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How to Get Rid of Stuff and Declutter

Let's clean out those closets and everywhere else too!

A yard sign that says 'moving sale'
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Image by Brian Douglass

Living in one place for any length of time usually means accumulating stuff. Especially if you have kids (cash can be nice Grandparents!). Getting rid of things can be freeing and liberating. When we simplify we can focus on what really matters like our relationships. So what do you do with all the stuff you thought you once needed?

We’ve been working through this same problem before we can hit the road. Here are some things that have worked well for us!

Table of contents

Selling

Selling your old stuff is a great option. You have already gotten some use out of it and now you can get some money back. Or maybe it’s just been sitting in a box new all this time (yes those were for a project that I had planned to do forever ago!).

Facebook

A screenshot of facebook.com
Screenshot of facebook.com

When we started combing through all of our things to find stuff to get rid of, my wife started a Facebook group and invited all her friends. Simply titled “Moving Sale”, she would snap a few pictures of something she wanted to sell to later upload to the group.

We would upload a batch of pictures to the group for people to browse. Doing it in batches made it easy for our friends to scroll through a few things at a time, rather than getting a bunch of unrelated notifications throughout the day.

This has proven to be an excellent way to get rid of things. Especially larger items that would prove difficult to ship.

For your own sanity, you’ll want to have people pick up at your place, rather than trying to coordinate dropoffs and exchanges. However, only do this if you know the people buying your things!

eBay

A screenshot of eBay.com
Screenshot of ebay.com

eBay is an old standard when it comes to selling things online. We have had moderate success selling some things with eBay.

It doesn’t cost anything to set up a listing on eBay. It doesn’t matter if your listing is an auction or a “buy it now” style listing.

It is important to note that after you sell an item, eBay will take their fees and you will need to pay for shipping. So set your pricing accordingly.

Mercari

A screenshot of Mercari.com
Screenshot of mercari.com

Mercari is an online marketplace much like eBay. My wife has had good success selling things on Mercari in the past so she decided to continue uploading some of the things we were getting rid of there.

Like eBay, it doesn’t cost anything to list on Mercari. The differences are in the fees.

On Mercari, the buyer pays fees to Mercari on top of any sales tax. That alleviates the costs on the seller’s side, but they will charge a small fee when you want to withdraw your funds, so bear that in mind.

Yard Sale

A bunch of stuff for sale at a yard sale
Image by Brian Douglass

A yard sale is a classic way to get rid of stuff. And unlike our Facebook group, it allows us to reach a wide variety of people in our local community.

With our yard sale, we have advertised it online in several local community groups. We also bought signs that say “Moving Sale” in the hopes that it will draw more people than a sign that says “Garage Sale”.

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    Donating

    A woman holding a box labeled 'donation'
    Image by zinkevych on Freepik

    If you don’t want to sell everything, you may want to consider donating some things. This can be a great option to help out people in need or to support a worthy cause.

    The best place to start when donating things is to check with your local church. They may be in need of some toys for their nursery. They may run a clothing “store” for those in need. They may also be able to hook you up directly with someone you can help.

    Some other options to consider would be giving to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. They seem to be ubiquitous with their drop-off locations so you can probably find one near you!

    Trash

    A pile of trash bags
    Image by Racool_studio on Freepik

    Ok, no one wants to just throw away perfectly good things. But we probably all have something that isn’t worth anything because it’s broken or beyond repair. For those things, it’s probably best to just pitch them in the trash.

    Maybe, like me, you thought you could find a use for it, or maybe one day fix it. And then it’s been sitting in your shed for the last 5 years (definitely not speaking from personal experience here…).

    Getting Rid of Your Kids’ Stuff

    But wait, you say, what about all my kids’ things? With 5 kids, my wife and I understand the amount of stuff that our kids can accumulate.

    A pile of Lego blocks
    Image by Brian Douglass

    One piece of advice we received was to let the kids participate in the process. We’ve let them choose some of their things to sell. And we’ve let them keep some of the profit from doing so. We plan to let the kids use their earnings while traveling.

    What’s next?

    A pile of $100 bills
    Image by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

    So you’ve finally gotten rid of everything, now what? Now we can refocus on what is really important and hopefully enjoy less stress!

    Brian Douglass
    Written by Brian Douglass

    A father of 5, trip navigator, and computer programmer.

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