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#1 of 38 Old 03-09-2013, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm inspired to change my life and get the clutter out!  I am realizing that I don't have as much of an issue deciding to let something go as I have an issue with actually getting it out of the house.  I have a lot of stuff that I have a hard time letting go of because it is worth something.  Plus it is hard to just load it up in the car and haul it off, for some reason.

 

For instance, I have about 6 brand new blinds still in their box that I bought for $20 a piece.  I sold my largest ones on Craigslist but haven't had any takers for the smaller sizes.  I have some furniture, clothes, toys, and all sorts of odd-n-ends in good condition.  I keep thinking that I should have a yard sale and try to make some money off of it.  But I don't know if it is worth the time and energy that would have to go into it.

 

I'm just curious is others think that it is worth saving up stuff to have a sale or if it makes more sense to just donate it and take the tax write off?

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#2 of 38 Old 03-09-2013, 06:46 PM
 
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Donate. Donate. Also, donate. 

 

To me, the biggest priority/value by far is getting the stuff out of the house. Donation is the fastest way to do that. (Actually, dumping at the end of the driveway with a Free sign is the fastest way for us to do that, so that's quite often what we do)

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#3 of 38 Old 03-09-2013, 06:46 PM
 
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I would have quickie yardsale..say 8-12 one Saturday. See what you make. I only did a yard sale once because I had people haggling with me before I even opened!!! irked.gif I made about $500 but I sold A LOT and wheeled and dealed. Since then, I just itemize everything and donate it.

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#4 of 38 Old 03-09-2013, 08:06 PM
 
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I like the $ that comes from garage sales/consignment stores/CL, BUT it takes time, patience, and isn't a guaranteed sale, so more often than not I donate. I do buy my kids brand name clothing, so I take it to Kid 2 Kid first, but if it doesn't sell there, I take it on over to Salvation Army smile.gif

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#5 of 38 Old 03-09-2013, 08:18 PM
 
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I'm with alaskanmomma, I like the extra $ from selling stuff.  We haven't done a yard sale, I've had good luck with Kijiji (same idea as Craigslist).  I price stuff pretty cheap just to see it gone (getting $20 for something worth $40 is better than having it sit around for a long time only to give it away, IMO).  If something doesn't sell, then I donate it.  You could do that, or pick a date and have a garage sale of all the stuff that doesn't sell on CL or Kijiji and then donate the rest.  I know some places even have pick-ups.  For example, in my city the Kidney Foundation picks up donations right from your house!


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#6 of 38 Old 03-10-2013, 08:47 AM
 
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I hate garage sales- too much work, haggling drives me nuts, and did I mention that it's a lot of work? lol. The last one we had brought over $1000, which was nice, but if I figured out what I made per hour, I don't think it would have been worth it. That said, when I have "big" items (expensive car seats, electronics, phones, etc) that I know will sell for a decent amount, I list them on CL. Everything else gets donated. I love finding really great stuff at thrift stores and I tend to buy high quality stuff and it's all in good shape when I donate it, (or else it gets tossed) so I like knowing that my good stuff is going to make someone's day in the thrift store at some point :)


When doing a massive declutter, I think donating is the only way to go. It gets too overwhelming to try and categorize stuff to sell- you have to think about the dollar value of every single item, have somewhere to put it in the interim, and then haul it all back out to sell. That slows the major move of clutter wayyyyy down.


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#7 of 38 Old 03-10-2013, 11:41 AM
 
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I say if craigslist is unsuccessful, then just donate.  If you do bother with a yard sale, you'll have to donate when it's over anyways, because likely not everything will sell.  I think saving up for a yard sale is like hoarding all over again and takes away that great feeling you get from clearing things out of your house. Plus the insult when what you once thought as quality and worth something is diminished to mere pennies by the yard sale hagglers, who usually end up walking away anyways.

 

I think the key to donating successfully is to find a convenient way to do it... have a convenient location in your home to randomly place items you find that you don't want (I keep a bin in my front closet) and either find a charity that will pick up from your home on a routine basis (some will even just call YOU to say when they'll be in the neighborhood each month) or find a donation center that's along your usual routes to work/school/store.  I do consignment too, but the store I use offers to just donate whatever doesn't sell, so it's no hassle or work for me to keep track of; I just drop off the box as if a donation, and sometimes when I shop there I'm pleasantly surprised with store credit.


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#8 of 38 Old 03-10-2013, 12:48 PM
 
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I will only sell items when the financial gain would provide me with more than minimum wage for the time & effort invested to sell said items. As a result, I only sell big ticket items and donated all other items. I occasionally flirt with the idea of a garage sale in my head but never follow through with the idea as the time expenditure and cost for a permit make the entire process far less appealing than simply finding the items new homes.


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#9 of 38 Old 03-10-2013, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think that is a good point about the amount of work vs. amount you make.  I may even end up making the same as I would doing a sell because I'm asking more on CL then I would at a sale.  So far I've made $85 from a few random things and I have more to post.  So, CL the big nice stuff and donate the rest.  The stuff I'm donating would probably bring in just a few bucks at most anyway.  Thanks for the reality check!

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#10 of 38 Old 03-10-2013, 11:54 PM
 
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I used to donate absolutely everything to goodwill, even high ticket items. I would scoff at people who sold their goods for $5 or $10 and wonder why they even bothered when the return was so darn low. Where I live we don't have a tax write off for donations in kind. There is no incentive to donate your goods other than general good will, but this was enough for me.

 

One day, on a whim, we decided that we wanted to pay off all non mortgage debt. I had items sitting in a corner that were awaiting the goodwill drop off. I looked at them and thought that I had given so much for years and this time instead, I was going to give to my family in the form of money to speed up debt repayment. As painstaking as it was, I sold everything through ebay. Yes, including those $5 and $10 items I would have never dreamed of selling. It took a little while (2 months), but it was all sold eventually and I put away a nice amount towards debt repayment. Yes, having it all around was a source of stress but owing money is also a source of stress. I would rather have a mess for 2 months than have debt hanging over my head.

 

So I would put it to you this way. Do you have a financial goal in mind that can be met by selling this stuff? If not, give it away and accept the tax writeoff. If you do have a financial goal, sell your stuff.
 


 

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#11 of 38 Old 03-11-2013, 07:43 AM
 
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Gosh!  A tax write off for donations would be awesome.  We don't have that here either.


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#12 of 38 Old 03-11-2013, 11:23 AM
 
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I say if craigslist is unsuccessful, then just donate.  If you do bother with a yard sale, you'll have to donate when it's over anyways, because likely not everything will sell.  I think saving up for a yard sale is like hoarding all over again and takes away that great feeling you get from clearing things out of your house. Plus the insult when what you once thought as quality and worth something is diminished to mere pennies by the yard sale hagglers, who usually end up walking away anyways.

 

 

I agree, especially if you don't have a dedicated area to store things until the yard sale.

 

I think location can be key to the financial sucess of a yard sale.  Where I live, people expect to get everything for nothing.  I would be lucky to get 25 cents for good condition kids Gap jeans, for example. I did it once, never again.  On the other hand, I have friends that live in areas where they can make hundreds of dollars for a couple hours of sitting in their driveway because in their neighborhoods, people will actually pay $100 for a $500 gentle used stroller or $20 for a nice kid's holiday outfit.


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#13 of 38 Old 03-11-2013, 11:44 AM
 
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I agree, especially if you don't have a dedicated area to store things until the yard sale.

 

I think location can be key to the financial sucess of a yard sale.  Where I live, people expect to get everything for nothing.  I would be lucky to get 25 cents for good condition kids Gap jeans, for example. I did it once, never again.  On the other hand, I have friends that live in areas where they can make hundreds of dollars for a couple hours of sitting in their driveway because in their neighborhoods, people will actually pay $100 for a $500 gentle used stroller or $20 for a nice kid's holiday outfit.

Yes, totally depends.  My parents had a yard sale with another couple when I was a teenager.  The two families together made enough from the garage sale for us all to go on a house boating trip that summer.  It had to have been a couple thousand dollars, at the very least.


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#14 of 38 Old 03-12-2013, 10:48 AM
 
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Caneel, you make a great point. Where I live, people from the lower cost of living areas of town flock to the nicer neighborhoods for garage sales to buy stuff to take to the outdoor flea market to resell. They want to pay pennies for high quality stuff in good condition- $.25 for GAP and Hanna Andersson clothing, $10 for a used Maclaren stroller, etc. I would rather donate my really nice stuff to someone who needs the quality to last them for several years because they can't afford to buy it again than sell it for a ridiculously low amount. Same for Birkenstocks that I had bought and worn maybe 2-3 times apiece before baby #4 increased my foot size 1/2 size- people wanted to give me $1/pair. We had good success at our sale, eventually, but for all the lowballing I had to put up with? Never again.


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#15 of 38 Old 03-12-2013, 11:04 AM
 
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just some FYI - it really depends on who you donate too - know where it really is going 

 

if you are just giving it to someone - great, if the can use it

 

with organizations (non-profits and not all are but look like they are)  - many are now selling them items, not re-selling within their stores at low prices to those who do need but online for higher amounts, if you are OK with that-fine but some people think if they give to an organization it will go to who needs it within their community, it's really a matter of how you view what the organization does with donations, also some clothing donated goes directly overseas and locals don't even get offered it

 

ETA- if you do have a sale, there are ways to make it more profitable, do your research and you can make out good with less time and effort


 

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#16 of 38 Old 03-12-2013, 01:24 PM
 
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Forgot to add, I also believe in "stuff karma" ;) - every time I give stuff away, a windfall comes my way somehow. I was going to sell a nice stroller, pack n play and Boba carrier but a friend mentioned that she had a relative who was unexpectedly pg and not able to buy what she needed. I offered the items I had. Meanwhile, I had been stalking CL for a Bowflex Blaze in excellent condition for a decent price (retail is $800). The next day after giving my baby items away, I found what I wanted for $275, about 2 miles from our house. Total "stuff" karma :)


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#17 of 38 Old 03-12-2013, 01:27 PM
 
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Caneel, you make a great point. Where I live, people from the lower cost of living areas of town flock to the nicer neighborhoods for garage sales to buy stuff to take to the outdoor flea market to resell. They want to pay pennies for high quality stuff in good condition- $.25 for GAP and Hanna Andersson clothing, $10 for a used Maclaren stroller, etc. I would rather donate my really nice stuff to someone who needs the quality to last them for several years because they can't afford to buy it again than sell it for a ridiculously low amount. Same for Birkenstocks that I had bought and worn maybe 2-3 times apiece before baby #4 increased my foot size 1/2 size- people wanted to give me $1/pair. We had good success at our sale, eventually, but for all the lowballing I had to put up with? Never again.

 

Yep, you got!   Not only do they wholesale for their yardsales, they love to pick trash at the community clean up days.  And if they can make cash off of someone else's junk, good for them, just leave me out of your harassing haggling.  What does bother me is seeing the old carseats lined up for sale.  There is a house down the street from me that does a yardsale a month in good weather and she sells 10-20 carseats each time.  Some of them are so old the plastic shells are yellowed and the padding worn through.

 

My friend tried to sell a Maclercen stroller and was harassed by a guy that came back a couple of times during the day, insisting she sell it to him for something like $5.  I seem to remember she told him she would call the cops if he came back again. 

 

I had similar frustrating experience with resale shops.  I had a manager get VERY upset with me when I wouldn't take literally pennies per piece for really good infant and toddler stuff.  I politely said no thanks, she asked me what my problem was and I said I will be donating it instead.  She was pissed!

 

So we decided no more selling, we would donated it to people we knew could and would use it.  Once we got burned, I am 99.99% sure we gave someone a load of stuff (Britax carseat, winter clothing, boots, brio train stuff) who sold it at a yardsale.  I gave it to her no strings attached so techincally, she was free to do whaever she wanted with it.  After that, I was much more careful in my wording when I offered things to people. 

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#18 of 38 Old 03-12-2013, 01:37 PM
 
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Not only do they wholesale for their yardsales, they love to pick trash at the community clean up days.

Why isn't this good? I would soon appreciate this vs having it go in a landfill.

 

My craig's list lists this stuff as a curb alert - many people near me really support this and encourage it.


 

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#19 of 38 Old 03-12-2013, 01:41 PM
 
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Caneel, I agree 100%. If someone wants to drive all over my neighborhood looking for stuff to resell, more power to them. But my time is too valuable to spend it haggling with them, lol. I had someone lowball me for a huge lot of Thomas Wooden Railway stuff- easily $1000 worth- for $50 AND he kept hassling me about why I wouldn't sell to him. Uh, no. I'd rather donate it to someone whose kiddo would love it instead.


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#20 of 38 Old 03-12-2013, 02:22 PM
 
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Why isn't this good? I would soon appreciate this vs having it go in a landfill.

 

 

I didn't say it wasn't, see the next sentence of my post....

 

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Yep, you got!   Not only do they wholesale for their yardsales, they love to pick trash at the community clean up days.  And if they can make cash off of someone else's junk, good for them, just leave me out of your harassing haggling.  What does bother me is seeing the old carseats lined up for sale.  There is a house down the street from me that does a yardsale a month in good weather and she sells 10-20 carseats each time.  Some of them are so old the plastic shells are yellowed and the padding worn through.

 


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#21 of 38 Old 03-12-2013, 03:01 PM
 
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I didn't say it wasn't, see the next sentence of my post....

I certainly saw what you posted, it just comes as denigrating, not see it as a positive - IMO

Like "they" are some type  of low life or something, bad for doing so because you used it within the context that they wholesale yard sales, that is how it came off to me.

 

Many people benefit greatly from yard sales and don't go to resale stores because that is even high priced for them.

 

I did know someone who also use to donate and thought they were getting some grand bargain to write off for their taxes until they saw how little it effected the taxes.

 

Some (like the Salvation Army - in my area) are very picky on what they will even take and have a list of items, so OP you might want to check- some organization even will do pick ups at your home.


 

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#22 of 38 Old 03-12-2013, 07:51 PM
 
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Forgot to add, I also believe in "stuff karma" ;) - every time I give stuff away, a windfall comes my way somehow. I was going to sell a nice stroller, pack n play and Boba carrier but a friend mentioned that she had a relative who was unexpectedly pg and not able to buy what she needed. I offered the items I had. Meanwhile, I had been stalking CL for a Bowflex Blaze in excellent condition for a decent price (retail is $800). The next day after giving my baby items away, I found what I wanted for $275, about 2 miles from our house. Total "stuff" karma :)

 

Me too!!

 

We have given away so much stuff to the children's hospital and every time we went there for an 'emergency' of sorts, we were always treated so nicely and promptly even though most of the time it wasn't an actual emergency. The average wait time is 6 hours to go in once you've waited the 1 hour to see triage. Then there is the wait inside while the doctor flip flops between several patients. You could easily spend 8-9 hours there. I was usually all done and back in my car by 2 hours tops with a happy child to boot. I can't say that it was due to some sort of mark next to our name because I always donated anonymously.. and the staff I saw for the issues were not the same staff I would hand the goods over to. Strange, yet nice all at the same time. smile.gif

 

I've made a pact with myself to resume donating our goods once our non mortgage debt is paid off. We're almost there!

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#23 of 38 Old 03-12-2013, 11:37 PM
 
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I dont know if this is out of place or not...I could offer to pay shipping or a low fee for child clothes. I know it takes time to get to the post office &everything else thats been invested, so it may not be worth it, but I am on the hunt for stuff for my new baby. I am checking thrift stores but I find the smell so musty, maybe my pregnant nose, &I am sure at some point I will have to go there again&again as the years go on. I know it also would take time to figure out how to make it work, but if things are light to ship & I could know what I am buying beforehand, like all cotton stuff, maybe thats another choice. I dont mean to impose at all, I just think its nicer to get things from all one person, like a pass me downs arrangment. I really appreciate reading everyones tips&advice too, I cant imagine what this is going to look like in the future for me with my own decluttering challanges. Sometimes you just want to get it out, thinking about how drives me nuts, but obce its gone-its gone...if only it were so simple everytime!
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#24 of 38 Old 03-13-2013, 01:15 AM
 
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I came back to erase what i wrote b/c i am not sure if its the same as me asking without an offer. I dont mean it to be that way, but you all inspired me to set up a "wanted" add in the trading post.
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#25 of 38 Old 03-18-2013, 02:15 PM
 
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I did a yard sale once and might do it again under the right conditions. The main reason for doing the yard sale was to motivate the kids to part with some of their stuff. We took the money we raised and donated it to the charity of the kids' choice (which turned out to be the Sea Turtle Hospital). I am not a very good haggler and the folks who came to the yard sale definitely wanted to haggle. We had this one woman, English was her second language, but it was much better than any non-existant second language I have. She would ask how much something was, we'd tell her, and she'd always say, "And how much for ME?" in her cute little accent. After the 25th time it got to where it wasn't so cute anymore and was pretty annoying, but you know what — I wanted to get rid of the stuff and if I didn't give it to her at a cheaper price I was just gonna go take down to the thrift store as a donation anyway. The friend I was doing the sale with was better at haggling than I was and made more money than I did, but we both got rid of a bunch of stuff. 

 

The other incentive for the yard sale and doing it with a friend was setting a deadline. That really helped get the stuff out of my house! That was almost reason enough to do it right there. 

 

That said, it was a bunch of work and stress and usually I just get rid of stuff as I go along. I have been going through my Mom and Dad's things for the past year after I sold their house and moved my mom to a retirement center. SO MUCH STUFF. I just went thru a box today that had shoelaces and clippings from the newspaper and birthday cards that only had a signature (no special note or anything). Just an amazing amount of flotsam and jetsam that had come into their lives throughout the years and my mom had saved. It's really overwhelming. I hope that I can pare down to a reasonable level before my kids have to clean out our house.


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#26 of 38 Old 03-19-2013, 06:12 AM
 
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I donate with the exception of furniture - most charities simply don't take it around here. I'll kijiji a large Ikea wardrobe and our barely used patio set but household items are going straight to charity. I have no patience for yard sales; I'm pregnant with a two year old hanging off me. Kids stuff I take to a local second hand store where they give cash or store credit but whatever they don't take gets donated on the way home.
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#27 of 38 Old 03-19-2013, 09:58 AM
 
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I've been doing yardsales regularly when the weather is nice. But if I didn't need the money, I'd just donate everything. It isn't worth the time and labor unless I need to do it to pay bills.


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#28 of 38 Old 03-23-2013, 06:20 AM
 
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I craigslist the stuff worth selling, freecycle some, and donate the rest.  We have 6 local thrifty stores/consignment stores and I have always been able to find one that will take anything.  

 

My past experiences with garage sales mean that I will never have a garage sale again.  


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#29 of 38 Old 03-23-2013, 12:02 PM
 
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I really relate about inaction because you think it might be worth money.  I say, whatever you decide to do is the right answer, it really is.  So don't look back. 

 

Last month I finally had a garage sale, first one ever.  We made more than $500, which was shocking and wonderful.  It was kind of fun and social; my sisters in-law participated and it was fun to hang out for the morning.  And the comment about having a deadline is so right.  It really helped to get our acts together and get things gathered for sale. 

 

However, I probably won't do that again. I can say I've done it, but it's not my thing.


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#30 of 38 Old 04-02-2013, 10:58 AM
 
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I think it can be worthwhile to garage sale or list an item on Craigslist or the like, but make sure it is actually worth your time and hassle. For me, usually it is much more worthwhile to just donate and take the small tax deduction than trying to sell stuff. With something that is worth a bit more, we'll often just give it to a friend or family member. I think your best bet is everything you list or try to sell at a garage sale, set a time limit on it and if it doesn't sell, then donate it. That way you won't have stuff sitting around indefinitely!

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