My Realtor taught me to be green.

Services for Real Estate Pros with Newcomers Welcome Service

The first time I sold a house (way back in 1975) I took the advice of my Realtor and cleared out all of the unused and unwanted items.  It was great advice, my home sold quickly and we got lots of comments about how clean our house looked.  Back then we just cleaned out and shipped everything off to the landfill.  I have since sold several more homes and repeated the cleaning process.  The difference is that I have accumulated a group of resources for disposing of items that someone else might be able to use.  

Sometimes people move first and then realize they don't want everything they brought with them.   So Newcomers Welcome Service includes information in our free Welcome Packet about recycling usable items.  Here are some of my favorite places:

ReUse Center.  Part of Recycle Ann Arbor, this store is terrific.  They accept donations of household and building items (not clothing).  It's also a fun place to rummage around for items you want to buy.  In my house, I have a toaster ($2.), a rice cooker ($5.), a waffle iron ($2.) and a Total Gym ($15) that I found while shopping there.  They are located at 2420 S. Industrial Hwy, 734-222-7880.   You can check them out on the web at  Donations are tax deductible.

Children's Orchard.  For kids clothes, toys, and equipment you can't beat this store.  Take in items that have been outgrown.  They will buy what they can resell in the store and you can donate the rest to either the Salvation Army or Washtenaw County Support & Treatment Services (they have a location at Kaiser School in the Willow Run School district where folks in need can get children and adult clothing free of charge) What a deal, get a little money and make a charitable donation at the same location!  Shopping there is fun, too.  I buy lots of clothes for my nieces and nephews and the prices are great. They are located at 887 Eisenhower, 734-995-8889.  Check them out on the web at  You can get a tax receipt for items that you donate.  Check with the store for details. 

Purple Heart.  For clothing, books, small household items.  I love this group because they come to your house and pick up. You can request a pick up from their website-  Since I started donating they call several days before they are going to have a truck in the area.  I clean out an area of the house and leave the items out on their pick up day.  Very convenient.   Donations are tax deductible.  

I Sold It On eBay.   For collectible and higher value items, I drop these off at the I Sold It On eBay store.  They take the pictures, post the items, collect the funds, and mail a check.  Very easy. They are located at 889B W. Eisenhower Pkwy, 734-761-6187.  Check them out on the web at

Comments (2)

Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Great information, I now keep a paper bag in my closet, since Salvation Army is so close to my office, I just swing by and drop it off when it gets full.

Aug 27, 2008 03:51 AM
Ben Lauer
Lauer Real Estate - Dallas, TX

I think it's a great idea to clean out your home before you put it on the market. I'm an agent that specializing in the seller's side of the transaction and I've found the best and easiest way to make your home look cleaner and larger is to remove all the excess. I think a really good reason to use an agent is that you're hopefully getting a trained eye that can look over your home and give you advice as to what you can do to help it sell.

Aug 28, 2008 04:17 AM