A couple years ago I suggested we all make and save money by getting rid of our junk. The idea was to simply sell stuff you don't need/use, make money off the sale, and save money by canceling outside storage (if you were paying for any -- personally, I didn't have any, but I did have a lot of stuff to purge.)
Well recently Parade magazine hit on the same topic and they listed suggestions for purging your clutter as follows:
- Sell it -- ebay, Craigslist, yard sales
- Trash it
- Give it away -- Regift, charities, "free" section of Craigslist
They also list 10 things to throw out today as follows:
1. Computer printouts
2. Paper copies of paid bills
3. VHS tapes, cassette tapes, or old video games
4. Home gym equipment
5. Worn-out linens
6. Hair accessories from years past
7. Outdated cell phones
8. Extra coat hangers
9. Reminders of past hobbies
10. Single-use kitchen gadgets
Here are my comments on this subject:
Twice a year (in the spring and the fall), we go through our clothes and ask two simple questions:
1. Have I worn this in the past year?
2. If not, do I foresee that I will need/use it in the near future?
If the answer to both of these is "no", then we either pack it up and donate to the Salvation Army or sell it at our HUGE church kids' clothing sale (our church gives the seller 70% of the proceeds and 30% goes to the church.)
In addition to this, we go through the "problem areas" in our house once a year where stuff seems to accumulate. These include:
1. The basement -- This includes both the furnished part as well as our three storage areas.
2. The garage -- AKA the wasteland of all outside items (tools, bikes, gardening equipment, etc.)
3. The pantry -- Our pantry is the size of a large closet/small room and is full of shelving. We use half of it or so for food items and the rest is a hodge podge of other items -- soccer referee gear, paperwork, arts and crafts, and so on.
There are a few other places we clear out too, but these are where 90% of the stuff we have but don't need/use resides.
We clear out our stuff for a few reasons:
1. To decrease clutter. It just seems to make life a bit nicer when parts of your house are nice, neat, clean, and not packed to the gills.
2. To help others. We don't want/need the stuff, but others might. We give away stuff that's in good condition. Anything that's useless or in very poor shape gets thrown away.
3. To make money. This is mostly for our kids. They sell some of their stuff at the church sale so they can...buy more stuff. :(
That's how we handle "stuff" in our lives that seems to accumulate with no real help from us (Does it actually breed and multiply? It seems like it sometimes!) How about you? What do you do in your war on accumulated stuff?