I was thinking back over my life before I de-cluttered and I asked my husband if I used to hoard anything. His simple answer was “boyfriends” (but I don’t do that anymore).
Just kidding. Though I’ve never hoarded boyfriends, I used to hang onto everything (and so did my husband). I think when we were first starting out together we just weren’t used to having our own stuff, so we collected it. We also didn’t have much money, which contributed to the tendency to keep everything – you know, “just in case”.
The truth is, having less “stuff” means having less to worry about and take care of. It makes life simpler and, with less to maintain and organize, you have more time to spend doing the things you love.
Right there, you should want to jump on the de-cluttering bandwagon. I mean, who doesn’t want more time? But, WAIT. There’s more. Your “stuff” can be turned into cold, hard cash! You never know what you may have lying around that could become other people’s treasures!
Where to begin de-cluttering
So many places, so little time. Just pick one and start. Spend 15 minutes sorting just one drawer, one shelf, or one cabinet. You do have 15 minutes, right? Do this several times and you’ll have a nice pile of “stuff” that can be turned into cash in no time, “stuff” you no longer have to take care of, and “stuff” you no longer have to organize and clean. Win-win-win!
- Clothes closet
- Kitchen cabinets
- Media Cabinets
- Under the Bed
- Storage Unit
Making those life changing decisions
No, deciding what to keep and what to toss is not a life changing decision. But it isn’t always easy. What if you need it later? What if so-in-so finds out you gave away the wedding gift they gave you? What if Fluffy misses that old bone? It’s okay. Take a deep breath. It’s only “stuff” and it can be replaced if you make a mistake.
How do you decide what to keep and what to get rid of?
Take all items out (believe me, those shelves need dusted anyway – been there, done that!) and ask yourself these questions:
- Do you use it?
- When was the last time you used it? (over 6 months? Strongly consider letting it go)
- Do you love it? Does it bring you “joy”?*
- Is it a “just in case” item?
- Are you keeping it for sentimental reasons or because it was a gift to you? (Don’t give into the guilt, a gift is just that – something given to you and it’s yours to decide what you want to do with it)
Example: My juicer. I still have it. Why? I don’t know. I’ve had it for 3 years and used it for 2 months. I feel like it’s too expensive to make juice with so much of the fruits/veggies wasted. It was a gift. And so it sits in my pantry gathering dust. But, guess what? If I sell it, I would be $35 richer. It’s time to say good-bye to the juicer.
How to turn your “stuff” into cold, hard cash
Clothes can be consigned. I honestly think this is the easiest way to rid yourself of unworn, unwanted clothing. I frequently “shop” for free at my local consignment shop by using the credit from my consigned clothes and shoes. My advice? Check around for stores that will take all of your items and simply donate what they don’t sell.
Don’t want to consign the clothes? Sell the higher end items on or Craigslist individually and sell the less valuable clothes in lots. Or simply have a garage or yard sale.
Sell ship-able items on . You can check completed listings and see if similar items sold and for how much. (If you see similar items are generally unsold, consider another option, though it doesn’t cost you anything to try.)
Sell furniture and other non-ebay items on Craigslist or have a yard/garage Sale. Larger items, like furniture, sell really well on Craigslist. I once purchased a headboard on Craigslist and, a few years later, I sold it on Craigslist for the same exact price.
Have you de-cluttered? What have you gotten rid of? Have you made any money de-cluttering? Has de-cluttering impacted your life in positive ways?
Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life by Joshua Field Minburn and Ryan Nicodemus
The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker
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