Getting Rid of Things Responsibly

Students deal with a lot of changes in their lives around this time of year. Some are graduating and transitioning into the “real world,” others may be moving between apartments or houses, and others are just transitioning from one year to the next. Whatever your situation is, you’re probably going to have a lot of stuff during that transition. Luckily, this is a college town, which means there are always places and people looking to buy, sell and trade things; and donating or selling your stuff is much more sustainable and ethical than sending it straight to the landfill. From clothing and furniture to unused cosmetics and craft supplies, there’s a place in Eugene for all of your random clutter to go out of your life and into someone else’s. Here are just a few places around town that you can turn one student’s trash is another person’s treasure!

1.Donation Centers

Goodwill, St. Vinnie’s, Salvation Army - take your pick! There are plenty of donation centers that will happily accept clothing, accessories, furniture, CDs, DVDs, LPs, books and kitchenware, just to name a few. Do it for the tax write-off and the kindness of your heart. 

2. Womenspace

Womenspace serves survivors of intimate partner violence by providing crisis support, emergency shelters, support groups and childcare. They accept donations at their office on Pearl St. Due to limited space, they have a specific wish list of needs on their website (https://www.womenspaceinc.org/wish-list), which includes toiletries, cosmetics and arts + craft supplies.

3. Ophelia’s Place

Ophelia’s Place is a local organization which aims to empower, educate and support girls which accepts donations for their programs and services. They accept general craft supplies and books. If you have any granola bars kickin’ around from your last Costco trip, they also accept healthy snacks! Donations can be brought to their location on Pearl St. 

4. Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts (MECCA)

If you have any art supplies laying around, chances are, MECCA could use it. MECCA is a local nonprofit dedicated to conserving the arts and the environment. They accept donations at their location at 449 Willamette St. Everything from textiles and fabric scrap to shells and beads contributes to their Teacher Resource Center and Warehouse, studio space, and various special events. 

5. FOOD for Lane County

Most students don’t have to worry about their canned goods going bad over the summer. But graduating seniors probably have small collections of pasta, rice, spices and soups that won’t exactly fit in their carry-ons. FOOD for Lane County will accept all of these and more, including fresh and frozen foods. Check their website (foodforlanecounty.org/donate/) to find the donation center nearest you. 

6. Buffalo Exchange

We get it - students (and graduates!) need money. Buffalo Exchange is one of the best places to bring higher-quality, name brand clothing and accessories to make a little money. Haul your bags to their location on 5th and Pearl, and they’ll sort through it for you. You’ll leave with some store credit or cash, and can donate whatever they don’t take.

7. Plato’s Closet

Plato’s Closet has a similar model to Buffalo Exchange - they’ll buy clothing, accessories, and shoes that are in season and in style. However (in my experience, at least), they’re a little less picky about what they’re willing to take from you, so may just have more luck here than Buffalo. One of the best things about Plato’s Closet is their new text-based system, so you can just drop off your clothes and they’ll text you when they’re sorted and ready to be picked up. This makes it especially easy to make a few extra bucks while on a busy student schedule. 

8. Facebook Marketplace

You can sell just about anything on Facebook marketplace. I once saw someone trying to sell wire coat hangers shaped into swans as “art” for $5 a piece. What’s great about Facebook marketplace is there are many groups you can join based on location. Some groups to look for include: Eugene Classifieds, Eugene Buy-Sell-Trade, and Duck Swap. Simply upload a few photos of your item(s), name your price, and specify whether it’s U-haul or can be delivered. Voila! 

9. Ask Your Friends, and Your Friends’ Friends

While many students are looking to get rid of things, just as many are also looking to buy. Send out a few messages to friends, group chats, and classmates: “Anyone interested in this?” You can also make a few bucks by offering a friends and family discount.