Before the holidays, it’s helpful to clear out some of the clutter.
Here are the best places to sell, donate and recycle all those household items you no longer want.
Donate: NCJW’s Encore and More, 1107 Central Ave., Wilmette
Details: Request a receipt for the contribution. Itemize your donations and list their current market value. An employee from Encore will sign the form when you drop off the items.
Sell: Try any of these great local resale or consignment shops.
- Crowded Closet, Inc.
- Designer Consigner
- Davis-Miller Designer Consignment Salon
- My Best Friend’s Closet
- Plato’s Closet
Details: Call ahead because some stores only purchase clothing when their store is low on inventory. Also, some stores will only accept high-end designer clothes, while others carry a broader range of clothing.
E Drop Off
This online service resells high-end and luxury items on eBay. They offer free nationwide pick-up through UPS or in person. Their commission is 40 percent of the sale, and they give bonuses if you refer friends! They also provide services like closet clean out, and if you’re local and interested in buying a piece, you can drop by their offices on Halsted Street to try it on before bidding.
Valuables: Jewelry, Fine Art, Household Items
Sell: Craigslist and eBay are your best bets. Selling online will get you 4 to 5 times as much as in a yard sale.
Details: Pictures are everything on eBay. Photograph jewelry against a dark background. List a minimum reserve if your item is valuable and you want to guarantee a minimum sale price. Make the auction live for 7 days. According to eBay, items sell best on Thursday and Sunday nights. Consider pricing your items low so that the bidding gets more exciting. Need more ideas? Check out this article: Online Tools for Selling Your Treasures
Donate: At your local public library
Details: Call ahead to see if there are any books they don’t accept (like textbooks).
Sell: Here are some of the best websites for selling your old books (and buying new ones!):
Donate: Loving Hugs, Inc.
Details: This organization sends stuffed animals to children in war zones, refugee camps, orphanages and medical facilities. You pay postage, but both the present value of the stuffed toys and the postage are deductible.
Donate: LensCrafters, various locations in the city and suburbs
Details: They take gently used prescription glasses and non-prescription sunglasses. OneSight was founded by LensCrafters in 1988. They have hand-delivered eye care and eyewear to more than 7 million people worldwide.
Donate: Salvation Army and Goodwill.
Details: Both provide pick up service and provide you with a tax receipt. Church rummage sales are other great places to donate furniture. Contact any of the upcoming North Shore sales to see if they need donations.
Sell: Jim Coello at North Shore Coins
Details: Gold price have been steadily climbing. Now is a good time to sell, but be careful to whom you decide to sell. Many unscrupulous businesses have tried to make quick profit on sellers who don’t know the value of what they have. ALWAYS get more than one estimate!
Insider tip: Not sure it’s the best time to sell? Download a free gold app on your iPhone and you can track the live prices and follow the fluctuation on line.
iPods and MP3 Players
Donate: Apple retail stores
Details: Bring your old iPod to an Apple store for 10 percent off a new one.
Where: Recycling for Charities
Details: RFC promises that all electronic waste is handled responsibly.
Details: Visit the website and find out within seconds what your iPod or MP3 player is worth. They’ll even send you a box with a prepaid USPS label.
Gently used twin sheets, comforters and blankets
Donate: YWCA Evanston/North Shore and Mary Lou’s Place
Details: Mary Lou’s Place is a domestic violence shelter for abused women and their children. For more information call the Development Office at 847-864-8445.
Donate: Pedal Power
Details: Started by a family in Wilmette, this event accepts bikes each November to benefit Hull House.
Sell and Donate: Winnetka Community House Bike Sale
Details: Every May, people flock to the Winnetka Community House to buy and sell bicycles, tricycles and scooters, raising nearly $2,000 for Community House programs and classes. Sellers began arriving at 8:30 a.m. to have their bikes appraised by the Wilmette Bike Shop. Call in April for date and time 847-446-0537.