So you want to get rid of your stuff. Maybe you're moving or doing some major spring cleaning. Perhaps you're replacing an old TV with a flatscreen, or you're relinquishing a plant or piece of art that you don't want to throw in the trash. What options do you have to give your discards a second life?
Drop hazardous materials at the local Environmental Service Center
1570 Terry Road at Highway 80, 601-960-0000
Trashing or pouring out toxic liquids like paint and motor oil contaminates the local ground water. Take hazardous materials to the Environmental Service Center so the city can dispose of them. The center is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; and the fourth Saturday of each month.
Get rid of electronics properly
Environmental Service Center Computer Co-Op (2807 Old Canton Road, Suite B, 601-981-6925)
Electronics disposed of carelessly may stack up in landfill, pollute the air through incineration, or be exported to developing countries. The Environmental Service Center recycles electronics like computers and cell phones, and the Computer Co-Op recycles those same items, plus ink cartridges and CDs.
Organize a garage sale
There are plenty of tips online about how to organize a low-hassle garage sale. Invite your neighbors to join you for a several-home sale, which tends to attract more buyers because of the broader selection. Plus, it's a good excuse to socialize with the folks on your block or in your building. List your garage sale on in online classified site or a the local paper such as the Jackson Free Press classified section.
Donate to local thrift stores or shelters
Most of us have extra clothing and housewares cluttering our homes that other people in Jackson could use. Donate your clothing to Stewpot Community Services or Goodwill (where the profit from the store goes into job-training programs for disadvantaged people). You can ask the Salvation Army to earmark your donation for their Center of Hope Transitional Shelter, or schedule a curbside pickup of a piece of furniture in good condition. Your donations are tax-deductible, so ask for a receipt.
Sell to a consignment store or salvage
If you have something of value, call your local consignment store or salvage to see if they have a need for it. That way, you can earn money and make your belongings available to people who could use them.
Host your own swap
Schedule a swap of clothing, books or other household items with your friends. At a clothing swap, get your crafty pals to bring their sewing machines and screen-printing materials to give old clothing a new look.
Ask your friends if they could use your hand-me-downs
Send out an e-mail, or post a Facebook status update, asking if your friends need what you have. You may be able to provide your baby's outgrown clothing for a friend's newborn. If you're leaving for vacation, your neighbors might be able to use your extra milk or produce.
Reserve a space at the flea market
The Elton Road Antiques & Flea Market (4100 Interstate 55, 601-372-3223) is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends, and sells everything you could imagine (except animals). Just show up with your old items and grab the best spot available. Bring friends who have items to sell and share the $50 vendor fee for the weekend.
Post to the Freecycle Yahoo Group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Freecycle-JacksonMS/)
The free online service matches people getting rid of things with people who can use them, keeping these items out of a landfill. With a Yahoo account, you can sign up for membership in the online Jackson Freecycle group. This allows you to e-mail more than 2,000 members if you have an item to give away for free, and to receive announcements when other members post free items.
Leave decent furniture on the curb with a "Free" sign
If you don't abuse the privilege of leaving your unwanted furniture on your curb (for just a day or two), it's a simple way to get rid of something. This method works especially well if your neighbors are college students.
Fix, refurbish or repurpose what you have instead of getting rid of it
Fix or refurbish: Chances are, even if you don't know how to fix or refurbish that rundown piece of furniture, you know someone who does. A few nails or a coat of paint is often all you need to extend an item's life or make it more stylish. Search Web sites like eHow.com and video.about.com for instructions.
Repurpose: Use old papers as packing materials, or use the blank sides to make notepads. Cut up magazines and glue them to cardstock to make original greeting cards. Make recycled art. Sew the bottom of an old tank top together to make a reusable shopping bag. Imagine all the ways an object could be used before throwing it away.