Although over the years I’ve had stuff stolen from my home, here I’m not addressing thieves but rather how I’ve recently happily found people (friends, visitors, and nonprofits) who help me prune my stuff. It all started when our son who lives in Singapore came home for a 3-week visit. This meant that most of our family and a lot of his friends visited our home. Following is how they helped me prune more stuff.

Step 1: Ask our kids to take their stuff stored at our house. This didn’t get far because most of them were flying home and didn’t have extra space in their homes anyway. At least they identified stuff to continue to save and stuff we could give away or throw away.

Step 2: Ask their friends. Since our Singapore son was in town many of his local friends visited. One was a jigsaw puzzle enthusiast, so she took 6 puzzles. Another took 11 cassette tapes.

Step 3: Prune our kids’ electronics. (For my purposes I’m distinguishing between “technology” and “electronics.” In my blog post Pruning Technology, I deal with pruning information technology such as use of email and other social media. Here I’m using electronics in the sense of electronic hardware such as DVDs, CDs, and tapes. Our kids released the following electronics for recycling:
• 28 DVDs
• 33 new CDs
• 23 used CDs
•   9 Zip Drives
• 42 Cassette tapes
• 66 empty CD cases
(You may wonder how anyone collects 66 empty CD cases?
Answer: I hang many old CDs on wire frames in my garden to dissuade deer from eating my vegetables. Other CDs are lost or broken.)

Step 4: Take stuff to new homes
In the Cincinnati area the best place is the Cincinnati Recycling and Reuse Hub. I took all of the above former “treasures” to the HUB which is a non-profit organization. They charge $1 per pound to cover their cost of shipping to Green Disc in Washington State. It cost me $22. It was easier and cheaper than packing and mailing all the electronics myself. For an earlier blog on electronic recycling click here.

If you don’t live in the greater Cincinnati area or don’t have similar local electronics resources, other recycling options are:
Green Disc – mail in program located in Sammamish, Washington
Backthruthefuture – mail in program located in Franklin, NJ 07416
• Earth 911 – is an all-purpose recycling resource with many ideas on how and where to recycle.
• Google “Where to take electronics for recycling” (Big box stores such as Staples and Best Buy also take many electronics for recycling.)

I had been saving dolls for visiting grandkids. Even they were not interested so I took them to a local Thrift Store (Be Concerned). Certainly there are similar places near you.

Our kids said I could give away an 18 book children’s encyclopedia set and 3 reference books. Having earned $.28 cents from taking previous no longer needed books to a half price bookstore, I took these directly to the public library so their Friends of the Library group could sell them to fund library functions. For other book options, click here.

Since these recently emptied file cabinets were too big for visitors to take or for us to deliver, I scheduled a Salvation Army pickup. Not as personal but easy-peasy.

What are the best sources you’ve found to pass on stuff you no longer need?