Out with the old and in with the new: How to clean out your home for the new year

Making donations to the thrift store is one way to clean your home for the new year.

New years bring new beginnings, resolutions and often, the impulsive need to clean out your entire home. Feeling the need to purge your unused clothes, CDs, records and more? Check out our list of places to donate your clutter so you can start fresh for the new year.

How to Donate Clothes, Furniture and More

Donate clothes to a local thrift store! Photo via Pixabay

Clothes and furniture is often the first and easiest thing to go when cleaning out your home. Whether you’ve decided to hop on the #minimalism train or you’re just ready to clear a little bit of space in your home, consider donating to a local thrift store. A few local thrift stores taking donations include:

How To Clear Out Books

Check out Jim Reed books on 3rd Avenue North downtown. Photo via Jim Reed Books

Books aren’t difficult to get rid of.  You could grab everything and take it to  2nd and Charles, a subsidiary of Birmingham based Books-A-Million. 2nd and Charles (located in Hoover) has a sophisticated system set up for buying and selling gently used books, games and other items.  There are other options too.  Ask local booksellers, like Jim Reed of Reed Books, if they’ll buy back some of your collection.  Charlemagne Records and Renaissance Records buy books, too.  Make sure to ask if they’re buying books before you bring them in!  You can also donate your books.  The JeffCo library co-op has lots of bookstores, everywhere from downtown to Homewood.  Other libraries often hold semi-regular book sales and still accept donations.  Donations are either distributed throughout the JCLC or sold.

How To Clear Out Vinyl

Record stores like Seasick Records in Crestwood will take your old records! Photo via Seasick Records

Birmingham has three local vinyl dealers: Seasick, Charlemagne, and Renaissance.  They all buy vinyl, of course!  Make sure the records actually play first, and that their sleeves are intact.  You might be able to get a better price if you do a quick wipe-down to get the dust off.  Seasick offers a guide to selling stores your vinyl here.

How To Clear Out Disks

Take old CDs and records to Charlemagne Records to donate. Photo via Charlemagne Records

Charlemagne and Seasick both buy CDs.  DVDs are harder to get rid of: Charlemagne buys DVDs, but maybe not everything.  You might have better luck selling videos at 2nd and Charles.  Disk donations are accepted at the library, too.  Finally, remember that for pretty much any library donation, you can determine a reasonable value of your donation (people tend to overvalue their collections, so make sure you keep a record of what you donate) and use it as a tax deduction.

How To Clear Out Old Slides

Cleaning out old slides can be a chore, but you’ll be glad when it’s done! Photo via James Ozment

Have you ever had to digitize old slides? It’s a doozy.  Ask around, get a quote for the number of slides you want to digitize. If they ask for more than about $1000, it’s cheaper to do it yourself with an air duster and a professional scanner. Getting rid of family slides is trickier.  If you don’t want to keep them around, then all I can recommend is to read this article from the Guardian.  Maybe you’ll change your mind on throwing them out, or maybe you’ll find that the allure of free space in your home is just too strong!

What did we miss? Are you going minimal in 2019 or just interested in getting rid of a little clutter? Let us know where you like to donate your old goods!