Author Topic: Badass decluttering  (Read 7981 times)

chilliepepper

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Badass decluttering
« on: December 09, 2012, 08:13:28 PM »
In an effort to simplify our home environment to be able to focus better on the things that are important to me, I'm hoping to get rid of a good bit of stuff. Some of this stuff, I feel has some resale value. Nothing huge; I could probably get 10-20 bucks here and there if the right people saw my ads at the right time. Portable DVD player, oldish camcorder, small furniture pieces, a number of kids' toys, some baby gear.

I'm wondering, which is more badass:
1. Take the time to write up ads for all this crap and then wait for buyers and coordinate pickup times because it's Getting Rich With Good Old Fashioned Hard Work, or
2. Just give it all away, get it over with, get on with pared down Mustachian lifestyle, hoping that clearing the clutter sooner will help me clear my brain sooner.

Oh yeah, and I do have a yard sale from time to time. But yard sale weather is over for this year, and I'd like to move this stuff out sooner than later.

I suppose I'm sort of trying to talk myself into giving it away, but the lure of some possible income holds me back. Anyone want to talk me into being generous? (or would that be antimustachian---I don't think so)

Or, on the flip side...anyone want to talk me out of it?

It's more blessed to give than receive, right?




Another Reader

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Re: Badass decluttering
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 08:16:17 PM »
Tis the season to donate......and get a tax deduction (with receipt)!

travelbug

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Re: Badass decluttering
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2012, 08:25:51 PM »
We are clearing out our household toom I originally had a whole cupboard of stuff that I wanted to sell but I have looked at the effort for afew $ here and there and have decided to donate the bulk of it.
My nephew has cerebal palsy and his school is always looking for toys and books; so most of our children's stuff will go there.
There is a Domestic violence shelter in our city that has little funding so I donate clothes and household stuff to them as most of their recipients leave their homes with nothing at all.
I have also given away a lot to pther nephews who have recently moved out of home and my brother who is hopeless with money.
It's liberating and I feel the shackles of consumerism becoming looser and falling off as I go.
By giving things away I also feel that I will be less likely to accumulate anything again. That said, I will be selling about 20 items that I will gain quite a lot of money from as well.

chilliepepper

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Re: Badass decluttering
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2012, 08:29:00 PM »
It's liberating and I feel the shackles of consumerism becoming looser and falling off as I go.

This. This is one of the benefits I hope for.

I also tell myself that by giving stuff away, I am getting free real estate (in my home). Sometimes it works for me, sometimes not. :)

focusaurus

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Re: Badass decluttering
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2012, 08:58:00 PM »
I'm in the same situation. I plan to some of both. I have some things that are valuable enough to warrant selling. Some things I will gather and store for a yard sale in the spring. Some things I'll give away. You just need to ask which approach is going to make you happiest both short and long term. However, I have plenty of storage space where I can stash them over the winter without them crossing my mind or inconveniencing me. If you really want them gone before spring, go for it. Also consider perhaps selling batches of stuff in bulk on craigslist or ebay if your stuff would work well as "box of toys for boy around 3 years old" and sell at a discount for a single buyer taking the lot of them.

KGZotU

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Re: Badass decluttering
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2012, 09:06:07 PM »
Here's what I'd do: put everything into a box or boxes. On the outside of the boxes write, "To be given away if not sold by April 1st, 2013." On April 1st, take the boxes down to Goodwill or whathaveyou.

This way you've solved the clutter problem and you've also given yourself a firm deadline for selling. If you're too lazy to sell the stuff in 5 months then you're probably never going to sell it. And you won't have to wonder any longer how long you should wait to see if you'll work up the motivation to sell: you wait until April 1st and no longer.

savingtofreedom

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Re: Badass decluttering
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2012, 09:59:35 PM »
This is my problem too.  I plan on giving it away.  In the end the amount of effort to make a minimal amount of money is not worth it.  And I really need the tax deduction.

happy

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Re: Badass decluttering
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2012, 11:07:55 PM »
Selling stuff is not my forte, so I put it off endlessly.  Now I mainly throw out or donate, otherwise I'm likely not to get around to selling. Occasionally I've sold larger items by word of mouth.

Adventine

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Re: Badass decluttering
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2012, 12:04:21 AM »
The furniture and electronics might be worth posting ads. The kiddie stuff could make a great Mustachian Christmas gift to any shelter/orphanage/charitable organization in your neighborhood.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff to sort through, just give them all away! I agree with the others. A decluttered home makes for a decluttered mind.

yolfer

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Re: Badass decluttering
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2012, 05:48:32 PM »
I'm de-cluttering right now also (there's something about the holidays and impending Mayan end-of-days...) I'm having the same dilema! I have a small collection of autographed books that I finally realized I've only kept in order to look smrt. I might try to sell them, but stuff like clothing and sporting goods, I'm just gonna give away.

If we really want to get serious, we should write up some sort of "giveaway challenge" and post it in the Throw Down The Gauntlet area. One idea I had was to limit myself to N belongings for 2013. Maybe 50 or 100? And at the end of the year give away the rest.

chilliepepper

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Re: Badass decluttering
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2012, 06:36:11 PM »
If we really want to get serious, we should write up some sort of "giveaway challenge" and post it in the Throw Down The Gauntlet area.
I was thinking something like that too...just can't decide if I want to get serious about it or not...

MrsKensington

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Re: Badass decluttering
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2012, 08:43:57 PM »
I started this process, too.  I live in a community with a lot of smart, older, fixed-income folks. I put a cardboard box of newish books of all sorts (get them free from workmates) in a common area and attached a note:
"Lovely neighbors, please help yourselves."
Over a few days, they disappeared. Yes, I could have sold them, but this is faster, easier, and more rewarding.

Done by Forty

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Re: Badass decluttering
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2012, 09:12:37 PM »
Sell what you can, but I like KGZotU's idea to give yourself a deadline.  Then you might give away what you can't sell.  Even so, I find that reposting an ad on craigslist takes practically no time or effort, and often results in a sale, given a week extra or two.

If you're donating (at least partially) for the tax benefits, make sure your deductions exceed the standard deduction.

c

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Re: Badass decluttering
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2012, 09:16:14 PM »
... a long story ... we got rid of a lot of stuff and paid someone to help us (who is now one of my best friends and I credit that entire experience with putting us on the debt-free path). She encouraged me to sell the stuff, but I wanted it gone. For me it was better to just get rid of the stuff as quickly as possible.

We put it out on the street (which is very common where I live and you can find some really great stuff - it's a problem) and I would say about 80% was taken, about half of what was left was recyclable and the rest I put in the trash.

It was SO great to get the stuff out of my space and move on to a lighter lifestyle.

Use it up, wear it out...

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Re: Badass decluttering
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2012, 08:59:07 AM »
I haven't tried it myself, but I'm starting to see groups like this one appearing that will come, take away your clutter, sort it, and donate it to the appropriate charities.

mustachio

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Re: Badass decluttering
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2012, 09:12:04 PM »
There is nothing more amazing than putting a "free" sign on your stuff you want to get rid of and setting it on the curb (especially when you see people happy to take it away!)

fidgiegirl

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Re: Badass decluttering
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2012, 10:03:23 AM »
Over the years I have built a repertoire of giveaway strategies.  For a big, instant declutter like you're facing, I'd opt for curb alert (either a sign or a sign combined with a CL curb alert in the free section) or a curbside pickup from a charity organization if available.  In our area, the Epilepsy Foundation comes by.  They get paid by the pound by thrift stores.

I just hate throwing things away that could be reused.

Some other giveaway ideas:

- Broken items still go on CL free listings.  People are pretty handy and glad to get even some broken items, like snowblowers/lawnmowers or more expensive items.  Even small electrics get put out because sometimes at least scrappers will grab them for whatever metal is in them.

- Personal care items like surplus toothbrushes we got from the dentist but never used, or feminine items picked up on sale but that didn't really work out for the user, could be used at foodshelves.

- For items you have kind of an attachment to, I found it helpful to know who was getting them.  For example, old prom dresses went up on CL rather than in a giveaway box.  Might sound dumb to some, but hey, whatever it takes.

- I grouped items and gave them away as a batch.  For some reason I was hanging onto tons of perfumes and perfume samples from my teenagerhood.  I hate perfume and it gives me a headache!  I posted that batch of perfume on CL and had so much interest it was crazy.

Oh!  Speaking of CL!  I find it super fast to list on my phone.  If you have a smartphone, consider that.

I also state right in my ad that I am not going to answer e-mails unless I'm offering the item, and that if offered the person should plan to come get it (then I list the neighborhood, so they have a clue of where) within 24 hours.  That way if they don't show I have no qualms about offering it to another person, and I don't feel bad not answering all those "do you still have it?" e-mails.

By following these we are generally successful in being able to give things away for a bit more life rather than putting them in the trash.  However, in a real pinch I have just pitched.  Because, ultimately, that's where it'll all end up anyway, whether it's now or after another family or 5 have used it.