Depending on the type of junk you’re clearing out, you might consider giving some of it to a charity. But bear in mind that charities apply fairly strict standards to the materials they receive. If it’s clothes, for example, the fabrics must be in good condition, shoes must come in pairs, etc. With furniture, many charities will insist that it adheres to current fire-safety regulations, especially if they’ll put it to use in social housing, for example. Charities will also expect you to cover the costs of getting the junk to them, of course — they’re grateful for the things they receive but aren’t simply providing a removal service.
So giving to charity is a great option for recycling the materials and gives you the knowledge that you’ve helped a worthy cause for the good of society. But it also makes you have to sort through your junk in advance rather than simply chucking it into a dumpster. It’s therefore a more time-consuming process and typically won’t get rid of everything.
With charity, the old saying goes “Charity begins at home”. So start by considering whether someone you know or a relative could use the things you’re getting rid of. Baby clothes could go to a cousin that’s expecting a baby; old TVs would be warmly welcomed by students preparing to move into college accommodation; and furniture will help anyone setting up their first home.
The important point is not to let anything go to waste. Especially in times of a recession, people can use all the help they can get.