After you have been selling, gifting and donating for awhile you will begin to come across some things that you don't know how to get rid of except to the dump. And while the dump is an option, it really is one of last resort and with a little research you can probably find someplace/someone who will except your items. For instance, if you have hard to get rid of items like used mattresses, large furniture and even TV's there are local charities that specialize in helping people transitioning out of homelessness and poverty set up a household. Here in the Minneapolis area of Minnesota that organization is Bridging. You can bring your items to them or they will send a truck, and the muscle to move you items, to you for a fee. Partially used makeup and beauty products are another hard to dispose of item, but many local women's shelters will gladly except accept this kind of donation. And don't forget about using old standbys like Craig's List or Freecycle as both are free online sites to list your items to give away to other individuals. Also, if you live on a busy street you can always just put items on the curb with a free sign on it. Once when we were bringing items to the curb from our garage (which is at the back of our house on an alley) the previous items disappeared by the time we walked to the garage and back. Now that's instant gratification for you!
Another, great way to dispose of unwanted stuff and even make a little extra money is to sell any used scrap metal and even fine metal items you don't need anymore. I used to be a metalsmith artist years ago and had lots of left over copper and even though it was a small amount of only 10 pounds my local scrapyard happily took it and gave me a check to boot! My husband has repaired computers for years and has a huge stash of cords that contain guess what? Lots of copper! Now he is also off to the scrapyard to recycle and make some spare change. I'm not too sentimental a person so I have even sold old jewelry and christening gifts that were made of precious metals such as silver, gold or platinum to a local shop in my area for cash. It may sound a bit harsh to get rid of a christening cup in this manner, but I think of it as one less memento my son will have to deal with after I'm gone. This truly is my thought process as I filter through all our stuff - "What use will this be to Sam?" Does he really need a large tub of all my childhood photos, drawings and treasures? Or, would a single scrapbook be a better way to remember his mom? Maybe it's a morbid outlook, but with my mom being a hoarder I often think of all her stuff that will one day be my stuff whether I want it to be or not. Paring down all our belongings, especially those of sentimental value I like to think of as a future gift to my son. I want to give him memories of the past, but not weigh him down with it.