Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Getting Rid of Stuff

We have lived in our home since 1987. Having not moved in 28 years, we have had no cause to go through drawers, closets, nooks and crannies.

While we are not hoarders (yet), we have a lot of stuff. Much of it is stuff we've been given over the years - items from deceased great aunts or grandparents, gifts we've received for birthdays and Christmas.

Some items I received when we married 32 years ago are still in use, and greatly appreciated. But other things are hidden in the dark recesses of forgotten areas of our small house.

And I don't how to get rid of it.

The easiest way would be to give it to Goodwill, but I have a bit of a moral problem with Goodwill. It does provide job opportunities for folks some consider unemployable, but its CEO makes a fortune, and there are rumors that it does not properly pay its employees. This article in Huffington Post calls it "a charity racket." I don't know if it is true.

Living in a rural area means yard sales are not the way to go. No one drives up my very long driveway to see what is available. That means if I want to sell items, I have to pack them up and haul them someplace to do that. For that I need my husband's help, and he seems to have an aversion to helping me with that task. The last time I tried that was in July of 2009 or thereabouts, and I nearly had heat stroke from the sun.

We have a few consignment stores but I don't know anything about them. I know one of them takes a 50 percent cut of whatever it sells - is that normal? I don't know. It seems like a lot but then again, they are helping me to rid myself of unwanted goods.

Books I donate to the library. I still have too many.

There are a few other charities in the area, but they all require more effort to get to than I can manage in my present state. Plus, I'll be honest, there is a part of me that wants the $5 for the old whatsit or the $3 for the thingamajig.

Some days I want to rent a dumpster and just haul load after load into the trash. But that seems a waste when someone else can use it. Plus I'm a bit of an environmentalist and don't want to muck up the landfill.

So how do you get rid of your stuff? What's your secret to decluttering and throwing away a lifetime?


  1. Hi, go check out this web site. I just cleaned out all my closets and donated the still wearable clothing to these people. You schedule a pick up time with them and they will come and get everything. You do have to tote the stuff to the end of your drive because they are not allowed to drive the truck up the driveway. They left me a slip attached to my mail box so I could use the amount you feel the things are worth for your taxes. There is a list of items on their website that they will take. It is a win win situation I felt. I hope they are in your area. http://www.epilepsy.com/make-difference/ways-give/donate-clothing-and-household-goods/acceptable-items

  2. We have a couple of local consignment type shops that are good choices. I have donated to Goodwill before. Mostly kid's clothing though.

  3. Have you thought of Salvation Army? They don't overpay their employees and do good work. For smaller items you can use EBay. We sell and buy a lot through them. Including cars and car parts. Lee could show you how to do that .

  4. Decluttering? Surely you jest. We ARE lucky in having several places I can feel good donating to (primarily the SPCA thrift store), and of course I donate books to the used book store where I work (which gives its proceeds -- $200,000 in 4 years -- to Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children). That said, I haven't made a dent in the clutter around here. I have given my daughter-in-law permission to blow up the house after we die, though think the city might not approve.

  5. P.S. . You've lived in your house 28 years; we've been here more than 43 years...and aren't hoarders, exactly, but we come close!

  6. I take things to Goodwill only because it is convenient for me. I don't like them, but sure is easy to get rid of our things. They give us a slip of paper of which I staple a list of the items we gave and then come tax time next year we have to go online, look at a list of the value of items and blah blah blah... you get the picture. We also gave a few furniture items to Vietnam Vets. They come and pick up, but things have to be in good condition. They won't take junk. There are also websites where you can create a page, sort of like a small business online, and sell items. But, then you still have the problem of having to package things up and get them to the post office to mail them out. Sort of a hassle. I like Bev's idea of just having someone blow up the house when we are gone. Don't tell the insurance company I said that. LOL

  7. OH, and yes.... 50% commission to consignment shops is the normal going rate and has been for decades.


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