“The less you own, the less that owns you.”
It’s no secret that our 2,200 square foot house was stuffed with stuff. Not squirrels living in the living room, trash mountain stuffed but stuffed with antiques, primitives, mason jars and assorted sitty-around stuff. For a long time, I really enjoyed shopping for my stuff, collecting my stuff and displaying my stuff. But, a few things changed for me. I started reading a lot about minimalism after watching a documentary on Netflix. The more I read about minimalism, the more it made sense to me and began changing my mind set about my extensive hoard. But, our plan of selling everything, paying off our debt, quitting our jobs and moving to a boat would require me to liquidate my stuff hoard, too. And, I wanted to be able to purge my stuff at my own pace, when I wasn’t feeling pressured to get rid of everything all of a sudden when it was nearing time to put our house on the market. So, I started super early. And, I’ve learned a few things about purging our stuff along the way.
Methods That DIDN’T Work For Getting Our Rid Stuff
- Craigslist, Facebook yardsale sites / marketplace and apps like LetGo. While these venues may be worth it for other people selling other stuff, they definitely didn’t work for us. We gave it a good go – taking pictures, taking measurements, writing descriptions, posting in nicely organized albums and bumping the albums on all the sites. Here was our experience nearly every time. We would arrive at previously agreed upon meeting location 5 minutes early to wait for the buyer who ended up showing up 15 minutes late. We would have the item(s) that the buyer requested to purchase, but despite the photos, measurements and written description, the buyer would renege on the deal OR the buyer would haggle with us about an item that we were selling for $1. It was a time consuming, exhausting process that ended up netting us way less than the time we put into the process.
- Community yard sales. We made $75 in a few hours at a local yard sale, which we were pretty happy with. BUT, we spent hours pricing items, packing them up, transporting them to the yard sale site, setting them up, haggling with people over a $1 basket, packing up the stuff we didn’t sell, driving it home and storing it back in the house. Josh was happy that he got a whoopie pie bigger than his head out of our yard sale experience, but, the overall effort vs. payout was definitely not worth it for us.
- Giving stuff to family and friends. We’re going to say that this one was somewhat helpful, but, we’re going to list it under the no-good ideas because the amount of stuff we got rid of using this method was super minimal and we definitely aren’t relying on it as a good method in order to liquidate our stuff. Family members selected and took a few items, but not a lot. It definitely made us feel good that we were able to give some stuff to our family and friends but we needed them to take a lot more to make it a viable way to minimize our stuff hoard. The amount of stuff we needed to get rid of compared to the amount of stuff family and friends took off our hands didn’t help us much here.
Methods That DID Work For Getting Our Rid Stuff
- Trashcan. Listen…we all know there’s some stuff that we hold on to that belongs living in the trashcan. The magic-marker-colored macaroni necklace we made in kindergarten. The paper-plated-decorated-with-cotton-balls-and-yarn Easter bonnet we made at Vacation Bible School when we were 8. The hair from our first haircut and the teeth that the Tooth Fairy took from under our pillows. (Okay, seeing that in writing makes it SUPER weird! Thanks for saving that stuff, Mom!) Reminisce. Laugh about the weirdness of keeping it for so long. And then give it a proper burial in the Hefty sack. I promise your future self won’t hate you.
- Donating to charity. One of the most amazing things that we discovered during our stuff purging adventure was Give Back Box. We got rid of a TON of clothes and household goods using the Give Back Box program because it was SO easy! Pack the box, print the label, ship it off, DONE. And, not only do you get rid of your stuff, you can get a tax write-off, too! We keep a box on our main living level, constantly ready for stuff to be dropped into. When the box is full, we seal it up, print the shipping label, send it off and set out a new box. It’s been a really effective way for us to identify items that can go on a daily basis without stockpiling a bunch until we’re ready to drive to a donation center.
- Renting a stand at a Co-Op. This has been really effective for purging
ourAlexis’ collection of antiques, primitives and sitty-around stuff. We rented a 5′ x 9′ stand at a local Co-Op for $70 per month and we stuffed it full of ourAlexis’ stuff. Sure, we spent some time pricing the items and transporting them to the Co-Op, but, once they were priced and there, that was it. The Co-Op takes care of keeping an eye on the stuff and collecting the money. We picked up checks twice per month for whatever we sold during the payout period. No lugging the stuff back and forth. No haggling over prices. No spending hours watching over the stuff. Price the stuff. Display the stuff. Profit. We weren’t sure if it would end up working but we are SO happy with the results! So much so that Alexis’ mom has decided that it’s time for her to begin purging her stuff, too, and is now sending loads of stuff to the stand, too! An added benefit to this method is that in addition to getting rid of stuff, we earned some cash. Not a killing, but not nothing. Here’s how we did with our Co-Op stand, after paying our monthly rent each month:
|MONTH||TOTAL EARNED FROM SELLING STUFF|
|TOTAL||555 Items Sold For $1230.09|