My purging process around the house came to a near conclusion last week with a good ole’ fashion garage sale, and I followed up with some garage sale tips. I was able to pocket over $200 while getting rid of a bunch of junk (er… treasure) around the house.
This, paired with selling on Craigslist, EBay, and Amazon over the past few months has brought my total decluttering bounty to over $1,000.
Not surprisingly, I do not miss one thing
The list of things I’ve sold includes: a couch, a bed, a bookshelf, a fake houseplant, a real houseplant, two old bikes, suitcases, pet supplies, a dresser, a nightstand, and much more. I’ve also given a few garbage bags full of clothing and 6 boxes of household items to charity. That’s enough stuff that I wasn’t using to basically fill up, wall-to-wall, about 200 sq. feet of home space (or about 500 sq. feet of properly furnished space).
It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was a 6 month process, that included:
- Going through every belonging in the ENTIRE house on three separate occasions, each time with a more critical eye than the last.
- Researching where to sell what items for the highest return.
- Posting and selling dozens of items on Craigslist, EBay, and Amazon.
- Planning for and holding the garage sale for everything I wasn’t selling elsewhere.
- Donating to charity four different times.
- Recycling what I could that a charity would not take.
- Throwing away the rest (I’m proud to say that I threw out less than a trash bag worth of stuff throughout this entire process).
Here are five reasons to start YOUR decluttering project, without any delay:
1. Your Stuff is Not Going Anywhere on it’s Own
Unless you leave your doors open inviting in burglars (I actually left my garage sale unguarded for a bit, so don’t laugh), your stuff is not going anywhere on its own. It’s up to you to physically move it and get rid of it. Stop putting off the inevitable.
I had held on to my notes from classwork in college. How ridiculous is that?
2. Your Stuff is Depreciating in Value
This ties in to #1. If you’re going to get rid of your stuff, why not sell it before it depreciates in value even more than it already has? Sure, there may be a few antiques or collectibles that are exceptions to the rule, but not many.
3. Get Rid of your Stuff BEFORE you have to
Let’s say that you are offered a new job or lose your existing one and have to make a quick move. What do we all do when this happens? We fill the truck by priority and get rid of everything that doesn’t fit. Not only does this represent wasted money, but you just added your belongings to a landfill instead of getting rid of them responsibly. Don’t wait for this to happen. Sell or donate while you have the freedom and time to do it and give others the chance to use something you no longer do and get it for a bargain.
4. It will Feel Damn Good
It took a while to get to this point, but my dwelling feels noticeably ‘lighter’. My conscience feels lighter too. More space, less clutter, less dust, and more of a feeling like I own my possessions versus them owning me.
5. You May Just be Able to Downsize your Home & Save a Ton of Money
When we (humans) move into a place, we tend to buy based on how much stuff we have. Ironically, we got started buy buying stuff to fill empty rooms. Why not end that cycle and cut down on your mortgage or rent, property taxes, and energy bills? I need 200-500 less square feet to hold my possessions than I did just 6 months ago. And my next house will be significantly smaller as a result. This will produce multiple times the return that I received for the items I sold.
- Have you purged recently? How did you get rid of most of your stuff?
- What benefits did you realize after selling/getting rid of your stuff?
Awesome! I just purged a bunch of clothes I had that either no longer fit or I didn’t wear anymore. I definitely still need to get rid of a few things.
Decluttering is a big goal of mine for the next few months. I’ve started selling things on Craigslist, and already I’m finding that I need less storage than I thought I was going to have to buy.
I’m all to familiar with the depreciation of goods. I’ve recently traded in my old laptop on Gazelle and got a little over $100 for it. If I had done it when I looked it up the first time a year ago, I would have gotten twice that. It had just been sitting there collecting dust the whole time. Oh well, now I know.
The other cost, especially with electronics, is the risk of damaging or losing it before you can sell it. I’m still looking for an old cell phone that I was going to sell but was misplaced in my last move months ago. It’s probably worth next to nothing now, if I ever find it.
You know, old cell phones typically can fetch a lot more than you may expect. I’ve sold 3-4 year old outdated phones for $50. Bottom line, don’t just toss them in the trash!
Getting rid of clutter alaways feels good. If you can sell some of your belongings in the process–so much the better. I believe that if you hav not used something in the last 6-8 months you are probably NOT going to. We have had a couple a garage sales and I was shocked at what sells. If it doesn’t sell at the garage sale–donate it or give it away!
We’d like to get around to de-cluttering too. We don’t have the luxury of having a large house like most of the people we know so we have to be more efficient in what we do keep.