After spending nine weeks of my life in serious decluttering mode, I was dreading the thought of trying to sell or get rid of the mountains of stuff I didn’t need! I *may* have even had second thoughts about getting rid of things because of the work involved.
If you are following along with our packing party, it’s time to decide whether you want to bring some of your packed items back into your clean, decluttered living space, or get rid of them. It may be easier to let the clutter go if you know exactly how and where to get rid of it (especially if you can make a little money or help someone in need)!
Check out this post on the Art of Letting Go if you are still trying to figure out how to finish decluttering. If you are ready to quickly get rid of your items, read on.
Quick Selling Tips
The first thought that crossed my mind was just to drop EVERYTHING off at a thrift store and be done, which is certainly a simple option (some will even come and pick everything up for you). If you are like me, and your budget is tight, you may want to try selling some things first to earn a little money back.
In the past, I have spent tons of time trying to sell unwanted items, and realized that the time I put in may not always have been worth it, considering I sometimes made much less than minimum wage for all the time it took.
Here are some strategies for selling that will maximize your efforts, and hopefully help you earn the most money for your time.
Option 1: Focus on the highest value items
- Pick 10-15 items to list (or whatever you have time for)
- OR focus on only the items you can list for $20 or more
- List these items in places like Craigslist, local Facebook groups, or eBay (for easy-to-ship items)
Option 2: Let someone else do the selling
- Drop off high-ticket items at resale or consignment shops
- Children’s clothing and gear can be sold at specialty children’s consignment
- Take books, DVDs and media to used book stores that buy these items
- Take advantage of services where you send in items to sell (like Decluttr.com for media or thredUP.com for clothing)
- You may make less money per item, because the seller collects a fee, but you will spend much less time with these methods!
Option 3: Plan ahead for a great sale!
- If you choose to do a yard sale, focus on pricing the big ticket items, and consider displaying everything else on $1 or $2 tables. You may sell more items this way, and you will definitely spend less time pricing!
- Pick a great location – if there is not much traffic in your area, see if you can go in with a friend or relative that lives in an upscale, higher-traffic area. Offer to bring snacks, help them set up their items, or drop off their donations for them at the end, since they hosted!
- Advertise your sale! Use signs, ads, and even your own social media or word of mouth to let people know about your sale!
- If you choose to do a mom to mom sale, ask around for the ones that get the most traffic. For most sales, if you sign up early, you get a better spot near the entrance at the sale. Some sales are not worth it, if you end up in a back hallway or bad location.
- As with yard sales, focus on pricing higher-ticket items, and sell the rest for $1 or $2 to save time pricing. Clean, wrinkle-free clothes and baby gear in good, clean condition will bring in the most money.
Tips for Donating Items
The key to making sure your items get into the hands of people who can use them is donating to the right places.
The best places you can donate are usually the ones who publish lists of current needs, and give items directly to those who need them.
Examples of these organizations:
- Homeless shelters
- Shelters for abused women and children
- Crisis pregnancy centers
- Clothing “closets” for low income families
- Organizations that provide holiday assistance for families
- Other assistance organizations
Another option is to donate at thrift stores, which is usually quick and easy, but be aware that there is a range of places the items and money will go. While some use proceeds to fund organizations that provide assistance, others operate as more of a business.
Also, when some of these stores receive more donations than they can handle, some items will end up in the trash. Make sure you know what items they accept and what their policy is for excess.
One last donation option I want to mention is clothing “recycling” containers. They look like small dumpsters, and are often found in parking lots or at gas stations. Sometimes these bins will have a specific aid organization listed on them, but if they simply say clothing “recycling,” this is exactly what it sounds like.
The clothing is recycled into new materials, rather than given to those in need. This type of recycling is fine for clothes that are too worn to reuse, because it is better than throwing them in the garbage. But recycling does take energy and increase pollution, so giving to places that will reuse instead of recycle is better if the items are still in good condition!
Enjoy Freedom from Clutter
No matter which option you choose, get ready to enjoy a life free from clutter. Sometimes it takes the work of decluttering, donating and selling to motivate us to change our habits of bringing excess into our homes.
Once you have experienced life with less stuff, less work cleaning and organizing, and less money to maintain and store your items, you may even decide to get rid of more!
Keep these tips in mind to maximize your time selling, and help someone out by donating the rest!
P.S. This is the last post in this series, though there will be occasional decluttering posts in the future, and I’ll be sharing an update in the next couple months on our family’s journey to minimalism. Check out the previous posts here (I recommend starting with #1 if you haven’t read it, then feel free to skip around):
- Decluttering and Minimalism for Families: It Doesn’t Have to be so Hard (Post #1)
- Packing Party in the Kitchen! | Decluttering and Minimalism for Families (Post #2)
- Stop Toy Clutter for Good | Decluttering and Minimalism for Families (Post #3)
- How to Declutter Kids Clothing with a Capsule Wardrobe | Decluttering and Minimalism for Families (Post #4)
- Minimizing our Master Bedroom + Toddler Items | Decluttering and Minimalism for Families (Post #5)
- Your Questions About the Packing Party | Decluttering and Minimalism for Families (Post #6)
- Finding “Hygge” and Decluttering the Living Room | Decluttering and Minimalism for Families (Post #7)
- Decluttering the Books! | Decluttering and Minimalism for Families (Post #8)
- 14 Alternatives to DVDs, CDs, and Media Clutter! | Decluttering and Minimalism for Families (Post #9)
- The Art of Letting Go | Minimalism and Decluttering for Families (Post #10)
- Decluttering Papers! What to Keep and What to Toss | Decluttering and Minimalism for Families (Post #11)
- The One Thing that Made Decluttering the Craft Room Easy | Decluttering and Minimalism for Families (Post #12)
You may also like: 8 Things I’m Keeping in my ‘Minimalist’ Kitchen