One of my golden rules for decluttering is…
Don’t waste it just because you don’t want it.
There is no doubt that during the course of decluttering your home you are going to have to deal with what to do with all the items you are getting rid of. We have spoken quite a lot over the last thirteen months on how to go about rehousing items but it never hurts to refresh our minds of these details.
On my page Give away-Throw away – Sell – Use up, I list what became of all the 365 items I decluttered from my home during 2010. I will use the info from that page here to explain what was involved in the disposal of these items and other methods that you could utilise to achieve the same result. The title of each topic speaks for itself but there is more to some of them than meets the eye…
Give Away (237 items)
Thrift Store – Most were taken to my local thrift shop where they were more than happy to take them off my hands. Now the thing with thrift shops is that they can’t take everything, and you really should speak to them first to make sure you aren’t just adding to their rubbish removal costs. Even when we think an item is still usable there maybe a health or safety reason why thrift stores can’t take these items for resale. Please click on this link to read about how some charities in my area are pulling their bins because of this problem and because some people just abuse the system.
Freecycle – Because of the inconvenience of having to arrange the pick up I generally only use Freecycle to offload the items that are not suitable to give to the thrift store. For example I have had three separate baseball card give-aways because baseball isn’t popular in Australia and these would just be a burden to the thrift store. I also had a lamp that required rewiring that one lovely lady was happy to take away because her son was an electrician. Once again this item would have been useless to the thrift store. I have also given away a couple of American voltage electric appliances that people were happy to run from a step down transformer. As you can see these would not only have been useless to donate but also difficult to sell.
Friends – I have also given away about a dozen things to friends who were glad to have the use of them. In some cases the item would have had to be purchased new had I not been able to step in and help. My friends soon learned to see me before running off to the store. We are doing each other a favour here and I thank them for taking the items off my hands.
Other Organisations – I managed to find homes for all of my 237 items just using the three avenues mentioned above but there are many other organisations out there that would be glad to accept donations. Scout groups I am sure would be happy to take camping equipment, schools would be glad of the generous donations of craft and stationary items, sporting clubs can always use extra equipment. Just use your imagination and I am sure you will find someone happy to re-purpose your unwanted stuff.
Sell (58 Items sold on eBay at a total of $1533.65)
On-Line – Although all of the items I sold were sold on eBay there are other online selling options that you can chose from such as Craigslist.
Newspaper – You could advertise to sell in the classified section in your local newspaper. This is a good option if you have items that are too big or cumbersome to sell on eBay. Although eBay and the like do have a pick up only option that targets local shoppers I think you may find a bigger audience through using a non-online selling venue. In Australia, we have an online/local newspaper combo selling option called the Trading Post that I am going use to try to sell some musical instruments soon. I will let you know how that pans out.
Notice Boards – I don’t know if you have ever seen notice boards in your local shopping centres where people paste up photos and contact details to sell, rent or give-away items. I have seen a few in my area perhaps there is one in yours.
Garage Sale – I have had several garage sales in the past though none of my 365 things were sold this way because I was purging slowly and did not want to store the items until I had enough for a garage sale. One thing to remember with garage sales is that you have a very limited audience, and they are looking for a bargain but if you were only likely to donate the stuff anyway then you could end up with a few hundred dollars in your pocket instead.
Market Stall – This is much the same situation as a garage sale but you have a larger audience and have to haul the stuff to another location to sell. Like garage sales I have had great success in the past offloading my stuff this way.
Use Up (Only 3 items of my 365 were declutter this way)
Even though 3 is a very small quantity over the year there were many other items that were used up that I didn’t include. Items such as clothing that wore out that I didn’t replace and cleaning items that I didn’t like that I persevered with rather than cluttering up my cupboards with a duplicate in another brand. As you in know I call this Natural Progression Decluttering. I really hate waste and I would rather find a way to use something up rather than throw it away because that is a crime against the environment in my eyes.
Throw Away (67 Items)
To me this quantity (67) seems like far too many but it isn’t as bad as it looks. I scanned back through my records on my Google calendar to find out what was among these 67 items. Some of them were sent to be recycled such as paper products like old magazines, files and boxes while many of them were items that were simply used beyond there usefulness, just plain old worn out, rusty or perished in some way. There was nothing thrown in the trash just because I was too lazy to deal with it and that should never be the case for anyone. If an item still has use in it please please find it a new home.
Today’s Declutter Item
Today we have another mystery item which fetched $10 on ebay. Actually they are parts to an old wood plane.
Things I am grateful for today
- Getting through the housework quickly – So I could go out for a coffee with a friend.
- That it cooled down before we went for our afternoon walk – I would also be grateful if these 35°C plus days would go away for the year.
- Space in the freezer to put the water bottle for a quick cool down.
- Online product reviews – My stab blender is dying and I want to be sure to get a replacement that will perform admirably.
- Having fun with my guys – They are a pair of mischievous devils but lovable ones. (I speak of Steven my husband and Liam my son of course.)
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow.