Current Issue / DU Alumni / People

Gone For Good’s Reid Husmer turns trash into cash

"What’s not valuable to you is valuable to someone else,” says alumnus Reid Husmer. “Instead of just dumping it away, we can give it a better home.” Photo: Wayne Armstrong

Reid Husmer (BA international business ’96) despises clutter. When he feels his life is disorganized, he cleans. He boasts that his home has achieved a bare minimum of efficiency — TV, couch, kitchen table, bed. His 7-year-old son’s room, though, is a different story.

“I get to the point with my son where his room has too much stuff, because kids like a toy for five minutes and then put it aside,” Husmer says. “Adults aren’t that different; they love their toys, too. They’ll just pile them in the garage instead of their bedroom.”

And when adults want to get rid of their toys, they can call Husmer’s company Gone For Good, which he started from his home in 2008 and now runs from a storefront in Littleton, Colo.

The premise is simple: Husmer and his employee, Jonathan Inaba, will come to your house and, for a price, haul away a roomful of junk. The philosophy is more involved: There is value in what others throw away, and there also is a responsibility to the environment.

“We’re an eco-friendly hauling company,” Husmer says. “A lot of companies will haul things from your house. We sort through it and try to resell it. If we can’t, we donate it to charity. If we can’t do that, we break down the materials — wood, metal, foam — and give it to our recycling partners, instead of it going into a landfill.”

For the business to thrive, Husmer has built fruitful relationships with professional organizers, Realtors, recyclers and charities (the Epilepsy Foundation is a sizeable beneficiary). Customers get 30 percent of resales after 30 days—a figure that has ranged from $30 to $300—and Husmer says he’s been surprised by how many items he’s been able to resell.

“You go on Craigslist or eBay, and it’s amazing what people will buy. What’s not valuable to you is valuable to someone else,” he says. “Instead of just dumping it away, we can give it a better home.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *