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Squawky Acres

Decluttering large amounts of homeschool materials - when and how?

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I need to get rid of boxes and boxes of homeschooling materials in order to find my dining room, and am feeling overwhelmed by the task.  I am not very concerned with getting a lot of money for them, but I do want them to go to families who know what they are and can use them.  The easiest thing to do would be to donate it all to Goodwill, but I am concerned that it might just be discarded, and wouldn't actually get to homeschooling families.  I have also heard that I could sell it on Ebay, but that sounds time-consuming, and January probably isn't the best time to sell.  When does everyone start looking for new homeschooling materials?  Are there still nonprofits that accept boxes of homeschooling materials and send them to families who need them?

I also thought of inviting over all of my homeschooling friends to just take a look and take what they want (and then maybe I would feel better about donating the rest?), but everyone is so busy and it might be difficult to schedule something like this, and I want it all gone right away.  If I listed everything and made a local Facebook post, I'm afraid it would take a lot of coordination to get the right things to the right people.

Please let me know if there is an easy (but meaningful) way to get rid of everything!

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Are you in any homeschooling groups or have friends who are?  I just took my extras to a meeting and put it out for people to grab and sent leftovers to Goodwill.  But I've also seen members post/share stuff from friends who aren't in the group.  One retired homeschooler had an open house (advertised on several homeschooling group sites) where people could come to her house a certain day and look through her stuff.

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I have seriously cleared out for a move. It was curriculum sale time so I loaded everything up and took it to a sale and nearly gave it away (and I did give lots away). Even with most things priced $1 and some more expensive curriculum for $10-15 I made several hundred dollars and lots of families were happy to find deals. At the end of all that I felt good donating the rest. I have actually done this mass reduction twice. I felt good about getting rid of it and I got a little money for it so it was a good compromise. It can take a lot of effort to get ready for a sale but if you make almost everything $1 it doesn’t take much to price it 😉

But sounds like you don’t want to hold out for curriculum sale time? I would list the most valuable stuff for local sale and then offer to let people come browse and then donate the rest if I really couldn’t wait.

 

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It really doesn't take a lot of coordination to list on Facebook.
I made piles, sorted by subject and by grade groupings (K-3, 4-6..).  I took pictures of the spread out piles.  When someone responded that they wanted the pile or x,x,x from the pile, I took it, wrote their name on a post it, and stacked up the books with the post-it on top.  I coordinated everyone to come grab it within the week, with one exception.
At our last place I just loaded it all into my trunk.  When we went to park day I opened the trunk, invited people to browse and take what they wanted.  Easy-peasy.

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Here there is one thrift store that has a homeschool section and runs special homeschool sales/events at the start of each semester. It's run by a church to benefit overseas missions. It's a good place to send homeschool materials that aren't worth selling, but that would be useful, because they sell stuff really, really cheaply.

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I listed all my materials in various homeschool related facebook groups. Some stuff for sale, the rest for giveaway. Got rid of everything.

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Thank you so much for all of the suggestions.  I'm thinking I will list a few of the larger high-value things, like my Nancy Larson science kits, on Ebay -- and then maybe snap rough photos and list out the rest and send it to my homeschooling friends or put it on Facebook to give away -- giving everyone a week in which to pick things up.  I don't want to bother pricing things and holding onto them for the curriculum sales this spring, but maybe I can see if a friend would like to take the rest and sell it along with her own things at a sale.

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Our library has a homeschool group that meets a couple times per month. In the past moms cleaning out materials have brought it and left it (with permission) in a room for other parents to go through during that time. 

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I just dropped off a box at the library bookstore.  I had listed on several sites, no offers. I know how you feel about the coordination, work.  I have a lot more to go and think I'm just giving it all to the library.   Lots of homeschool moms are always in the bookstore looking for stuff.  

Good luck!

Edited by readinmom

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Thanks.  I like the library idea, and wish we had something similar, but I don’t live in a very populated area, so there are only a few homeschooling families in town and I know all of them.

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Why not call Goodwill to what they would do with it?  I buy used books all the time on Amazon or eBay that are sold by various Goodwill stores around the country. Maybe yours does that, too.

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I just had another idea. I wonder if I can ask our librarian if I could leave a few boxes in the back for a week, and just direct local homeschooling friends to the library so that they can browse through at their leisure.  The library is very supportive of homeschoolers and might be happy to do that.

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We have a mission's organization locally where a lot of missionaries on home assignment live.  Many of them homeschool.  They have their own little thrift store of sorts, but it is all 100% free to their missionaries.  I just took down several boxes of stuff to them.  

We also have a used homeschool curriculum store that co-signs.  I sometimes take things there.  It is a little bit of a pain because they are out of the way, don't take everything, so you have to sit there while they rifle through everything, etc....

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I sell my books at a local Half Price Books. I don't make very much, but it's a simple way to unload it. There is a homeschooling section in the store, so I'm hoping the right people are finding them.

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