How to Give Away Stuff on the Curb

Giving away stuff on the curb seems like a no-brainer. If you’re giving stuff away, that means it’s free, and who doesn’t love free stuff? If you’re putting it on the curb, there isn’t far to go. Just throw it out there and you’re done. The junk is gone, out of your life forever.

Unless it’s not. And it sits there in a heap, looking trashier and trashier as the days go by with it unclaimed.

Pretty soon, you have to admit defeat and throw it all away because it’s been ruined by the weather.

We have been putting unwanted items out on the curb for free for years (a couple of decades, at least). We have rarely had anything sit for more than 2 days (that would be our old furnace, which was still working but had to be replaced when we expanded the square-footage of our house). Usually, the stuff we put out is gone within a few hours.

How do we do it? By following a few tips:

  1. Even if your items are free, people don’t want to pick up stuff that looks like it’s ready for a landfill. Make your stuff look its best by cleaning it up. Dust off the cobwebs; wash off the dirt. Get it as ready to use as possible.
  2. Arrange the stuff you are giving away. This applies whether you are giving away one item or several. If you’re putting out one item, such as a bike or a chair, don’t just toss it on the ground in any old position. Put it on the curb in such a way that people can see the entire thing. If you have several items to give away, arrange them so people can see there is purpose behind your arrangement. We have given away several pieces of furniture that we placed so that people could visualize them as a living room arrangement.
  3. Put up a “FREE” sign. We can’t stress this one enough. How are people supposed to know you’re giving stuff away if you don’t make it obvious? Especially if you don’t take the time to clean or arrange the items? Likely, they’re going to think there’s a special trash pick-up day in the neighborhood or they’ll worry that they are taking something not meant for the taking. Don’t make the “FREE” sign too fancy, though. We learned the hard way that a nice-looking “FREE” sign is ripe for taking.

There you have it, a few simple tips to make your free curb-side stuff go away.

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