It’s been said many times: Nothing simplifies a move like decluttering. Don’t move anything that you don’t need or love — but what’s the best way to get rid of everything else? If you don’t like the idea of sending your old possessions to a landfill, or you’d rather know that they’re serving a good purpose somewhere else, Houston has resources to set your mind at ease — and some that may even help fill your wallet. For those of you who are moving within Houston or decluttering as you settle into your new Houston apartment, here are some of the best ways in town to get rid of unwanted stuff:

 

Consignment and Resale Shops

If the stuff you no longer want is still in good condition, you may be able to sell it. Consignment shops make it easy. They do the work of pricing the items and finding the customers, and they pass a percentage of the selling price back to you. Other types of resale shops buy used items outright, paying you before they sell. Here’s how to find Houston consignment and resale shops:

  • Furniture, clothing, toys and other children’s items, collectibles, and antiques: Houston is home to many consignment shops, most of which specialize in specific types of gently used items, such as furniture, children’s items, or women’s clothing. The Showroom Finder web site lets you search by type, then read store descriptions and follow links to the stores’ web sites to learn more.
  • CDs and vinyl records: In 2013, the Houston Press posted its list of Houston’s top 10 record stores. Many of these buy used CDs or records. Check the reviews in the article for more information.
  • Books: Houston is also home to many used bookstores, most of which will buy books from individuals, offering money or credit you can use to buy more books. Check out the reviews of used bookstores on Yelp to find out which ones have satisfied customers and policies you like.

 

Charities Accepting Donations

To support a cause you care about and get rid of your stuff, donate it to charity.

  • Books and CDs: The Houston Public Library accepts donations of used books and CDs, which are sold by the Friends of the Houston Public Library. The proceeds help support the library.
  • Furniture and household items: The Houston Furniture Bank accepts donations of gently used furniture, rugs, and small appliances and electronics. Most donations are given to Houston families in need to help them set up their households. Some items are also sold in the Houston Furniture Banks Furniture Outlet Store, whose profits go to cover the furniture bank’s operating costs.
  • Clothing and more: Many Houston charities collect gently used clothes, shoes, furniture, toys, and household items to be resold in thrift stores. Profits go to support those charities. The Donation Town web site is an easy way to search for charities that will pick up donations from your home. Search by item type and your zip code.

 

Recycling Collectors

  • City of Houston Recycling: Some of the City of Houston’s recycling centers accept household junk for recycling, as well as the usual glass, plastic, cans, cardboard, and paper. Visit the city’s web site to find the recycling center that’s closest to you.
  • Mattresses, cushions, plastics, appliances, computer equipment, and metals: The Houston Furniture Bank collects mattresses and other hard-to-recycle items for recycling.