We're all for styling your home with items that are sentimental or simply make you happy, but it's clear that our relationship with shopping has spiraled out of control. According to professional organizer Regina Lark, clutter has become the new norm. The average U.S. household contains over 300,000 "things" and we collectively trash 13 million tons of clothing—every single year.
If you've been caught up in a spring-cleaning frenzy, pause before you take out the trash. A handful of smart, savvy entrepreneurs have found a better way to use your pre-loved goods so they don't end up in a landfill. From apps that pay you for your old wares to services that pick up your used furniture for free, it's easier than ever to do the right thing.
Cleanse your home of these five unnecessary items with these smart, zero-effort apps.
Gifts You've Never Used
Feel guilty about tossing or regifting unused presents you received over the holidays? Listia allows you to swap items instead. Think of it as an easy gift exchange site. All you do is post a picture of the item (the site features everything from toys to sporting goods), and you'll earn credits when people bid on it. Then you can use those credits to pick out something you'll actually use. You can also choose to donate your site credits to charity if you want to keep your newly cleaned home clutter-free.
Books You've Read a Zillion Times
When you've finally finished spring-cleaning, the last thing you want to deal with is having to load your car and drive your wares to Goodwill. That's where GiveIt comes in. With a click of a button, the app sends out your request to a ton of local charities, and they come to collect the goods. Simply take a photo of what you're donating, put it in a bag, and leave it on your front doorstep at the approved time. It'll be gone in a flash.
Unused Gadgets That Accumulate Dust
Everyone has an item they purchased thinking it was a genius solution, only to realize months later that it's utterly useless. If you've barely touched that multitasking kitchen appliance or realized you simply don't need that tech accessory, pass it on to someone who wants it. OfferUp is a peer-to-peer marketplace that aims to reinvent the Craigslist experience. It shows your listing to local shoppers and puts privacy first, so you don't have to stress about cross-country postage costs or scammers.
Designer Impulse Buys
Despite an overflowing closet, it's believed the average person only wears 20% of their wardrobe. If you've been hoarding years-old clothing, handbags, or shoes that you know you won't wear again, it's time to sell them. The Real Real takes care of all the annoying logistics by providing free in-home pickup and free shipping, selling the item within three days, and then transfering you the earnings. Yes, it's that easy.
Furniture can be a pain to get rid of, regardless of whether you're choosing to sell, toss, or donate it. Enter Roadie, the Uber for deliveries. The app connects you with drivers who are planning to travel to your intended destination and have spare room in their car or truck. They'll collect your goods and hand deliver it at the destination for a fraction of the price of a courier. For a limited time, they're also offering free Goodwill pickups, so it's easier than ever to donate to charity.