Declutter and Make Space | Give your Stuff Away for Free

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Inside: Take advantage of Curbside Give Away weekend to declutter, free-cycle and enjoy the thrill of hunting for your next DIY project!

This post is sponsored by the Halifax Regional Municipality – Solid Waste Resources. I’m proud to partner with the city I love to help spread the word about causes near and dear to my heart.

Nothing says summer like cruising around the city on the weekend, windows down and hopes high that you’ll stumble on your next great decor or DIY project on the side of the road – am I right? #IStopForYardSales

One thing I truly adore about living in Halifax is how the city embraces our collective love and respect for the environment, while also emphasizing the importance of community. The Annual Curbside Give Away event is a perfect blend of the two- a chance to up cycle and donate gently used and unwanted items and an opportunity to get out and explore all that the city has to offer. 

So what is Curbside Give Away? 

It happens rain or shine, two weekends a year, once in June and again in October. This Spring, Curbside Give Away is on Saturday, June 8th and Sunday, June 9th. 

You can join me Live on the City’s Facebook Page as I head out on Sunday to see what things I can find curbside! Make sure you are following along on the Halifax Recycles Facebook page to get a notification of the event. 

The city sponsors this entire event to encourage citizens to place their unwanted and gently used items on the curb side with a big sign that says ‘FREE’. Others from the community are allowed to stop by, scoop up what they want and everyone ends up happy. 

It keeps items out of our landfills and offers tons of potential for fun DIY projects! 

How to Prepare for Curbside Give Away

If you’re planning to use the weekend as an excuse to get out and about and spot cool finds, make sure you check out the post I did back in October about how to be a good Curbside Treasure Hunter. This post is full of my best tips for how to be successful (hint: bring a coffee with you!) and what to pack in the car (hint: a mini tool kit is essential).

If you’re planning to put things ON the curb this year, there is a strategy to that as well! Read on my Curbside Give Away friends! 

Declutter and Plan

This year, I was prepared. Since we are renovating the basement, we put a big circle around Curbside Give Away weekend on the calendar, knowing that we’d have some gently used things that won’t be in the final design plan, but that someone might want. 

I’ve been squirrelling away decor items, a few small pieces of furniture and other odds and ends that I’ll put to the curb before packing them in the car and driving them to a donation centre.

If you didn’t give yourself the lead time this go around, that’s okay. Donate what you 100% know you can this Spring and then just keep the October date in mind as well. 

What to Put out

There are a few rules about what you can and cannot put out on the curb for give away – I’d say, use common sense. If it’s super busted up, gross, or beyond repair then that is garbage. You can check out the city’s website or call the hotline if you’re unsure how to dispose of something properly. 

In terms of things that fly off the curbs like hot cakes?

  • Gently used books
  • Artwork and frames
  • Light fixtures and shades
  • Small pieces of furniture
  • Kids toys 
  • Yard stuff / Lawn care items
  • Dishes and kitchenware
  • Gym equipment
  • Seasonal decor 
  • Baby clothing and gently used kids clothing

Double check before placing these things on the curb:

Certain items are just not allowed as part of Curbside Giveaway:

  • Upholstered furniture/mattresses (because of bugs and yumpies and yuck)
  • Hazardous materials like aerosols
  • Baby car seats 
  • Renovation and construction debris

Other items have a few special considerations: 

  • Paint/paint cans
  • Electronics 
  • Cell phones and Smart Phones*

A bit of clarity on paint and electronics – you can put them out for Curbside Give Away but if the paint isn’t taken by someone, then you need to follow the proper disposal rules to get rid of it. 

Empty paint cans, for instance, can typically be recycled at your local Enviro-Depot. Cans with leftover paint in them can be taken to a designated depot for recycling. There is a permanent depot in Bayer’s Lake, with pop-up depots happening across the city from May-October.

For electronics, if your old DVD player, stereo or television is still left curbside at the end of the weekend, it should go to a designated city drop-off.  You can find your closest electronics drop-off location right here

If you are into renovations, you can call a private disposal service to haul that debris and stuff away. We used one when we ripped up the basement flooring and had a bunch of drywall and construction mess and it worked out really well. 

It’s really easy to find the info about these things. It’s important we all play our part in proper disposal. Download the Halifax Recycles App for handy reference.

*Cell phones! I just found out you can donate your old Smart Phones to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind using little donation kits you can pick up at the Halifax Library! Your old phone will be refurbished and given to someone who needs an assistive device!! Love this so so much. You can likely call your local library branch or the CNIB directly to make sure they have the donation kits available. 

How to ‘Merchandise your Free Stuff’ 

The trick to being a successful Curbside ‘putter-outer’ is merchandising your stuff. What does that mean? It means making it look appealing! Just because you’re giving it away for free doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put some effort into showcasing what you’ve got. 

Remember the goal is for you to declutter your stuff quickly and efficiently. The best way to do that is to make it easy for someone else to take it off your hands.

One great trick is to group like items together. If you have a bunch of artwork, stand it all up in a box labeled ‘FREE ARTWORK’. 

If you have decor items, like candlesticks or vases, you might actually overturn a box or crate to make a little table set up to display them in a nicer way. 

DVDs, board games, household items? They work well on a tarp on the grass. The tarp is an invitation for someone to stop, get out and look at what you’ve got spread out. Just remember to put a sign that says “FREE TO TAKE” somewhere so there’s no confusion.

What to do with Leftover Items

If you don’t end up getting rid of all your Curbside Give Away stuff, that’s okay! There are plenty of options to donate them and benefit the community.

But remember to take items that don’t get taken back into your home at the end of the weekend. You can always put them up for free on Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace. 

Community Organizations such as the Salvation Army, Canadian Diabetes Association and Big Brothers-Big Sisters also have donation boxes around the city. 

 

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