2 Clears the Clutter: What to do with stuff you don't need

You may have piles of stuff you don't know what to do with. From old art supplies to fabric remnants and costume jewelry, even though they're items you no longer want, you may not feel good about throwing them away.  Well, you don't have to! Consumer expert Amy Davis found businesses that want all your stuff that no one else will take. 

Maybe you've got old electronics or toys with missing parts. Thrift stores don't want the items, but you figure somebody's got to want them; so they sit in your house taking up space. Now you can gather up all that clutter because we've found a place for it. 

Inside the colorful space at 1719 Live Oak on Houston's east end is a lot of stuff. When we stopped by, there was an antique calculator, dolls, doll parts, picture frames, even old roller skates. 

"It's not the traditional thrift store thing like old wooden crutches or doll heads or some kind of broken bent wing plane or something," explained Ramona Brady. She's the curator and owner of Texas Art Asylum, Houston's only creative reuse center. 

"It's good for those things that you think might not have value to anybody," Brady said. "Here's this thing that we don't use anymore."  
Whether it's an artist looking for supplies or someone just looking to pick up a new hobby, like knitting, on the cheap someone wants your clutter. 

Almost everything in the store is $8 a pound. The list of items they won't accept is short. 

"We don't take styrofoam anymore," she said. "We don't take most books because there's too many." 
Interior decorators also donate leftover fabric and wallpaper remnants. You can easily buy enough for an accent wall in a powder room. 

"It would cost you quite a bit if you went to a store and bought it," Brady told Davis. 

Another reason you can feel good about leaving your clutter here? One Saturday every month, public school teachers and nonprofits can come shop in the supply room and take everything they can fit in a paper grocery bag for $5. 

We've also compiled a list of places that will also take other items off of your hands.  

Old Electronics/household electronics: No kitchen appliances

Children's books: Drop off at Blue Willow bookstore or Speedy Printing for individual donations


Harbor Ministries accepts furniture, clothes, housewares, tools, appliances, food, vehicles and more to benefit the homeless and in need. You can drop off your items at the Harbor Ministries Thrift Store in South Houston.

About the Author:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.