Down AND Out! Plans for a Smooth Downsizing

  • By birdie@getorganizedcolumbus.com
  • 11 Apr, 2016
Downsizing often requires more than purging and offloading to the local donation center. When preparing for a move to a smaller living space, downsizing usually involves an inventory plan and scheduled services–both free and fee-based. There are a number of resources and disposal techniques that need to be considered. And luckily, Central Ohio has a wealth of resources to help. It […] 
Downsizing often requires more than purging and offloading to the local donation center. When preparing for a move to a smaller living space, downsizing usually involves an inventory plan and scheduled services–both free and fee-based. There are a number of resources and disposal techniques that need to be considered. And luckily, Central Ohio has a wealth of resources to help.
It all starts with determining the inventory to be removed. I find that it is best to start with removing furniture. This is because you may wish to sell as well as donate. Selling can take longer than donating, so it is great to clarify the inventory you need to offload as soon as possible.
Are you interested in selling furniture? There are great consignment and resale options in Columbus and its suburbs. The key is to find one that caters toward the type of furniture you have. Do you have antiques or vintage items? Is your furniture more contemporary? Columbus has a number of places that serve these genres. It will be important to note how to get the furniture to the venue as well as merchant policies for items that don’t sell.
If you have a large amount of furnishings to sell, you may want to consider an auction house. Both online and brick and mortar options exist locally. Some have minimums to be met, and some will sell just about anything. Most take a percentage from the proceeds of the sale. Or if you are feeling more DIY, you can use Facebook or local community sale sites to advertise and negotiate your wares. Items that do particularly well with DIY include dressers, kitchen tables, electronics and tools.
Donating furniture is a great option as well. The Dublin Furniture Banc and Salvation Army will pick up furniture for free. Goodwill will schedule pick ups for a fee. There are some special considerations when donating furniture. Most donation centers will not take the following: tube televisions, cribs, and desks. In addition, mattresses and upholstered furniture are heavily scrutinized and frequently left behind if not in excellent condition.
Once you’ve dealt with the big stuff, these items will need special handling or consideration:
  1. Paint and hazardous chemicals–locally SWACO will accept hazardous chemicals at their drop off location. Paint can be put in the normal garbage once it is hardened.
  2.  
  3. Wood and building materials–The ReStore and Habitat for Humanity may be interested in these
  4.  
  5. Paper that needs shredded–There are a number of retail sources for paper shredding
  6.  
  7. Pianos, Pool tables, large exercise machines–We have had good luck reselling pianos and pool tables to stores that offer these products used. Very few charities will take large exercise equipment, but you can almost always can find a friend willing to take it off your hands.
For items that are difficult to rid of, there is always a hauler option. Haulers can both donate and discard items, and will remove most anything with the exception of chemicals. We almost always schedule a hauler just before the packing begins.
The remaining clothes and household items have the same type of options as the above–if not more. But don’t underestimate the time required to review and remove. Your local National Kidney Services and Volunteers of America are excellent resources for these type of objects, and will come to the home if you are not able to make the drop offs. Here is a site for finding and scheduling the right donation resource for you: http://donationtown.org/
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