When you move, you realize how much extra stuff you have lying around. When you move to a smaller home, you realize how much extra stuff you have that needs to go. When you move into a smaller home that you have spent months fixing up, you realize you have magnified your problem as you now have stuff from two homes that needs to go.

We spent over a year updating light fixtures, door knobs, hinges, handles, ceiling fans, electrical outlets, switches, and closet doors before we started moving into our new home. Do you know what all of these have in common? They were all made of metal. I didn’t want to see them go to a landfill so I looked for a nearby recycling facility that buys scrap metal. I took all my junk and received $35 for the pile.

Fast forward a few months. We were in the final stages of moving. We found ourselves with an old basketball goal, commercial treadmill, recumbent bike, squat rack, wagon, transmission, as well as an assortment of other metal items. What did I do? I took them to the same place. This time I received $140. Not bad for taking a few extra steps.

Too often, when it comes time to dispose of things, we believe our only options are to give the items to charity or throw them away. A thrifty perspective means you believe everything has value, even when it appears it doesn’t. My pocket has a few more dollars while that metal will be recycled into something new. Look around your house and see what metal items you have that need to be disposed of, then find a recycler that may pay you for those items. If you can’t find one, start one. Before we moved, there was a home near us with a sign that read, “Scrap Metal Welcome”. Maybe you can be that person who collects metal then takes it to a recycler who isn’t near you. Perhaps you can start your own recycling business where you buy, sort, then ship large quantities of metal to those that reprocess recycled materials. According to the book The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko, a scrap metal recycling business is a great way to become a millionaire.

Either way, look around and see what metal you have that needs to go. Find a way to recycle it and possibly get a few dollars for your troubles. Time for me to run off and take that old filing cabinet and one last ceiling fan to the recycler.

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