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Keep? Toss? Sell? How do you handle your STUFF?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
My goal for this early part of 2006 is to get myself organized - everything needs a home - and I am TERRIBLE with this.

I have been going through drawers, closets, furniture, etc and finding things to get rid of - which is great. But what to do with it? Some things I totaly don't care about either throwing out or donating - but other things have some value. Anything worth a decent amount, I plan on ebaying. But all the STUFF that's worth less than $10 I'd love to sell in some way - like a yard sale (but that won't be happening in PA for several months due to weather).

How do you handle your stuff? I hate to keep my house cluttered with boxes of stuff to sell at some point - but I have this major hang-up about just tossing stuff that is worth something (that's the cheapskate SAHM in me LOL).

Any suggestions that could either help me just movethis stuff? Or better ways to manage selling things?
post #2 of 22
I'm no expert, but all the "wisdom" suggests that you look at it as releasing clutter and blessing other people with it.

I agree, it's hard. I struggle with it a LOT myself. I need to read Suze Orman, I think.
post #3 of 22
As tracymom suggested, you should try to let it go so others can be blessed. I have a hard time with it to, but think about how much the people that shop at Goodwill appreciate the people that donate items.
post #4 of 22
I gave up trying to hang onto things for selling/trading because the feeling of being free of the stuff was worth way more than the couple bucks I may have gotten for it. (Plus I've always been really big on giving.) So I'm also of the "let it bless someone else" mindset. And the really cool thing about it is if you let your stuff out into the universe to bless someone else, just when you're looking for stuff you need, it appears! Seriously. I find the more stuff I get rid of the easier it is to find the stuff I need. Someone here once used the term "good stuff karma" and that has now become my mantra.
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracymom
I need to read Suze Orman, I think.
Does she say something about decluttering? I love seeing her on TV and read her column in the Costco "magazine", but have not read books.

I am trying to get our piles together and have decided that we are just going to donate it all. When I try to separate it, it all just sits here - for months and months - b/c I cannot get many projects completed with the kids. I have read some of the threads here and a couple have stayed in my mind, although I cannot remember the threads or who wrote them. One was a Mama who said she finally got rid of about half her things and although it was very hard at the time, one year later it was still one of the best things she had ever done. The other was a thread and several Mamas said they donate it all instead of separating into piles and figure that the kindness will come back to them in other ways. I am hoping for more peace in my life.

I love to shop second hand, especially when I find something in great shape that fits a need perfectly. Honestly, I am always disappointed when I take things to the consignment shop. They tell me they give you 50% of selling price for name brand clothing, but I know that is not true. I have taken in huge laundry baskets worth of clothes and gotten $20-$30. I had to fold it just perfectly and sorting it took me hours. Many times over I have seen the EXACT items in slightly more worn condition on their racks for more than 5 times the price of what they gave me. So I am not going to put in the effort and time any more. I can do better donating it and claiming the thrift store selling price on my taxes, and I have more time to get other things done. Also, some of the thrift stores give you coupons for free items or "20% off on your next entire purchase" when you donate. That is worth a significant amount of money to me, too! I have decided if it is not big enough (money-wise) for me to sell myself, I am going to donate it all. And I do not want to trip over piles of stuff until the weather co-operates for a garage sale. Also, if I take advantage of the big community garage sale days and have one here - well, then I canot go "shopping" myself. I probably save more by shopping them than I would earn by having my own sale - if that twisted logic makes any sense.

My house if *very* clean. I spend a reasonable amount of time cleaning it each week (certainly much less than friends and relatives accuse me of spending). But I spend an *insane* amount of time sorting and resorting piles and moving them. THAT is what is driving me crazy!
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice ladies. I think I am going to start small - and donate everything less than $5. Baby steps, right? That should clear out a bunch of the little stuff that I was planning on a yard saleling.

I do go to consignment shops - and the ones we have here are pretty good - because I take 1-2 totes and leave with $200-300 in credit each season! So I will be doing that in the spring again - and ebaying the rest (I do really well with my kids' clothing on ebay).

My problem now is that I really need to make space in this house - it's a 3BR and Baby #3 is due in the spring - so I want to declutter to make things easier when the baby arrives. BUT - I find that I am holding on to more toys and clothes simply because we don't know if this is a boy or girl so I am afraid to get rid of anything. We'd normally actually have a yard sale when our neighborhood does - but that weekend falls dangerously close to my due date - so no yard sale until at least July this year - and that's if baby cooperates. We usually do well with yard sales - and I like the message it sends to my kids too - last year it was hard to get them to part with some toys (that they never use!) but they loved buying a swingset with the profits from the sale when the stuff sold. A nice lesson for them.

I appreciate your help! I'll be back again (I'm sure) when I am done weeding through all of our "hiding places" for our junk - once I declutter I need to organize better!
post #7 of 22
I love to just put it all in boxes and take it to Goodwill. When we lived in Kentucky, I took it to the women's shelter, but here they don't do it like that.

Anyway, dh...wants to itemize everything and take it off our taxes...this upsets me and slows the whole process down. This is one big reason my basement is still a monstrous mess after 5 years of living here.

I agree with just giving it away as a blessing.

What goes around, comes around.

Your idea to start with small steps is a good one. Good luck!
post #8 of 22
When we unpacked during this move, anything that didnt have a home or use got put into a big box. In the end i had several boxes and i then sorted it out. We had a garage sale and we sold almost everything within the first 3 hours! What i had left and what i later found i freecycled. On a weekly basis, things i am not using gets freecycled. Also do not buy more things unless you absolutely need them.
post #9 of 22
Good advice mamas. No matter what I do I just can't get it right Am so glad I found this thread.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Sun
Good advice mamas. No matter what I do I just can't get it right Am so glad I found this thread.
I think doing ANYTHING is getting it right! It's a start!
post #11 of 22
I have done the "hold-onto-things-and-have-a-yard-sale" dilemma...never happens. I did have one, and I hated arguing with a woman that wanted the ironing board for like $1.....should've just let her take it right?

The neighborhood behind us has a big sale but I'm not sure when that is. Freecycle? I guess I'm just a chicken about strangers coming to my house. So all those bags in my front hallway are going to Goodwill.
I do have TONS of baby girl clothes that I might list on TP. Without a digital camera or paypal we'll see how it goes.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by our3boys
Does she say something about decluttering? I love seeing her on TV and read her column in the Costco "magazine", but have not read books.
I'm not sure exactly what she says about it, but I know Flylady has recommended her and said something that she says people can hold themselves back is by "thinking poor" and that one of the ways that manifests is by holding onto things "just in case" instead of releasing them. I've been meaning to look into her books since then.

(apologies to anybody if I'm wrong; I've not read the books yet and am going on my faulty recall there!)
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracymom
she says people can hold themselves back is by "thinking poor" and that one of the ways that manifests is by holding onto things "just in case" instead of releasing them. I've been meaning to look into her books since then.

(apologies to anybody if I'm wrong; I've not read the books yet and am going on my faulty recall there!)
Wow! Even if she did not say that, I will have to think about that one for a while and get the depth of really understanding it in my soul. I will go look for one of her books, then!
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Spunky Monkeys
I do go to consignment shops - and the ones we have here are pretty good - because I take 1-2 totes and leave with $200-300 in credit each season!
I'd do that then! I used to live by a shop where I got about that much each season also. The ones by me now though... (I even have generally better stuff now than back then )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Spunky Monkeys
We usually do well with yard sales
We have had some major ones in the past - our best was $1300 in 4 hours! But that was in a small town where the garage sales were true junk. If your belongings were in good shape, you could do really well. I'll just say that my MIL once saw a chair she had taken to the dump more than 10 years before at someone's sale! But now we live in a much nicer area and people just have too much stuff and throw away new things all the time. The "competition" is too stiff and not worth our time anymore.
post #15 of 22
My IL are supposed to be having a big yardsale this summer, after they move into their new house. I boxed up a bunch of stuff, and I know I could have made some nice money on it ,but then I'd have to go thru and sort it, price it, make sure it was all freshly washed so it wasn't all wrinkled, ect. I decided to just take it all in and donate it to the women's shelter instead of messing w/ any re-sale places. Last time I took the namebrand stuff (gap, gymbo ect) to the local consignment store for store credit. SHe gave me $20 in store credit (it was worth alot more than that), then asked if I cared to donate the rest to a family w/ a fire (and I said yes). I went in a few weeks later, and like 3 things that I"d brought in were marked close to the $20 store credit she gave me, and I couldn't find anything for DD (she really needed jeans, but the were all 15 for USED jeans!) so I guess I still have a $20 credit there. This time I'd rather just donate than mess w/ giving that lady money making stuff (mine was some of the nicest stuff in there, I donate anything w/ satins or exessive wear).

Also for tax purposes, you don't have to do an itemized deduction unless it is greater than $500. My tax guy told me that after I listed "coat, purple, size 5, good contion $10 value" ect. on a list He said just list "kids clothes lot $200" "5 coats $100" and any larger items you might have. He didn't even keep or send in a copy of that, he just wrote it in as a donation to charity.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Free Thinker
My IL are supposed to be having a big yardsale this summer, after they move into their new house. I boxed up a bunch of stuff, and I know I could have made some nice money on it ,but then I'd have to go thru and sort it, price it, make sure it was all freshly washed so it wasn't all wrinkled, ect. I decided to just take it all in and donate it to the women's shelter instead of messing w/ any re-sale places. Last time I took the namebrand stuff (gap, gymbo ect) to the local consignment store for store credit. SHe gave me $20 in store credit (it was worth alot more than that), then asked if I cared to donate the rest to a family w/ a fire (and I said yes). I went in a few weeks later, and like 3 things that I"d brought in were marked close to the $20 store credit she gave me, and I couldn't find anything for DD (she really needed jeans, but the were all 15 for USED jeans!) so I guess I still have a $20 credit there. This time I'd rather just donate than mess w/ giving that lady money making stuff (mine was some of the nicest stuff in there, I donate anything w/ satins or exessive wear).
I could have written that!! That is almost exactly what happened with my last consignment experience (except I got $22.17) and what has now turned me off from the stores around here. The only difference was she did not have a family with a fire - just the regular donation bin. I could have valued what I took in at over $100 in 2nd hand store prices (a tax deduction worth about $30 to me) and I would not have had to sort/fold/etc or wasted a trip and gas money!
post #17 of 22

A Constant Process?...

Hello!..Yep, I'm over here always trying to get organized too!
I read Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui and it was really inspiring to me and helped me get a great attitude about getting rid of things. Of course there is pleanty more to be done around here!

I have a question about Madela breast pump accessories...the tubes all that stuff...for some reason I have so many - but if I have used them they are of no use to anyone else?

Any suggestions on what to do with them - or are they garbage? Can they be made into a cool plant hanger or something??? just kidding....

Oh yeah...My sis said there was a trading post on MDC, but I swear I cannot find it...can anybody help me???
post #18 of 22
About pump accessories... According to my LLL leader, you are not supposed to resell or donate these. I tried. It's because they are not made to hold up to a super-sanitation process. Only the hospital-grade stuff is made for that ($$$$).

However, she said she could see giving it to a family member. HTH

--LL
post #19 of 22
I just read Clearing you CLUtter w/ FUng Shui, too As for the TP, you need to have more posts ,and be a member for several months before you can view it
post #20 of 22
Thank you!..At least I am not blind & just can't find the trading post!
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