How to Clear the Clutter Before You Sell or Move

couple clearing cluttered garage

As real estate agents, we get a lot of questions, but one of the most frequently asked is, “How do I get rid of all the junk I’ve accumulated over the years?” Clutter is a common problem that can wreak havoc on the home buying and selling process. It discourages sellers from listing their homes and delays buyers who want to move.

So how do we recommend our clients get rid of unwanted items? Guilderland real estate agent Kathy Burbank suggests using social media. Since people will usually come pick up your items, you can skip the hassle of driving or arranging trucks. “But the most important thing to do is divide it up and don’t procrastinate,” insists Kathy. “And if you have to pay a few bucks to dispose of it, remember, it’ll be worth it in the end.”

Here are some additional recommendations from our Guilderland real estate agents to help you clear the clutter before you sell or move.

How to Donate Unwanted Furniture & Household Items

  • The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Albany accepts new and used building materials, furniture, appliances, lighting fixtures and other home goods. You can drop-off your items or request a free pick-up.
  • The Goodwill Donation Centers in Colonie, Amsterdam and Troy accept donations of clothing, shoes, jewelry, accessories, handbags, luggage, household goods, books, and other items.
  • The Homeless & Travelers Aid Society accepts donations of gently used furniture at their Capital Region Furniture Bank. Call 518-612-BANK or visit the warehouse on 5 Anderson Drive in Albany.
  • Scrapster offers no cost scrap metal removal and recycling in the Capital Region. Schedule a pick-up for all types of metals, appliances, lawn mowers, snowblowers, car parts, fencing, roofing, grills and more.
  • Craigslist “curb alert” allows you to simply take a pic, post it and put it out to the curb for pick-up. An easy solution for lumber, tires, tools, appliances and exercise equipment.
  • The Colonie Senior Service Center accepts donations of tools and hardware at the Tool Box in Colonie.

How to Donate Clothes

  • In addition to the Goodwill Donation Centers in Colonie, Amsterdam and Troy, most church parking lots and many retail stores have donation bins for gently used, clean clothing and shoes.
  • Northern Rivers has 75 clothing bins throughout the Capital Region, where you can donate your clothes to support the work they do for local communities.
  • The Dress for Success program accepts donations of nearly-new suits and professional attire for women at their location in Albany.

How to Dispose of Items that Cannot be Donated

  • For electronics, keep an eye out for a special recycling day in your neighborhood, or post it on social media. Someone may take it for the small parts.
  • Call your waste removal company and see what they will take, then plan on throwing out extra stuff in your trash bins each week.
  • While not free, if you’ve exhausted all other options, the Junk King in Colonie and 1-800-Got Junk will haul away your unwanted stuff, including mattresses, electronics, large appliances and more.

Looking for more real estate advice? Check out the CM Fox Blog. We have tips for homebuyers and sellers in the Capital Region, as well as more than 50 real estate agents in Guilderland, Latham, Colonie and Albany NY, who can help you through the home buying or selling process. Call (518) 861-7030, or contact us to speak with a local real estate agent.