|The donation box in my office. I'm too tired to traipse downstairs to get a photo of the stuff in the basement. Just imagine it's about twice as much as what's here.|
I want to get it out as fast as possible. I know from experience that much of it has a way of creeping back into your life if you don't move it out quickly. I've already found a few things that I know were in the box hidden under Sophia's pillow.
The next step is actually getting it out of my house (and my life) for good.
Here are several possibilities:
Give it away
I have actually saved a few things for friends. One of the things I worked on this month was the clothing storage in the basement. I have three daughters, which means I have bins and bins full of clothes for little girls. And bigger girls.
At one point, I thought we would have a fourth child, so I never got rid of Sophia's clothes when she outgrew them. Sadly, it wasn't to be, and Sophia is now 8 years old and I have too many clothes that I don't want to keep. I started actively giving away her clothes when she was 6 years old, but there were still all of those 5 and under bins sitting in the basement.
To make a long story short, I was able to give most of those 5 and under clothes away, between two of my friends who have girls that are younger than mine. It feels good to help someone out—I know I always appreciated hand-me-downs, even if I couldn't use all of them.
We also gave a few books away to friends we knew would enjoy them.
Have a garage sale
No thank you. I know some people love doing this and the thought of making some good money off of your clutter is an attractive one. But I have had garage sales in my life, and I have decided it is just not worth it to me. I don't want to have to declutter and then sort, price, and set it out. I don't want to have to advertise. I don't want to have to sit there all day haggling with customers. I don't want to clean it all up when it's over. I just want to be rid of my stuff, and I don't care too much if I am able to recoup the costs. All of the work involved in a garage sale is not worth the little bit of money I would make.
I have added my items to neighborhood garage sales here and there, but I'm not going to save it all waiting for one to come around. Besides, garage sale season is done!
Sell it on eBay or elsewhere onlineThere's eBay, Craig's List, and even local swap/sale groups on Facebook.
But, see above about garage sales. Call me lazy, but I do not want to go through all the work of photographing and listing and dealing with bids and buyers. I just want my stuff gone. The end.
Organize a swap
Our church does this from time to time, and I have heard we will be doing one here soon, so I may save my box for that. But only if it's really soon!
The idea is that everyone brings the stuff they no longer want to the church, and people can come and take any of it that they would like. You, of course, can also take anything that you want from among the things that others brought. (But think carefully about this! Only take it if you know you love it and will use it! Don't create more clutter!)
Anything not taken by the end date (we left our last one up for two weeks), is taken to Goodwill.
Again, there is extra work involved in this, but I do like the idea of helping others out in this way. I just need to not take my kids to these things, because they always want to bring home random stuff.
One of my favorite ways to get rid of things is to consign it. We have a great local consignment shop that takes almost anything, and will donate anything that doesn't sell after a certain period. This means that all I have to do is drop it off and they will take it from there. I only get paid for what sells, but I really don't care too much about the money. I just want the stuff out of my house!
Other consignment stores will pay you up front for the items they deem worthy to sell in their store. Still others will accept certain items, but you will not get paid until they sell. If they do not sell after a certain time period, then you are required to come pick them up.
Since I am constantly decluttering little things here and there (mostly clothing), I have a box ready for consignment every other month or so. I tend to earn about 25 dollars a box, which I can either cash out or use for store credit. I have done both.
Sometimes the best thing is to just drive your box o' clutter over to the Goodwill or St. Vinnie's or DI and donate it. You can get a receipt for a tax write-off, which is nice, but the important thing is that you got all of that stuff out of your life.
Throw it away
Some things really are just garbage. I feel sorry for workers at Goodwill who have to go through things that are just not worth trying to sell. Be honest about your stuff, and if nobody is going to want it, just throw it out.
Find all of the posts in this 31 Day Challenge here: A Place for Everything: 31 Days to Less Clutter and More Peace.
See the linky parties I link up to here.