It never fails- every time I have a world-rockin’ decluttering session- I get finished, shut my music off, look around the room at the things I’ve decided to part with, take a sip of my coffee and think, “Now what am I going to do with all this stuff?!!”
I’ve Decluttered My Stuff- Now What Do I Do With It?
I’m always torn to decide because on the one hand we could really use the extra income that selling the items at a yard sale or online would bring (read all about how we’re smashing debt this year in this post!). Then on the other hand, I know that if I decide to keep the things and store them until I sell them I’m writing a recipe for trouble. If you need help decluttering your stuff go here.
So what do I do with them? They can’t stay here!
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Should I Donate Items Or Sell Them?
The first question to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide what to do with items that you’re ready to part with is, “Do I want these items to leave quickly (yes! you do!) or do I want to try to recoup my money from them? Is time or money more valuable in this situation?
First, YES, you do want the items to leave your home quickly! After you’ve put in the hard work of sorting through items, the mental exercises of deciding what to keep, part with or purge and then re-organizing everything that remains- you’re going to be tired!
Getting the unwanted items moved out quickly after all of that work does two things. One, it allows your brain to register that the effects of decluttering are relaxing and your home is looking better because of it. Two, after your brain recognizes the positive effects taking place it will give you a motivational boost. I’m not a doctor, but I’d be willing to bet there is a chemical change in serotonin levels at this moment. This pat on the back from your brain will motivate you to complete the bigger tasks later on like your garage filled with boxes or your guest bedroom closet that no one is allowed to open. Don’t let that precious motivation slip away. It’s a time sensitive deal!
Something I read as I was beginning to retake control of my home’s clutter is this: the money has already been spent. No matter what you do, you won’t get all of that money back. Accept that knowledge and use it as an educational moment to control your shopping and spending habits in the future. To add to this idea, I would also ask you to consider, “How much would I pay someone to organize my home for me?” The amount of money you would receive from selling your unwanted items will probably be far less than you’d be willing to pay someone to do the work of decluttering for you. By getting the items out of your home yourself, you are organizing your home yourself and saving money. Get that clutter moved out so that happiness can move in!
Choosing to sell your items is not a bad thing. I’d actually encourage you to- just ensure that you do it quickly. Very quickly. Perhaps just choose a handful of highly valued items from your “declutter” pile and sell only those since you know they will sell quickly. Or try one of the options I’ve listed for you below.
Where To Sell Unwanted Items
I’ve mentioned a few times that my favorite way to part with decluttered items is to drop them off at a cosignment shop. This could be a literal bricks and sticks shop in the town where you live (win-win, support your local economy!), or you may be surprised to find that there are many consignment shops online.
Though not exactly a consignment shop, ThredUP is my favorite online shop to send used clothing to both because of the quality of the pieces they sell and the ease of sending in your items through the mail. Read all about how you can earn money by sending in your used clothing to ThredUP here.
An alternative which combines the two options above could be to partner with a friend in your community who has the time and the desire to sell your items for you in her spare time. She’ll do all of the hard work of selling the items and you get the items removed from your home ASAP plus a portion of the monetary rewards you’d miss out on if you were to donate the items.
Where Should I Donate My Things?
Not that donation is a bad thing!
I do my fair share of thrift store shopping to stay within our monthly budget so I always try to give back with donations when I can.
Donate Clutter Without Leaving Your House
Here’s a little known fact, Amazon has recently signed on with Goodwill to become a participant in the Give Back Box. When you purchase something on Amazon, keep the box and fill it up with items you’re no longer using. Check to be sure your items are safe to ship in the mail then just print off the free label at Give Back Box and ship as usual. That’s it! They will even generate a receipt for you once the box is received for you to use for your taxes. If you like simple, this is the way to go! Not to mention, if you follow the Minimalist rule of 1 item in means 2 items out, you can easily get the items moved out right after you open the package containing your new stuff!
These are a few of my favorite suggestions for parting with items you’ve decided are no longer serving a purpose in your home or bringing you happiness.
Where do you take items you no longer have a need for? Do you sell or donate?
Share with me in the comments!