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Woman stressing over a cluttered room

4 smart ways to eliminate unwanted stuff

Stuff occupies our lives, much of it kept in our homes. In fact, according to estimates from the Los Angeles Times, there are over 300,000 items in the average U.S. household - enough to give organizing guru Marie Kondo a migraine.

Over time, household items that were once all the rage become out of date. Children grow older, wear and tear takes its toll and the rapid pace of technological innovation renders the state of the art to obsolete status seemingly overnight.

Big or small, stuff takes up space, which comes at a premium when you're looking to declutter and organize. So, what do you do with it all? Should you sell it online or in a yard sale? If it's technological in nature, how do you get rid of it responsibly?

Here are a few ideas that can help you resolve your stuff struggles.

1. Take advantage of social media

On Facebook and Twitter alone, there are over 1 billion active users, according to company estimates. That's an enormous base of potential customers to sell the items you no longer want or need.

As noted by NBC news, Facebook Marketplace is a fairly recent phenomenon that the social media giant developed in 2016, which enables people to locate and/or sell used items in their area. You can use this online avenue to sell or simply to inform people nearby that you're giving away X, Y or Z.

clothing on hangers2. Consider donating

People are always in need of things, be it clothing, computer supplies, video games or lightly used furniture. Speak to friends, co-workers or relatives about any consignment shops in your area.

You can contact them and find out what they accept and what to check for to ensure the items are fully functional. You can even donate your car, which you may be able to claim as a tax deduction in April.

3. Re-gift unwanted presents

Just as everyone has stuff, everyone has received a gift they really don't want. In fact, according to a 2017 poll from Pureprofile, the average adult receives one gift during the holidays that he or she didn't want, retailing for an average of around $50.

You may want to consider re-gifting these items. However, courtesy and manners experts warn that it's best to do this when the original items come from certain people more than others, such as co-workers. Also, ensure that the clothing, appliances or gadgets you're re-gifting are unused.

4. Reach out to suppliers before disposing of electronics

The time between the newest and current model for a smartphone, tablet or gaming system seems to be getting shorter and shorter. And as such, people are updating more frequently as well. You can't merely throw these gadgets in the trash, however, as they can wind up in landfills, harming the environment.

Get in touch with whatever vendor from which you bought the device. There's a good chance it will either buy it back from you or take it off your hands at no cost; they'll make sure it's disposed of properly. You can even use a service like Gazelle to trade in that older iPhone, iPad, or Android and get some cash in return.