Clearing out the excess generally leaves you with piles of stuff. Big piles. Eventually, though, you get tired of the trips up and down the stair to load the bags and boxes in the car for a trip to Goodwill. What to do?
You have a couple of good options:
1) Sell it on Craigslist.
Craigslist can be a great option if you want to get rid of stuff and make a little money at the same time. It's easy and free to post ads, but the downside is you may have to wait a while before you can sell any of it (especially the big stuff, like furniture). Or, worst case scenario, nobody wants to buy it, leading you to question your taste and sanity in purchasing it in the first place.
2) Give it away via Freecycle.
This is my personal favorite route, best used when I'm more interested in gaining space in my home than in recouping some of the money I spent originally. I gave away a bookshelf, two CD books, and a curtain rod and curtains yesterday. Seeing that stuff go out the door with individuals who would use and appreciate them was fabulous.
Another huge bonus with Freecycle is that the stuff is unlikely to wind up in the dumpster -- never a guarantee with donating to Goodwill. In fact, more merchandise ends up in the dumpsters there than on the shelves. This is particularly true of clothing, which is inexpensive and easily obtainable nowadays due to manufacturing. I recommend Freecycle for almost all clothing in good condition (no stains, holes, tears, or other blemish), that way you can guarantee that the clothes end up with someone who needs them and will use them.
Although I've sold a thing or two on Craigslist, my primary concern has been to reclaim the space in my apartment, and Freecycle has allowed me to do that in a timely manner.
What methods do you like to employ when getting rid of unwanted/unused items?