April 23, 2018

Remove Unwanted Household Items Safely

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Remove Unwanted Household Items Safely

When prepping a listing for showings, you may discover a load of old paints and stains, old appliances, or a bulk of old bricks or woods cluttering areas. Don’t just throw these unwanted items in the trash. There are safe ways to remove unwanted household items.

Read more: 4 Steps to Clutter-Free Listings

This Old House recently featured a slideshow highlighting how to remove some common unwanted household items. Here are a few tips:

Hazardous household waste: Paints, stains, pesticides, and solvents can be taken to a recycling center that accepts hazardous household materials. Water-based products can be evaporated before disposing of the solids in a sealed plastic bag, the article notes.

Old appliances: Tossing an old refrigerator, freezer, window AC units, or dehumidifiers in the dumpster is illegal in many places because the products may contain toxic substances like mercury. Cash-back or rebate programs are available that often include pick-up of the units too.

Mixed debris: Stacks of bricks, wood, or other debris may be able to be picked up by your regular trash service, but be sure to call ahead to see what their rates are for nonhazardous, non-recyclable waste. Or, This Old House recommends trying a service like Bagster, which offers heavyweight bags that the company will empty for about $130.

Wood piles: If the wood is finished or treated and in good shape, consider recycling it to a local reuse facility. Otherwise, untreated lumber can be handy at a local recycling center. It can be used for mulch or compost. Find a facility locally to donate at  Earth911.

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Source: “How to Safely Get Rid of Unwanted Household Items,” This Old House (March 2016)