Monday, March 30, 2015

Minimize the Mess Part 3

Welcome to the third post in the Minimize the Mess series! Since the last post I've taken two more carloads of things to Goodwill. Now that I've donated about a quarter of our unused and unneeded things, I finally feel ready to start selling some of it! Before purging 25% of the junk, the thought of dealing with eBay, Craigslist, and local buy/sell Facebook groups (as well as having everything just taking up space until it sold) nearly gave me a panic attack! I don't know if you've ever tried to sell things online, but sometimes buyers can just be... well, hostile is the nicest term I can think of.

How/where have I been selling things?

  • Resale/Consignment Shops - My first choice when selling things is to take them to local resale shops. My favorite place to sell my son's old clothes, toys, and baby gear (yes, I still have some 5 years later) is a local used children's clothing and toy store. They buy recent styles at a percentage of what they're worth and resell them. I don't get as much as I would selling them online, but it's easier than waiting for someone to come to my house, and change their mind or try to (aggressively) haggle me down. They make an offer, and I accept or don't - it's that simple. 
  • Facebook Buy/Sell Groups - I know I didn't make the local buy/sell groups sound like much fun, but it's definitely easier than dealing with eBay. I post pictures with descriptions and prices of the items, and arrange to meet the buyer somewhere locally. However, after a few times of wasting gas because of no-shows, I decided to just have people come to my apartment complex to look at the items. Because it's all local, I don't have to deal with any postage, shipping, or returns and refunds. If they don't like the item after seeing it in person, they just don't buy it. 
  • eBay - eBay is my last choice for selling things, because it's tedious. You have to list every detail about the item, there are seller fees, and it's a pain to deal with refunds and returns if the buyer isn't happy. 

How Much have I Made?

Items Sold
$$ Earned
Baby Items
& Toys
Misc. Items

Although we've made more than $100 selling things, my fear that things will be sitting around for a long time until they're sold is coming true! Since the whole point of this is to get rid of things, I've actually started giving things away for free and donating them. Any money we make is really just a bonus.

These piles of things waiting to be sold are about
to turn into things that are getting donated. 

The Decluttering Continues

I mentioned already we've taken 2 more carloads to Goodwill, making 3 in total. My family may not have been completely on board at first, but they've definitely come around now that we're making some money out of it. In fact, here is a picture of my son helping by picking out toys that he doesn't play with anymore!

What a great helper!

Kitchen Items 

I mentioned in Part One of Minimize the Mess that I had donated all but two (per person) of all the plates, cups, and silverware. I've trimmed it down a bit more since then by being rid of all my son's plastic plates and utensils. At five years old, he's already proved that he's responsible enough to eat off of glass plates. You'd be surprised by how much space that has cleared up.

There is still one cabinet that annoys me when I look at it though. The dreaded Tupperware/container cabinet! Those lids are a pain to contain (mind the pun). I'm seriously considering switching to mason jars, since I already have them.


In the past, our closets have been a place for hiding clutter. Can't find a place for it? Just shove it in the closet. I've actually stumbled across items that I thought were long-lost, or that I'd just completely forgotten about. That got me to thinking: how could I be hanging on to all these things without even remembering what all I had? If everything is important, than is anything really important?

In the process of cleaning out my closet, I found a lot of old baby items and maternity shirts. I remember thinking at the time that I'll need them if I have another baby. Well, 4 years later and still no baby! It wasn't even hard to get rid of these items.

Among the baby things in the closet, I also found some old baby clothes that I'd set aside because I wanted to make a quilt out of them. Again, 4 years have gone by and I'm still no better at sewing than I was when I put these in the closet. I decided to find somebody to make the quilt for me, or just donate or sell the clothes.

Now I have this, rather than a bag of onesies.
Thanks, Quilts By Donna!

There is plenty more to be decluttered, and who knows if I'll ever really be done. As my journey continues, my perspective on what's really important changes; I'm starting to value experiences over items, and I'm okay with that.

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