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You can’t keep your space clean if you have too much stuff, so decluttering has to happen before ay meaningful cleaning routine can be established. I do a major declutter of our apartment 2-3 times a year. Even though I am the anti-packrat, its amazing how much unnecessary stuff we accumulate in a few short months.
In the past I have sold a lot of the stuff I have decluttered from our home, whether on Facebook swap pages or eBay (read more about that here), but when I recently went through our master bedroom closet, I had lots of things to get rid of, and no time to hassle with selling.
It was really a dilemma for me because on one hand I felt like I was just throwing money away, but on the other hand having extra piles of “stuff” just sitting around was stressing me out.
I ended up loading almost everything up and dropping at off at the Goodwill down the street. The rest I gave to the renters moving into my sister’s rental house. I could have potentially thrown away over $100, so why do I feel like donating was the right choice? These are a few guidelines I use when deciding to sell or donate.
1. Do I need the money?
Of course, we could all use a little extra money, but sometimes there is an actual crisis where money needs to be raised quickly, or something I want to purchase but I don’t want to use the family budget money. Then I seriously look at selling. Where I sell depends on what the item is.
2. Is there any demand for the item(s)?
When I got rid of my iPhone 5s I was able to sell it on eBay for $600. Cell phones have always sold well for me, and considering it was the newest model and had only been out for a few months, I knew it would fetch a decent price. However, I recently gave away a small TV and stand. I had taken the time to take nice pictures and put it on a Facebook swap page, and all I got were replies from people who either didn’t show up or offered less than half of what I was asking. That was a complete, and frustrating, waste of my time and I ended up giving it to someone who needed and appreciated it. I felt good about getting rid of it.
3. How much space is this taking up?
If an item is small I might be willing to hang onto it until I find the right buyer, or have time to take great pictures. But if something is taking up a lot of space and creating clutter in my life, often it makes more sense for me to just donate it. According to Psychology Today clutter can cause additional stress, anxiety and distraction. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need those things in my life!
Minimalism is a mindset and value that I am learning to embrace, and the benefits have been enormous. We all know that stuff can’t make you happy, but do we reflect that in our lifestyles and choices?
Getting rid of extra stuff and clutter is an excellent first step in an orderly home and life, but don’t stress yourself out further about what to do with that stuff. If taking it to Goodwill is what pushes you to get rid of your excess, then by all means donate it!