We all have items we no longer want. Before you throw the item out, consider these simple steps to keep that item out of the garbage can.
Try to repair an item before throwing it away. Repairs can be less expensive than replacement and can improve the performance, safety, and/or efficiency of a product.
Get items repaired and put back to use quickly. If an item sits around unused because it needs repair, it's likely to become garbage next week or next year.
Renting is a great choice if you only need to use something once in a while. Consider renting tools for home projects, lawn and garden equipment, party supplies, and camping and recreational gear.
Renting can allow you to test a product before you buy it to determine whether you want to make the long-term commitment. Renting goods also saves storage space and maintenance costs.
Donating useful goods you no longer need will help charities raise funds for their causes. Other donation services provide items directly to those in need. Search the Choose to Reuse Directory for companies that will accept your used items.
By paying attention to the following concepts when you're shopping, you can purchase things that will last longer and are more likely to be useful to others after you're done with them.
Keep up on maintenance. Proper maintenance keeps an item useful longer and will increase resale or donation value. Maintenance also helps identify wear and tear or defects that can compromise the safety of a product.
Stay organized. Organizing what you have will reduce the risk of damage or breakage and helps you find what you need when you need it. Not only will this reduce searching for items, you'll be less likely to purchase duplicate items.
Many stores around the Twin Cities will buy used goods. Search the Choose to Reuse Directory for online listings of all sorts of stores that buy used goods. Some stores will give you credit or will trade for your item.
A garage sale can be an easy way to get rid of your used goods and earn some money. Most garage sales are held during the spring and summer, but some sales, especially estate sales, are held year round. Here are some options to keep in mind when planning a garage sale:
Don't feel like holding a garage sale or finding someone to buy your stuff? Consignment shops and stores that sell through online auction houses will sell your goods for you. The stores will take a commission, but they allow you to simply drop off your items and still earn money from them.
Organize a community exchange at the local school, community center or a place of worship.
Look in the Yellow Pages under Auctioneers and Auction Houses for local businesses. Larger auction houses even offer internet bidding and internet auctions.
Online auction sites are some of the most active sites on the internet. For an excellent primer on internet auctions, see the Federal Trade Commission information on internet auctions.
Consider checking out a book or CD instead of buying your own copy. The Hennepin County Library System has 41 libraries with a circulation of more than five million books, CDs and DVDs in 40 languages. The library system also has 1,600 public computers. The Libraries' Friends groups also offer used book sales that support library programs. E-books are available too!
You'll save money buying from a used goods store or consignment shop. Buying used helps the environment by keeping usable goods out of the trash and by reducing the resources required to manufacture and distribute new products. Search the Choose to Reuse Directory for reuse retailers near you!
There are several internet-based listing services for residents who want to sell, give away or purchase reusable goods for their home, garage or garden.
Usable products dropped off for disposal at the county drop-off facilities may be selected for reuse and placed in the Free Product Center. Residents 18 years and older may pick up free, usable products such as automotive products, adhesives and glues, aerosols, cleaners, latex paint, oil based paint, and stains.
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