like all those bookcases I was using as kitchen cabinets) I found I had a lot of luck online. For large items you’re likely going to be selling it to someone local to you. And there’s a number of places to sell things online and I think which is more useful depends on what area you’re in. When I was living in another state Craigslist was the go to for local resell. Where my house is located I find I’m having the best luck with the local Facebook yard sale group. Between that group and move in time at my alma mater I was able to find new homes (and excited new owners) for my furniture that has served me so well these past few years.

There’s a few perks for doing it this way, in my opinion. You get to help connect people with items that otherwise would cost more $$. And there’s a big reusable components to it too. By reusing the furniture there’s one less item going into the city landfill and less new furniture that has to be produced. On the other hand, this does requires running all over town to either deliver large items or taking them to public locations to meet people you’ve never met before. It also assumes that your furniture is in good enough condition for someone else to use it. A huge help in tips for selling items and how to price & take photos came from reddit. This was a really cool board that I found with a ton of helpful information.

As I move through the house there’s a number of other places I’ve found useful to removing items from the house that aren’t suitable to be sold. Below are my favorite places for each category:

Light Bulbs: Best Buy or Home Depot. You take them to the customer service counter or sometimes they’ll have drop boxes for them

Small electronics / appliances: Best Buy. See the customer service counter and they will recycle things like old keyboards, cables, and even small stereos.

House Construction: Second Chance, Loading Dock, Habitat Restore! Look for local places that specialize in de-construction. Usually they have storefronts which are great to buy cheaper cabinets, doors, and the like, but you can also donate good items that you remove from your current home.

Textiles: This is my current exciting find. We have a textile recycling company in our area. Basically they take clothes and worn textiles (not pillows or mattresses) by the pound and sell reusable clothing cheaply to people in need of it. And for items not deemed usable they break it down into the fibers for recycling. Here’s one for the DMV (MAC recycling).

Are there any other items that you’ve had trouble finding homes for? I’m still looking for things to do with old pillows. That’s the one thing I haven’t found a way to get rid of it besides throwing them away.

Next step for me: boxing up everything I’m keeping!

Categories: The House

« The tree that lived!

1 Comment

  1. Aleece Ramsay Herstein

    July 31, 2020 — 7:42 pm

    You do have a fabulous blog thanks. Aleece Ramsay Herstein

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Copyright © 2021 Ashley Cook

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑