We are now in the midst of spring cleaning season! It’s a great time to dedicate a weekend to clearing out rooms in your home and finding items that you no longer need or want. We help a lot of people get organized and purging is a huge part of that process. It can be a tedious undertaking, but one with great rewards!
So, once you figure out what can go, what should you do with all of that excess stuff? Many people ask us what we think they should do, and the short answer is that is depends on a lot of factors. You definitely have options, but what are your goals? Are you hoping to make as much money as possible? Do you just want to be done with it? How much time do you have to spend?
Here are some of your options:
1. Garage or Estate Sale – Many people have a lot of success with garage sales, others not so much. First of all, do you have the extra time? Setting up a garage sale, advertising for it, and pricing all your items can be very time consuming…not to mention the sale itself which is likely to take up most of an entire day. Next, do you live in a feasible place? If you live in a rural area or an apartment complex this is probably not the best option. It’s wise to make sure your neighborhood is even accessible. Thirdly, do you have the space? Can you store the stuff you’re going to sell until that day? If you have a lot of space and can store the things you are ready to part with throughout the year, then I say go for it. Personally, when I’m ready to get rid of something, I want it gone…especially if my reluctant husband has finally agreed to let something go. It needs to go before he changes his mind, out of sight out of mind. You don’t want your family shopping at your own garage sale before it even takes place!
2. Craigslist – I love craigslist and I’ve had a lot of success with it. I have bought and sold many pieces of furniture, electronics, yard equipment etc.. It’s a great way to get rid of some of your bigger items and make a little money. I have also used Craigslist to get rid of construction materials and things we have needed to discard. There is a free section where I have posted anything from old ceiling fans, to bathtubs, to bricks. The stuff doesn’t end up in the landfill and someone conveniently picked them up right from our driveway without us having to haul it off. You would be surprised at what people are willing to try and repurpose! Freecyle.org is another similar site. However, if you don’t want people coming to your home, Craigslist may not be the best choice, and I always make sure my husband is home. However, if the item is not too big, you can always meet the buyer at a public parking lot.
3. Ebay & other online sites – If you have collectible type items that are easy to ship, Ebay is a great resource to find a national, and even an international audience. While Craigslist is relatively easy to use, Ebay does require some research and knowledge to navigate. I recommend asking a friend or family member who has experience with it to assist you if it’s your first time. There are also now endless places to sell your items online. Some of the most popular include Etsy.com for handmade items, Poshmark.com for clothing and accessories, nextworth.com for electronics, and thredup.com for girls, boys, and women’s clothing. I have even recently discovered a local facebook page, “Yard Sale Queens of NW Arkansas”, another local, online resource for turning your clutter into cash!
4. Consignment Stores – A few months ago we worked with a client who had recently moved from abroad and had two households worth of items in her new home. She had no idea what to do with all of the extra appliances, dishes, and household goods and did not have enough realistic space or need to store all of them. There are many great consignment stores that accept clothing, household goods, home décor, etc. and we found one in particular that accepted all categories. It is an ongoing process for her, but one that is worthwhile because she is recuperating a good portion of the money she had spent without actually having to sell the items herself.
5. Donation Centers – This is probably our favorite choice! We love matching client donations with particular and specific needs in our community. Also, by the time most of our clients have called us, they’re ready to see an immediate change and this is definitely the quickest solution to clearing the clutter! It’s as simple as calling a donation center to send a truck or loading up your car and driving to the organization closest to your home. There are so many good local options for donating your stuff. If you live in NWA and are needing recommendations, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Spring Cleaning! And remember…
“The more you have, the more you are occupied. The less you have, the more free you are.” – Mother Teresa