At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

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z91
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At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by z91 »

I've been trying to clear out some storage bins I have sitting at home. 4x 10 gallon bins that are filled to the brim with junk. I consider it junk, but when I open the box and look inside, nostalgia kicks in and I decide to keep it. Or I feel like its worth _something_ and keep it to sell later (I never really end up selling it due to laziness..).

I feel like I just need to get it over with and either trash or donate everything. It's worth maybe $500, $1000 max, but most of the stuff (IMO) is too good to donate and not really worth selling. Sigh.

How do you deal with this? Do you just donate/trash stuff you're no longer using? My spouse is excellent at getting rid of her own stuff, and if it were up to her everything would already be on the way to the dump. I just can't do it. Help!

I don't consider myself a "hoarder" I just have small living spaces..we can still walk around our house fine. Most of these things are from our garage when we had it. Now we just have some carport storage which is pretty slim.
barnaclebob
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by barnaclebob »

have a garage sale? List it all on craigslist with some prices and see who responds.
sailaway
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by sailaway »

How can anything be "too good to donate"?

How can anything that isn't worth selling be too good to donate?!
Conch55
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by Conch55 »

We donate our "junk" and have been on a roll lately. What we give away will be useful to someone hopefully but not of any use to us. Being retired makes the process easier since we have the time to go through things plus it fills part of the day. :happy
HomeStretch
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by HomeStretch »

1. You can likely make some money if you sell it on eBay, Craigslist, garage sale, etc.

2. You can try to give it away on free cycle.org or to friends/relatives.

3. You can donate it to Goodwill, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, etc. You can deduct your donation to a qualified organization if you itemize deductions on your tax return.

I clear out unused stuff on a regular basis and limit the new stuff I bring in. I have done all of the above and made some money on #1. But #3 is by far the easiest. You can drive to a store, drop off and be home in an hour.
Last edited by HomeStretch on Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
planetmike
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by planetmike »

It's a horribly slow process. I have a closet and several storage boxes of stuff like what you mention. Plus the basement storage room. And the utility room. And a huge shelf of books. Sigh. We are ever so slowly going through it, and every time we visit a set of parents, we resolve to go through it more quickly.

The memories are the hardest thing. Taking pictures of it, then getting rid of the object sometimes helps.

The other part I have to deal with is being realistic. Am I really ever going to recreate those programs from my first computer in the 1980s? Do I really need to try to use my Powerbook from 2000, when a Raspberry Pi is probably more powerful now?
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

If I have not used it in a year, I never will and it goes. Last year, I sold a custom road bike (no, really, Colin Lang frame, full campy) that I built while working at a bike shop in 1974 because I don't ride on the road anymore. With it being winter time, as I come across junk made of paper, cardboard or wood, it becomes fuel for my wood furnace. Broken toys, gone. Toys suitable for anyone under 19, gone.

Note, I'm the thrower. My wife would take a full 6 months to ok a shoe box of candidates to throw out.

I was searching our attic for our angel to put on top of the Christmas tree as requested by the wife. While in there, I removed and threw out a bunch of stuff. For example, a box full of small Steigers boxes that were starting to mold. Steigers went out of business 25 years ago. I found several plastic bags filled with.....plastic bags.
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visualguy
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by visualguy »

Once I know that I won't be using something anymore, I either sell, donate, or trash it. I often don't have the time or energy to sell stuff, so I donate or trash it even if it could be sold for a good amount in principle. Selling can be a pain... It's also a pain to declutter, and it's amazing how much clutter accumulates, but it feels so good to get rid of unused stuff that takes space. Naturally, the freed space gets filled pretty quickly with the stuff that will need to be gotten rid of in a few years - seems like an endless cycle.
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BarbaricYawp
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by BarbaricYawp »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:17 pm I found several plastic bags filled with.....plastic bags.
You must know my mother. Helping them do a clearout over the summer I found ziplocked boxes of Ziplocks. She claimed this kept the boxes from getting 'damp and moldy'. :oops:
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Katietsu
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by Katietsu »

Any resale shops or organizations that you might want to support that could use the items. Habitat for humanity might take tools. Animal rescue is always looking for towels and bedding. The resale shop that supports a cause dear to us sells only “ good” stuff.
JBTX
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by JBTX »

When we remodeled we went through a lot of stuff. if it was useful we donated it (and used it's deductible for tax deduction) or if was in rough shape we threw it away.

Garage sales or selling it aren't worth the bother, IMO, unless you have experience doing it. DW used to do garage sales and we never got more than a few hundred dollars.
Last edited by JBTX on Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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fortfun
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by fortfun »

I think you are suffering from sunk cost fallacy--we all do. Read this article, and then donate your things to a worthy cause. I need to do the same thing and reading this article helps me understand why its hard to do this from a psychological standpoint.
https://time.com/5347133/sunk-cost-fallacy-decisions/
mpnret
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by mpnret »

I use freecycle.org and Craigslist for free which is in the for sale section. No driving anywhere. List it and someone comes and picks it up.
Last edited by mpnret on Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
soundwave
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by soundwave »

I got over the sentimentality of things years ago & I've never looked back. I have a "staging area" in an out of the way location in my house for my "collections". Then, every week or two I'm dropping things off at the thrift store.

Life is good when you no longer sort through stuff to find the one thing you're looking for :sharebeer
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quantAndHold
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by quantAndHold »

I’m allowed a Rubbermaid tub full of sentimental stuff. And we have a few things around that are specifically for emergencies. Beyond emergencies, if it hasn’t been used in a year and won’t fit in the sentimental stuff box, it either gets sold, donated, or trashed. Another criteria we’ve used in the past is whether or not we would keep it if we were moving.

Sold vs donated is primarily about the value of the item vs the trouble to sell it. I don’t even consider selling something for less than $50. It isn’t worth my time. Some items worth more than $50 are enough trouble to sell that it still isn’t worth the bother. But even with those parameters, a surprising amount of stuff gets sold on Craigslist.

Donate vs trash has to do with whether or not I can find a place to donate it that might do something besides put it in the dumpster. I don’t want to burden a charity with stuff that they have to pay to get rid of.

I actually find that doing regular purges helps me keep from buying so much stuff, because I see how little I use the stuff I do buy.
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Lalamimi
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by Lalamimi »

Moved two houses into one in 2018, 10 months apart. Still have boxes to go through. We took a lot to resale shops, Goodwill, etc. Also have some of my mother's things as she died first of 2018. Trying to set aside a day a week to purge. Kids don't want or need any of it. We have been married almost 45 years, and even with a move in 2006, we still have a lot of stuff. Some of our daughter's stuff she says she does not want. Just do it. My brother says "Hold it, look at it, if it does not give you joy, get rid of it".
Trader Joe
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by Trader Joe »

z91 wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:57 pm I've been trying to clear out some storage bins I have sitting at home. 4x 10 gallon bins that are filled to the brim with junk. I consider it junk, but when I open the box and look inside, nostalgia kicks in and I decide to keep it. Or I feel like its worth _something_ and keep it to sell later (I never really end up selling it due to laziness..).

I feel like I just need to get it over with and either trash or donate everything. It's worth maybe $500, $1000 max, but most of the stuff (IMO) is too good to donate and not really worth selling. Sigh.

How do you deal with this? Do you just donate/trash stuff you're no longer using? My spouse is excellent at getting rid of her own stuff, and if it were up to her everything would already be on the way to the dump. I just can't do it. Help!

I don't consider myself a "hoarder" I just have small living spaces..we can still walk around our house fine. Most of these things are from our garage when we had it. Now we just have some carport storage which is pretty slim.
I always just toss out trash or junk.
Halicar
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by Halicar »

Trader Joe wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:02 pm
z91 wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:57 pm I've been trying to clear out some storage bins I have sitting at home. 4x 10 gallon bins that are filled to the brim with junk. I consider it junk, but when I open the box and look inside, nostalgia kicks in and I decide to keep it. Or I feel like its worth _something_ and keep it to sell later (I never really end up selling it due to laziness..).

I feel like I just need to get it over with and either trash or donate everything. It's worth maybe $500, $1000 max, but most of the stuff (IMO) is too good to donate and not really worth selling. Sigh.

How do you deal with this? Do you just donate/trash stuff you're no longer using? My spouse is excellent at getting rid of her own stuff, and if it were up to her everything would already be on the way to the dump. I just can't do it. Help!

I don't consider myself a "hoarder" I just have small living spaces..we can still walk around our house fine. Most of these things are from our garage when we had it. Now we just have some carport storage which is pretty slim.
I always just toss out trash or junk.
Me too. I think people tend to vastly overestimate the value of their possessions. Browsing garage sales and Facebook Marketplace certainly gives that impression. Much of what gets donated to Goodwill or other places ends up thrown away. May as well skip the extra steps and just trash it.
NotWhoYouThink
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

It's easier when my spouse is away.
PatrickA5
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by PatrickA5 »

We've been purging a lot lately. A lot of it ends up in the trash and the rest we take to Goodwill down the street. I haven't tried to sell anything since none of it would fetch much money. Not worth my time. We have very little junk left. We still have too much "sentimental" stuff from the kids growing up, but we've put them all in neatly labeled storage containers in one closet. Now that we have small grandkids, I'm noticing an accumulation of toys starting to show up again. Ugh!

I've always been able to part with stuff. It took DW a good 40 years to get good at it.
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CAsage
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by CAsage »

Have a box in the house where you can just toss questionable items, then move the box to the garage. That will allow you to gain emotional distance, and then you can take it to Goodwill. If it's truly not useful to someone else, throw it out. Anyone who has had to clean out an older relatives house after their death learns not to curse their children with all that "stuff". Ask yourself - if the house burned down, would I go buy this again? Keep only a few things for sentiment - very few. Pictures I plan to digitize, after I delete a ton of them - how many photos of my kids sports and summer vacations do I need to remember? A curated few.
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Nyarlathotep
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by Nyarlathotep »

z91 wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:57 pmI've been trying to clear out some storage bins I have sitting at home. 4x 10 gallon bins that are filled to the brim with junk. I consider it junk, but when I open the box and look inside, nostalgia kicks in and I decide to keep it.
Nostalgia is probably my biggest hurdle whenever I'm try to declutter, so I get where you're coming from. Occasionally, I'll be going through old papers or other stuff and come across something that brings back some very powerful memories...typically, good ones. Touching and "re-experiencing" that interesting old find is like opening a door to a time portal. When it comes to things like this, I tend to put it in a "keepsake" or "memorabilia" box... but that box can easily become two, and then three, and then 10+ if you're not careful. There's a fine line between keeping something truly memorable and meaningful and hanging on to something that probably only has marginal value going forward.
z91 wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:57 pmI feel like I just need to get it over with and either trash or donate everything. It's worth maybe $500, $1000 max, but most of the stuff (IMO) is too good to donate and not really worth selling. Sigh.
Personally, I don't think it's a good use of my time to try to sell old junk. The dollars involved are too little to motivate me. So I either donate stuff (if it's reasonably usable and in fair condition) to Goodwill or put it in the trash bin. There are rare exceptions to this, of course, but my advice would be to err heavily on the side of just get rid of it.
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by Nyarlathotep »

CAsage wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:25 pmAnyone who has had to clean out an older relatives house after their death learns not to curse their children with all that "stuff". Ask yourself - if the house burned down, would I go buy this again? Keep only a few things for sentiment - very few. Pictures I plan to digitize, after I delete a ton of them - how many photos of my kids sports and summer vacations do I need to remember? A curated few.
Excellent advice.
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celia
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by celia »

z91 wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:57 pm ...most of the stuff (IMO) is too good to donate and not really worth selling. Sigh.
This is contradictory. What do you think charities do with most of the donated stuff? The "better" the stuff, the more they can sell it for.

We have the same issues. Lately, as a relative dies, I end up with at least one box/suitcase of stuff from them. As a genealogist, a lot of the papers/photos are priceless and there are usually "treasures" hidden in there I would never have learned about otherwise. However, MY heirs will not appreciate what I appreciate, so it all needs to be scanned before seeing if another relative is interested.

One method of getting over the hump of being unable to toss things is to go through a box and take out the true "keepers". Then tape the box shut and write on the outside: "OK to donate after <month-year>". You can usually give yourself a year. During that time, if you find a need for an item inside, take it out, and tape up the box again. Then when the time comes, donate it WITHOUT RE-OPENING THE BOX!
youngatheart
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by youngatheart »

Me too. I think people tend to vastly overestimate the value of their possessions. Browsing garage sales and Facebook Marketplace certainly gives that impression. Much of what gets donated to Goodwill or other places ends up thrown away. May as well skip the extra steps and just trash it.
last year in May I did the Minimalist Challenge https://www.theminimalists.com/game/ with my niece in an effort to encourage her and her husband who were doing Dave Ramsey and paying off their debt. They were selling many items on Facebook Marketplace and I did as well! (See, you can teach an old dog(69yo) new tricks!)
The premise is on day 1 of the month you get rid of one thing. Day two, two things and so on. i found it mildly cathartic and it was the impetus to keep going with downsizing. on day 28 I got rid of 28 toilet paper rolls that I was saving for a craft :D On day 31, I got rid of 31 pens from the ubiquitous pen drawer. Don't smirk. . . . YOU KNOW YOU HAVE ONE! I actually took them to my local dr office. . . they LOVED them as theirs constantly "walk off."
With Facebook market place, I priced things at ridiculous low prices. It was a game. I would meet people at the parking lot of our local bank in day light(3 min from my home, I'm retire and no big deal to go, even if I got stood up) and had DH go along for safety. So what if I only made two dollars on that item? I brought the $2 home and put it in an envelope. Next time $3. Then $1. One day $10, woohoo! Pretty soon my envelope had quite a bit of money!!!
I found about 1/3 of my things sold, which told me that much of it was junk. Perhaps at a garage sale I could have made $$ on this stuff but that ship has sailed. No more garage sales for me!! Then I donated things I thought may sell to our Men's Rescue Mission Thrift store. Rest I just flat threw away! I went through my brother and father's death w/i 4 months of each other a couple years ago. I swore I would not do that to my kids. So for me, purging actually feels great. I pray it will become good feeling for you as well!
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climber2020
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by climber2020 »

Take a picture of the stuff, then trash it or donate it. You'll still have the nostalgia without the physical clutter. If a particular item really has a lot of sentimental value, find a permanent place in the house to display it. If it's been sitting in a box all this time, there probably aren't too many items that fit this criteria.

It's up to you whether or not it's worth your time to put the more valuable stuff on Craigslist or Ebay. I went that route for a few items when I decluttered, but donating or tossing stuff out is so much easier.
Vanguard Fan 1367
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 »

It sounds like you need to find some time to get away from the house and let your spouse get rid of the stuff.

I used to be a junk collector. After dealing with my parent's house after their death I started realizing what happens to that stuff, it is just a problem for the next generation. I also don't have the energy to keep up with a bunch of stuff, I can't find things when there is a ton of stuff around to look through when I want something that I may or may not have somewhere amongst the stuff.

Another thing that helps me is that we have a Goodwill where it is fast and easy to donate and no problems getting a receipt for the value. I feel like I am doing something good. Giving is a very positive thing in many people's opinion and I feel much better about trying to improve someone's situation by hauling it to Goodwill.
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gd
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by gd »

Some excellent advice, this'd be a good thread for a wiki.

In addition to my own life clutter, I've spent my life taking other people's stuff as mementos, or more recently, doing them a kindness by giving them a way to discard stuff and feel like it was still being valued. The most joy I can recall getting from any of it was the day I said "hell with this" and sold my parent's not-dishwasher-safe wedding silver as scrap metal. When treasured stuff becomes a burden, it's not a treasure chest any more, it's a ball and chain dragging you to the bottom of the ocean. And nobody wants your stuff. Really, if you've got kids offer it and see what they say. Most nowadays are smarter than me.

No clue what your stuff is, but more likely your $500-$1000 is actually $50-$100, with hours of effort to get that.
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by stan1 »

Vanguard Fan 1367 wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:39 pm After dealing with my parent's house after their death I started realizing what happens to that stuff, it is just a problem for the next generation.
So true! Emptying my mom's house of 45 years when she moved to a senior apartment was sobering. She had items from her entire adult life such as recipe index cards she'd typed up in the 1960s, decades of bills, craft projects, and so forth. She knew she had to clean it out but she lost energy in her 60s and 70s so it just accumulated. When she moved to her apartment she took a few things she was actively working on with her and left the rest. We had a garage sale, donated some to charity, and brought in a dumpster for some of it.

I never was a collector, but after this experience I'm now a purger with the exception of some quality items. For example, I have some tools (hammer, screw driver, wrench, etc.) from my grandfather and father dating between 1930s and 1960s. They don't make em like they used to. I'll keep those the rest of my life I think.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by RickBoglehead »

Once you decide if you're keeping item or not, if you're not, list it for sale on Craigslist. Do NOT make the mistake of thinking that your junk isn't someone else's treasure, it very likely is. Every 2 or 3 days, bump it up the priority list by refreshing the listing. Lower the price every 2 weeks or so. Then, if it doesn't sell in the time you've allotted, donate it or trash it.

Sometimes we sell things a year after we listed them. We sold hundreds of items on Craigslist from my FIL's house this way, enough to buy a boat.
When we started going through my FIL's stuff, we tried garage sales. People laughed at the prices we put on items (after extensive research). We laughed when we got those prices, or more, on Craigslist. Some of the items we sold:

- A stained glass church window, 3 of the 4 panels, so the person depicted was headless.
- The burl from a tree, mounted on a piece of plywood.
- A many, many year old self-contained word processor with printer. Did some type of spreadsheets also. Sold for $100 to a person who said it was his third, on which he keeps his video tape collection, because "with a computer spreadsheet you can't sort alphabetically".

Nearly all Craigslist sales were conducted at a Craigslist Safe Zone. Those that weren't (due to weekend sales) were conducted next to the front door of a grocery store. Large item sales were met at the grocery store, then followed us to our home.

We're retiring and moving in 18 months, so we're starting the final process to do this. Come December we'll be donating a bunch of stuff maybe itemizing.
Last edited by RickBoglehead on Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by fposte »

The more I fuss about how and where it goes, the less likely it is to go; I'm not rehoming pets here. Therefore I usually just load stuff up into the car and take it over to Goodwill without worrying if I could have gotten money for it elsewhere. I have a running pile and the bag or box goes into the car ASAP when it reaches critical mass; I don't mind if I drive it around for a few weeks, but I want it out of the house.
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by Nowizard »

A conundrum for those of us who have itemized in the past, including items donated to charity. In a recent move, we cleared out a tremendous amount of long-held items while not being sure we would be able to itemize. Entering in "It's Deductible" with TurboTax reflected a $5,000+ total, but lower mortgage interest and increase to 10% of taxable to claim medical deduction result in not being able to itemize. Some feeling of loss financially but positive feeling of being able to donate usable items for others and knowing there will be easier to complete tax returns in the future. Ultimately, the trade-off is time involved for selling versus donations for those needing them.

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alpenglow
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by alpenglow »

Our order is:

1) Filter through stuff/junk
2) Better stuff goes on eBay
3) Lower value stuff goes to the yard sale pile
4) Anything left from yard sale is donated

We are doing a good job of simply not bringing new items into the house at this point to avoid the time spent on these sort of tasks.
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by stoptothink »

We literally do it once a month on a Saturday morning. I have little attachment to "things"; if I haven't used it in a year, it is gone and I don't have a lot of stuff. It was hard at first for my wife, but she has gotten used to it. She buys so much clothing that at least 1/4th of the items she puts in the donate/trash/sell/gift bag every single month have never even been worn (whole other issue, but her clothes are purchased with income from a side gig that we agreed she can spend however she chooses). She has 3 friends whose closets are filled to the brim with brand new clothes from her. My 4yr old son enjoys the process, my 7yr old daughter is in tears every single time (she has major hoarder tendencies at this point).

My wife puts her clothes in a bag and texts her friends to come over and see what they want, my kids put clothes/toys in a bag and we post on our neighborhood facebook page that everything is first-come-first serve, and almost everything of mine goes straight to the dumpster (it's usually really old workout t-shirts, socks, etc.). Whatever is left over at the end of the week goes to Deseret Industries (church run thrift store).
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by MaxRN »

I second some of the points made by other respondents. My financially savvy and frugal wife has taken me shopping at thrift stores for many years. Based on those experiences; don't donate anything that is not in excellent working order. If it's cracked, missing parts, torn, fabric stained, non-functioning, or broken buttons / iffy zippers / holes then throw it away. Donations of useful items help those of modest means and support charity organizations. Reduce your possessions to a comfortable level and then when you get something new get rid of something old. Trust me, you'll feel good about donating and simplifying.
Don't believe everything you believe.
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FIREchief
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by FIREchief »

Craigs list and Goodwill pickups work great.

Friends and family may say they want it for free, but good luck getting them to actually haul it away.

Garage sales are a waste of time in my area.

If Goodwill won't take it, it goes in the trash.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
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dual
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by dual »

I just finished reading The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, by Margareta Magnusson. The book is mainly motivation for de-cluttering with some practical tips. As for motivation, she writes of her experience cleaning up after the death of relatives, and I paraphrase,"I have cleaned up after three people and I will be damned if I put my family through this."

As for tips. One that I found useful is that size counts. Start by getting rid of big stuff. The obvious progress will motivate you to continue your cleaning.

Another tip is to leave notes on stuff to give ideas for those who clean up after you on how to dispose of the items. For example, people who have indicated they are interested in them.
Hikes_With_Dogs
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by Hikes_With_Dogs »

I do a lot of gifting through our neighborhood buy nothing group on FB.

I have given away many items and received some really great ones. I appreciate the items are being used and enjoyed instead of stuffed in a box somewhere waiting to exist.
Mr. Rumples
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by Mr. Rumples »

When we sold our four bedroom townhouse and moved across the country, we had a lot of stuff including family heirlooms and antiques. We chose those which were small to keep, and had distinct memories and a few larger pieces. The rest went. It took a year to get rid of it all. We did two yard sales, craigslist and finally we donated to a charitable thrift. On the latter, we gave the items away of course, but I wasn't going to sell something at a throwaway price. Yes, I could have gotten more money that way, but that was how I felt. There were two people who came who really loved an item and I did cut the price...I saw what they drove up in. Looking back, I do regret getting rid of some items, especially some smaller items I could have managed to move.

There was one person who asked if we had more stuff. I said yes it was in the basement. I think she had some issues, but she ended up taking a lot of broken things like a broken table.

Books were the most difficult to get rid of emotionally and that is still my single biggest regret. I should have saved my books. Instead, I called in a dealer who found little of value and then I called the county senior center and they took it all.
aednichols
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by aednichols »

mpnret wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:32 pm I use freecycle.org and Craigslist for free which is in the for sale section. No driving anywhere. List it and someone comes and picks it up.
Perhaps your experience is different, but I was disappointed to find that when no money is involved in a Craigslist transaction the "buyer" takes great liberties around showing up late or not at all, with no notice.
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by sailaway »

aednichols wrote: Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:27 pm
mpnret wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:32 pm I use freecycle.org and Craigslist for free which is in the for sale section. No driving anywhere. List it and someone comes and picks it up.
Perhaps your experience is different, but I was disappointed to find that when no money is involved in a Craigslist transaction the "buyer" takes great liberties around showing up late or not at all, with no notice.
I think it depends on the area. Around here, that happens even when money is involved.
aednichols
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by aednichols »

If I look in my closet or the basement and something has not been used in 1 year, it becomes a candidate for parting ways with. At 2 years, the likelihood is even greater.

Stuff has to earn its keep to continue warranting the space it takes up.
ponyboy
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by ponyboy »

Id rather give my stuff to a thrift store than have a yard sale where random people are showing up for 8 hours out of a day. My time is worth more than what i'd get selling junk.
NYGiantsFan
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by NYGiantsFan »

I had advertised on craiglist "open house" for free items for one of our properties where tenant was evicted and left behind lots of stuff. I was surprised how quickly people took things. One family was running rooming house and they took 2 bedrooms furniture. There were about 20 boxes full of Christmas stuff (may be tenant's wife was doing business on that) that went very quickly.
One side effect was that someone took working Window AC units while I was dealing with other people :annoyed
Still happy that stuff went to good use.
Recently, we are finishing up renovation. We received $300 from spouse's coworker for dining room set (six chairs table and china cabinet) that was about 20 years old but hardly used.
Similarly, we got rid of son's Marcy's home gym (almost new) for about $100 in Facebook Marketplace. New one goes for about 400 but it is impossible to get rid of as it needs to be taken apart certain way. Buyer knew what he was doing and was able to get done in half an hour.
I took trip overseas two years back and took my most of hardly used clothes and gave it away. We plan to take trips almost every other years now and plan to do same with clothes. I rarely purchase clothes (spouse is different story) with annual budget of less than $30 per year. I have decided not to purchase any clothes (including shoes) till my 6 feet closet has space.
Jablean
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by Jablean »

Bags within Bags
- if grocery store bags (we use ours in kitchen and bathroom trashcans) but holey ones go back to Kroger which has bag collection barrels. These bags are recycled into the bench seats you see in the store and elsewhere.
- if nicer larger bags they were very likely stored so to have bags to give out to people during garage sales. These bags are appreciated by your local thrift stores (drop off at the front desk not the donation door) to pack purchases in.

Clothing
-dirty/greasy, already used for cleaning etc - yes trash those
-worn out, holey, not shoes, not vinyl - there is a market for fabric recycling. Our local thrift will sort fabric into clothing sell or fabric recycle but there are also donation boxes set up around town for used clothing that is going straight to recycling (they don't say so on the box but newspaper reports)
- wearable - sort and take picture of, send to thrift store
- expensive, really good shape, business wear, mostly women's - there are stores who are specifically looking for these to sell for you or if donated to give away to non-profits working to get people into work

Furniture and large appliances like Fridges, washing machines
- easiest to sell at a garage sale or post on Craigslist as curb alert

Building materials
- new or replaced, some tools - Drop off at Habitat for Humanity stores

Everything else that is not broken - ONLINE AUCTION at www.hibid.com
You gather (label anything that is not obvious), you drop off, they sort, they take picture, they advertise, they send you a check.

The last is how I'm going to clear out a lot of my multiple combined households. Check the link out and see which sites are near you. Some auctions will do higher value clothing, many won't. Lots of guns and jewelry. Some only do nice tools and appliances, others they just can't have food sticking to them. The nicer items will sell way way above garage sale prices and it's amazing what I consider "junk" on there that have multiple bids. Estate auctions are often linked too.
pj1983
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by pj1983 »

ponyboy wrote: Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:57 pm Id rather give my stuff to a thrift store than have a yard sale where random people are showing up for 8 hours out of a day. My time is worth more than what i'd get selling junk.
This. 1000xthis. We've held a few garage/yard sales over the years. After adding up preparation and execution time, the return was less than minimum wage for us -- on top of the aggravation of dealing with the general public, many of whom want to negotiate the price of a $1 item. :x

Goodwill in our area seems to be getting pickier about what they'll accept, though, and Salvation Army seems to really want monetary donations more than "stuff". Craigslist seems to be full of the "$1 negotiators" or flat-out flakes. Thank goodness for freecycle, although I'm going to give Nextdoor a shot for a couple of things.
Last edited by pj1983 on Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
123
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by 123 »

Stuff you categorize as "sentimental" can be hard to donate or otherwise dispose of. If you only look at it every year or more it will remain "sentimental". If you look at the (same) stuff on many consecutive days you will soon recognize that it's just stuff and that you can dispose of 90% of it right now.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
shess
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by shess »

z91 wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:57 pm I feel like I just need to get it over with and either trash or donate everything. It's worth maybe $500, $1000 max, but most of the stuff (IMO) is too good to donate and not really worth selling. Sigh.
The first step is to realize that it's worthless to anyone else. A huge problem at places like Goodwill is the amount of trash they receive. I don't mean trash like candy wrappers or empty Dorito bags, I mean stuff which is "too good to donate", but which is actually trash.

So, yeah, that ISDN modem is still working and cost you $550 back in 2002 or whatever, but that doesn't mean it has value. Junk it.
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MaryO
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by MaryO »

Halicar wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:09 pm

Me too. I think people tend to vastly overestimate the value of their possessions. Browsing garage sales and Facebook Marketplace certainly gives that impression. Much of what gets donated to Goodwill or other places ends up thrown away. May as well skip the extra steps and just trash it.
Very true. My son worked at Habitat for Humanity and they wouldn't pick up furniture donations unless pictures were sent for review. Otherwise, their dumpster fees would eat into their charity mission funds.

I am on a mom's facebook page where items are put up for sale and I can't believe the delusional people who think their used IKEA furniture or tacky polyester drapes are worth a good deal of money. I use the page to post pictures of decent quality stuff that I don't feel like packing up well for Veterans donation pickups. I just say 'free porch pick-up' and it always moves quickly. I'm much too sentimental about family "heirlooms" and knowing someone actually took the time to drive to my house and collect the item makes it easier to part with it. I hope it will be used and loved.

Our kids have zero interest in our furniture & china & stemware & silverware, even though it is really high quality, or assorted "stuff" that we've accumulated. I hope my son will want hubby's massive tool collection. At least it's organized. But my chief motivation for trying to clear out is not wanting to be a burden on them when we croak. I've been stuck with a few family home cleanouts and it's not fun. Vacillating between deep sadness/cherished memories and annoyance that the junk wasn't tossed years ago.
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telemark
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Re: At what point do you donate/trash/sell/gift your junk?

Post by telemark »

Books are my weakness, especially as I belong to a book-giving family. Some useful advice can be found here

https://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2019/11/2 ... okshelves/
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