Clutter : the bane of every mom’s existence. Just open your junk drawer. You know what I am talking about. The one in your kitchen with every single tiny thing you thought you would use someday. The one you fear opening in front of guests because you know items will come falling out!
As our family’s needs grow we end up having clutter boxes and clutter corners. We unwittingly end up buying things we never use. Toys bought lovingly end up ignored. Clothes out of size are kept aside. Tools we thought would solve a problem lay around teasing us.
Clutter used to get on my nerves till I made peace with it recently. That doesn’t mean I don’t get rid of the unnecessary. The main question every spring season is how do we reduce this unwanted mess from our lives.
The ultimate way to get rid of stuff is to go through the house with a trash bag, closet by closet/room by room. Look at every single thing and ask yourself the following questions –
- Have you used it in the past 6 months ?
- Do you see yourself using it in the next one month?
- Does it have any emotional connection to your life?
- Does anyone in your family benefit from having this item around ?
If the answers to all these questions is “No”, then it’s time to toss it. But I don’t mean put it in the trash can. Remember what has become junk for you may not be the same for someone else.
Ways to Benefit From Your Junk
Selling Facebook Marketplace / FB Closed Local Groups
Every city has a group aimed at buying and selling things close to your home. Join these groups, share pictures of your ‘for sale’ items and name a price you are comfortable with. You can also use Facebook Online Market to do the same. Some rules to remember.
- Keep room for negotiation.
- Meet people in public places like parking lots of busy shopping centers.
- If the profile you are selling to seems fishy (like not having a real picture or talks funny) then DO NOT sell to them.
- Meet at a reasonable time of day.
- Have people confirm meeting time/place half an hour before. (Many people don’t show up on the day of so it’s better to confirm their interest)
This is a little more cumbersome process since you have to create an ad of sorts but it is great for big items like furniture , beds etc. Tips to help you –
- Make sure you are honest in your advertisement.
- Put in great pictures to give someone true idea of your item for sale.
- You have to be patient as it may be days before someone sees your post.
- Observe all the above mentioned rules
Apps Like Offer Up, Poshmark & Varagesale.
There are some great apps out there that help you sell items with a click of a button. Offer UP, Poshmark and Varagesale (RVA) come highly recommended by our RMB team members Christa Threfall, Kate Fletcher and Becca Campbell respectively. Kate gives some great tips on using Poshmark for selling your clothes.
- Take great pictures
- Give clear descriptions with measurements.
- Name brand clothing always sells.
- Poshmark covers shipping for sellers (you just have to print the shipping label) which is convenient, but they keep a 20% cut of your sales.
- Again practice saftey at all costs. Be smart when meeting strangers.
This is a great place for electronics but the selling and buying prices can be very tricky considering Ebay takes a cut of all that you do. Be it shipping or selling. Tips to remember –
- Pay attention to your seller’s rating.
- Choose start and end times wisely.
- Be clear about your demands.
- Practice good customer service.
Amazon Market Place
You have the benefit of getting your sales listed next to Amazon’s product listings for the same item new, which ups the chances that people will stumble on your listing. Alternately, you can use their Trade In program to get direct credit for the item you want to sell. But here you are not in charge of the amount of money you receive.
Game Stop, Gazelle & Glyde
Places like these pay for video games. While Game Stop is a walk in option with less money return, Gazelle and Glyde are online services that help you sell your games. Gazelle pays you money for your gadgets and games. Only caveat is they do not take PC games. Glyde helps you sell your games by listing them on their website.
Get permission from your Home Owner’s Association and have a yard sale by yourself or with a few neighbors. Get all your stuff into the garage and have a selling party. Tag every item before hand. You can also get onto a local yard sale listing by paying a small fee but have to make the extra effort of carrying all the items to and back the venue allotted.
Kid to Kid or Consignment Stores
These stores are a great last ditch effort at selling your barely used items, specially dresses. The only issue is you rarely get your money’s worth but when something is better than nothing this is a great option. Points to note –
- Dresses have to be in trend and almost brand new (read: no stains).
- Kids toys/items have to be in sparkling condition.
- More often than not they return items they do not buy or offer to pass them ahead to donation centers.
- The pay is meagre compared to selling it online.
Gift To Friend/Acquaintance
The best way to benefit is the feeling of good will. When something is of not of any use to me, I usually first ask my friends/neighbors if they have any need for the said item. Many a times someone has “just been trying to find that exact same thing” . It makes me so much happier to have passed on something to a good home and friend.
- All are in one piece and still usable.
- Ensure the items are clean.
- Taken together in a proper box or bag.
If all else fails, instead of trashing stuff, please consider taking the time to donate your to local donation center (with an cause you believe in) and give it to the needy.