I hope you have amassed several bags and boxes of culled items from yesterday’s post in our Blogging from A to Z Challenge. At our house, we are tearing up the concrete floor in our basement today in preparation for a second bathroom. Last night, I went through all of our art/craft supplies and reduced them by half. This morning, I rummaged through my tablecloths, gift bags, and wrapping supplies, condensing them, as well. A stack of beat-up folding chairs made their way out the door, and I donated a couple of old DVD players and several pieces of inexpensive pieces of art we’ve had stowed away for years. Here’s the pile of “stuff” that left our house today:
Recently, a friend posted on FB that she is finally ready to get rid of the excess in her home. Here’s what she wrote:
I know the first step is admitting you have a problem, well I know I do. Now the problem is actually getting the courage to do something about it. I cannot do it alone. What is the best way get rid of things when it is so hard for a person to…. I am finally going to try and get rid of probably half the things in my house. I would like to recoup some of the financial value of these items…. what would be the best route? I have more things that any one person could or should have and they are all in like new or still in new condition. Is consignment the best route, garage sale, ebay? Not really sure what to do…. All I know is it is about time!
Here was my response:
It’s great to recoup money lost by re-selling your stuff, but it can also really put the brakes on making progress. If you really feel you must sell it, give yourself a time limit: if you don’t /can’t sell your stuff by a certain date, commit to simply donating it. It’s a loss for sure, but that loss really happened when you walked out of the store with it, not now that you can’t re-sell it. Let it go, and discover the enormous value of living without all the extra clutter. For the fraction of a return you might get, it’s just not worth the peace of mind you have, knowing it’s out of your home and getting use somewhere else.
I have definitely fallen prey to feeling the need to sell something in order to recoup my financial loss or to make some money for our family. But, as you can read in this post, the time invested in re-selling your discarded items is a loss in itself. I have spent weeks with piles of stuff (outgrown clothes, household items, etc.) covering my bedroom floor or filling my closet, futilely trying to sell them on a trade site or on eBay. Every time I entered my room, I felt stressed out by the mess and my inability to generate a sale. In the end, I got so fed up, I bagged it all and donated it, like I should have done in the first place. This cycle has happened more than once.
The lesson here is: Unless you desperately need that $5, $10, or $20, just get rid of your discarded items.
As far as where to donate, I often err on the side of donating to the closest and easiest site, which is Goodwill. If I have higher quality items, I will make a special trip to our locally-owned thrift store. The proceeds go to their food pantry, which helps provide for families in our community. We also have a local shelter for women and children, a St. Vincent de Paul, and a monthly pick-up from the Vietnam Veterans and Purple Heart. There is no shortage of worthwhile organizations who can put your discarded items to good use. Choose one that lines up with your values or interests, and make arrangements today. Put those bags in the trunk of your vehicle or make the call for a pick up. Donations are tax-deductible, and they are a great way to help those in need.
Blogging from A to Z:
Day 1: Assess
Day 2: Beauty
Day 3: Cull