How To Get Rid Of Stuff
Do you feel like you are surrounded by so much stuff and you don’t want to be? Or are you in the process of moving house or downsizing and now seems like an opportune time to sort through what you own?
Yes!! Then the next question is likely to be… But how do I get rid of all that stuff?
This question came up for me recently after decluttering my own kitchen cabinets, home office aka junk room, and the kids’ bedrooms. Check out the living room before!
Maybe you are like me and have boxes of stuff that you no longer want to keep. You are thinking about having a garage sale and earning some extra money. It isn’t a bad idea except…
- You are not planning to have the garage sale until you have finished decluttering the rest of the house.
- You are starting to feel discouraged now because you can’t see much difference for all your decluttering efforts.
- You still have so much stuff sitting there!
Well here’s 3 ideas for how to get rid of stuff you no longer want or need. (Ignoring upcycling your things and turning them into artwork to display in your front yard.)
How To Get Rid Of Stuff You Don’t Need
Yes, chuck it out! Often the things you don’t need anymore are items other people would not want either.
However thanks to something called the endowment effect, you and I give more value to our stuff simply because we own it.
It may be tempting to feel that others would want and find your unwanted items useful. Unfortunately, I reckon most of the stuff we have is not worth anything at all. So instead of putting everything in bags and dropping it off at your local charity op shop, be willing to bin it.
Ask yourself, “If the item in front of me was for sale right now, would I choose to buy it? How much would I be willing to pay for it?”
Anything that is broken, worn out or out dated etc. needs to be binned or recycled!!
For example; shoes that have wear and tear on the soles, books with water damage, stains or pages falling out, clothing with fabric that is worn, faded or has piling. If something is too worn for you to wear, it’s too worn for someone else to wear!!
Makeup or fragrances that are older than 12 months old also need to be binned rather than sold or donated. These kind of products have use by dates!!
But how can I put sentimental items in the garbage?
If you are finding it difficult to put formerly treasured or useful items in the bin, I suggest you try the Konmari method!
Marie Kondo suggests in her best selling book, The Magic of Tidying Up, to express thankfulness for use of that item as you bin it.
For me if I am letting go of an item that has had a lot of sentimental value attached to it, I might wrap that item up carefully before putting it in the rubbish bin. I find it makes it easier!
Donate Or Give It Away For Free
As mentioned above, the availability to donate things should not be an excuse to avoid putting your treasured but worn out stuff into the bin.
But anything that is in great condition can be donated or given away. Items such as:
- kitchen utensils
- electrical appliances
- board games
As well as, any brand new items you no longer need or want.
Most of the puzzles and board games my kids play with at home have been sourced second hand. That is, thanks to someone else’s willingness to donate those items.
Where to donate or give away unwanted items?
- charity op shops
- Gumtree or Craigslist
- local buy and sell Facebook groups
- Freecycle Facebook groups
- animal shelters
- charities working with refugees or families escaping domestic violence
Sell Your Clutter
Use this option WITH CAUTION when you are first starting out decluttering your home. Making a bit money from selling your unwanted items can easily become an excuse for moving clutter from one area of your home to another. Especially when the effort of selling an item gets put off indefinitely.
Making extra money through selling your stuff though is a definite bonus!
How to decide what is worth selling?
Donnie from Just A Girl and Her Blog shares his family’s policy on selling their stuff, “If we have a lot of lower priced items cluttering up our home, it often makes more sense to donate them. We typically don’t try to sell anything worth less than $25 (around $35 Australian).“
The keys to successfully selling is to:
- Take clear photos.
- Give a complete description of the item including measurements and any damage.
- Price your item reasonably. Check out what similar items are listed for if you are not sure.
Places to sell your items include online, local community newspapers, holding your own garage sale, Ebay and local buy and sell groups on Facebook.
And what did I do with all the clutter that ended up in my living room?
In the end, I decided to donate most of the small items that were patiently waiting for my garage sale that never happened.
Larger items such as furniture, I decided to list online for sale. As I wanted to get rid of stuff and A LOT of it more quickly, for a while I aimed to have 10 items out of my house each week. That included both donated and sold items. Over a few months, I finally began to see a difference!