Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Purging Stuff

Stuff. Stuff. And More Stuff.
Being basement less, we're trying to take a better approach to stuff. What do you think of STUFF?

We still have stuff. We just are trying to get rid of stuff as we accumulate more stuff. We're trying to only have stuff that we use regularly. And yes, we have a few sentimental things that remain forever boxed. We're still working on it. It's a work in progress.

Chewy and I spent the morning going through old clothes and household items. We've loaded a couple of bags up to donate. We're in major purge mode here. How about you?

But what can you do with all your accumulated stuff? Here's a few suggestions:

Hide it for awhile
Not sure if you'll use your stuff again? Put it away in a box or a bag for a few months. Put it in a closet, in the garage, in the basement, somewhere. If after a few months you haven't thought or it or used it, get rid of it.

Display the stuff
Are you hiding away things that you could put out and enjoy? Frame stuff, put it in shadow boxes, or out on a shelf. Use it. Enjoy it. I've framed stamps, shadow boxed spoons and coins, and brought out other things that were hiding in boxes.  Try to not store too many things in boxes where they will never be seen.

Organize the stuff
Get boxes, label them, and shelf the stuff if you can't part with it. Kinda like we did with our little used Christmas stuff. We've also got a few "sentimental" items still hanging in our closet. Hmm....wonder when we'll decide to get rid of this stuff. See Biker Boy's shirt from....oh....the early 90's maybe or the late 80's? He can't part with it. That would be my varsity jacket. That Royal Ranger shirt would be Biker Boy's from years and years ago. Stuff we can't yet part with.

So, if you've decided to get rid of stuff....what can you do with it?

Give it to a relative or a friend
There may be someone who could use what you no longer need. This works great for outgrown children items. I've got a bunch of Fuzzi Bunz that both my children used that are sitting in a bag waiting to go to a friend.  Furniture!  We've gotten lots of furniture from generous relatives and love it.  It's called the "American Attic" look.  We've even gave our old sofa set to a friend when we got our new set. 

Give it away for free
Use Craigslist or Freecycle to list your items that you want to give away for free. You'll be surprised by how quickly things will go. People will come pick up those big household items that you just don't want to get rid of yourself. We've used both Craigslist and Freecycle and I would recommend both.

There are many places that will take your donations and then sell them to help with their costs. Goodwill, Big Brother/Big Sister, Thrift Stores, Salvation Army, Vietnam Veterans, and many more will take your stuff. Some places will even come and pick up your stuff for you. We're taking a few bags to one place this weekend!

Sell it Locally
Again Craigslist is a great place to sell things. You could hold a yard sale if you've got a lot of stuff or sell some of your things in a friend's yard sale. Plus...no shipping charges for those buying. We held a moving sale when we moved to the southwest and it went well.

Sell it Far Away
Some things just sell better on Ebay or Amazon, but your buyer has shipping charges to pay. Did you know you can sell things on Amazon? It's especially great for things like DVDs. We've done both eBay and Amazon and would recommend them both.

Swap It
There are sites online where you can trade in things for other things. I think this works best with kid toys, kid clothes, books, and music. I haven't tried any yet, so I can't recommend any. But I've read about them. Has anyone tried any of these?

And with this I don't mean swap it for something else. Sell your stuff at a swap. You'll usually be charged an entrance fee and a percentage of the sale price if your item sells. We put an old mountain bike and used bike parts in a bike swap after we couldn't get rid of them on Craigslist. They sold fast, even after we marked them up to cover the cost of selling them. We're attending a ski swap this year to find items for the kids and hope to sell the items there again after the kids outgrow them.

So what do you do with your stuff? Any recommendations? Tell me about your stuff!

And speaking of stuff....technology stuff is....ugh. My ancient computer is telling me I don't have enough room for all the stuff I've been putting on it lately. No room to upload picture or edit them. I had to delete stuff to just upload these 3 pictures for this post and I couldn't edit them. Talk about STUFF!

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