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

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
beehivehave
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:21 pm

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

Post by beehivehave » Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:13 pm

telemark wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:02 pm
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/
One can at least do some online research to determine which ones have real value.
(Typically, very few but those can be easily sold on ebay or Amazon.)
If you don't want the hassle, at least you will know if that nice used book dealer is giving you a penny on the dollar (hint: he probably is).

Mr. Rumples
Posts: 426
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:16 am

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

Post by Mr. Rumples » Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:25 pm

I don't worry about being a burden when I croak. We may have sold a lot when we moved west, and now that I am back east since he passed away, I have furnished a three bedroom house. I tell the family just turn the house on its side and let it fall out the windows. But seriously, the family hasn't a clue as to what's valuable and what's not. Hence, on the bigger items that were inherited: portraits, clock, my mother's china, I have designated who gets what. The rest is color coded with a sticker underneath with its appox. value. A few small things have an initial on it, to designate which relative had it before me. Fortunately, inherited items still mean something to the family so I am sure they will not go by the wayside. Heck, I still have my grandmother's metal gefilte fish pot, other than the memory, it has no value.

There are several small companies around here which will clear out a house for people. Then they market what's valuable on their own network or on consignment in stores which cater to them. Its quite impressive what they have. There is an outlet near here also, where these things can be seen on the 'net and then bid on and picked up on Saturdays.

CFM300
Posts: 1645
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 5:13 am

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

Post by CFM300 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:41 pm

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.
Donate it. Think of how happy someone will be to receive your gift, which would otherwise continue to sit in a bin in your house, unused.

ianferrel
Posts: 192
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 5:27 pm

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

Post by ianferrel » Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:59 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:36 pm
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.
Those are pretty close to my limits, too. I figure it takes about half an hour to sell one thing, or group of things that can be sold in one transaction to one buyer, and a half-hour to take any number of things to Goodwill. For Goodwill, I get 30-some percent in tax savings, so selling $50 things makes me ~$60-70 an hour. That's not a bad rate for stuff I can do when convenient.

User avatar
Tamarind
Posts: 1869
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:38 pm

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

Post by Tamarind » Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:08 pm

I recognize your wave of nostalgia for sure. What helps me is to let go of thinking that what a think it's worth to me is what it is worth to someone else.

Also I watched multiple family members run up costs for storage units, or haul so many boxes during a move because even while downsizing they couldn't bear to part with the stuff. That's a powerful incentive to beat the habit.

The method that works for me is this:

1) Don't wait until you have time to do all of it. Start right now with just 1 box or half a box. If you get on a roll great, just don't put it off.

2) Once you take something out of the box to consider it, it may not return to the box. It is either leaving the house or it is getting a permanent home where it will be used.

3) Sentimental items: take pictures. If the picture is enough to jog your memory, and it probably is if it's in a box, discard the item and keep the picture. If you are sure it's sentimental enough to keep, first justify to a member of your family why it matters to you (if you have a teenager they are the best person for the job). You must display the item to keep it.

4) Papers: scan anything you have a legal need to keep. Discard anything you are going to get round to reading - you have already demonstrated you will not.

5) Clothes: discard all of them. You won't wear them.

6) What to do with discards:
A) new in box electronics, new or nearly new books, collectibles with large established markets: sell. You must list the item the same day it comes out of the box. Use completed listings and price lower, offer free shipping.

B) Anything used but in good working order, and all clothes without holes: donate. You must bag items immediately and take them to an appropriate donation org. Savor the warm glow.

C) Anything else or things that didn't sell: You can list it on Craigslist for one weekend, or have a yard sale. This will finish the process of reminding you others don't value your things, and every so often something will get a new home.

D) Recycling

E) Trash

I promise you will not feel anything like as much regret as you think you will from letting things go.

fposte
Posts: 1765
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:32 pm

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

Post by fposte » Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:19 pm

Tamarind wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:08 pm
Also I watched multiple family members run up costs for storage units, or haul so many boxes during a move because even while downsizing they couldn't bear to part with the stuff. That's a powerful incentive to beat the habit.
I've got some hoarding tendencies myself, and I've been working against them (and unfortunately I found it took a while for the regret to subside when I first started weeding, but it did eventually subside). The thing that really made an impression on me was my neighbor's house getting cleaned out when he moved into a nursing home; the time frame meant that his carefully accumulated stuff mostly just got chucked into dumpsters. It illuminated how much the value of my belongings is specific to me and isn't going to outlast me, so I (mostly) stopped expecting it to be valued elsewhere and discarded accordingly.

stoptothink
Posts: 6791
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

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

Post by stoptothink » Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:23 pm

Tamarind wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:08 pm


Also I watched multiple family members run up costs for storage units, or haul so many boxes during a move because even while downsizing they couldn't bear to part with the stuff. That's a powerful incentive to beat the habit.

:oops: My in-laws, who can barely afford to live on their own (and only with financial help from me), have been paying ~$200/month for storage units for as long as I have known them. Most of it is equipment from my FILs chiropractic practice (that he closed 5yrs ago) and boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes (literally an entire moving truck when we moved them) of decorations because MIL has a thing for planning themed parties. $2400/yr to store things they have no use for, in perpetuity, when they are on a scary-tight budget.

SheReadsHere719
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:28 pm

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

Post by SheReadsHere719 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:32 pm

Hikes_With_Dogs wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:08 pm
I do a lot of gifting through our neighborhood buy nothing group on FB.
+1 I like using the Craigslist free section and the Buy Nothing group on FB! Both have worked well for me thus far.

GeMoney
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:15 am

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

Post by GeMoney » Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:52 pm

My biggest motivation to go through the clean up process came when I had to clean out my parent's home after they had passed. They were hoarders with approx 60 years of stuff with almost nothing ever going out (I'm not exaggerating). Besides for learning "you can't take it with you", I also learned once you're gone what you thought was important to you is likely junk to someone else and will be tossed so enjoy it while you can and when you're done with it, get rid of it.

Dottie57
Posts: 7558
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

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

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:54 pm

Donate when something becomes junk.

I need to do a big clearout. I have office furniture I no longer want and want to repurpose the space.

User avatar
F150HD
Posts: 2571
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:49 pm

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

Post by F150HD » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:05 pm

selling boxes of junk can be a pain in the arse. Once you've tried it.....then end up just giving most of it away so you're not tripping over it anymore, its far easier to just pitch or donate even if you think it might be worth $50.
Just the time involved finding that one buyer who might pay $50 for that one item....is a PITA. I tried it. Dont sell me the Craiglist angle. Meeting up w/ people to make $10 is a PITA esp when the no show rate can be high.

Give it away.

Dottie57
Posts: 7558
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

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

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:09 pm

fposte wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:59 am
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.
This is me too!

User avatar
unclescrooge
Posts: 4198
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

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

Post by unclescrooge » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:28 pm

beehivehave wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:13 pm
telemark wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:02 pm
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/
One can at least do some online research to determine which ones have real value.
(Typically, very few but those can be easily sold on ebay or Amazon.)
If you don't want the hassle, at least you will know if that nice used book dealer is giving you a penny on the dollar (hint: he probably is).
I just got a box of moldy children's books my mother had been hoarding for decades.

We threw out the books, but kept the pea coat for my 2.5 years old son, who looks super cute in it.

Cycle
Posts: 1534
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: Minneapolis

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

Post by Cycle » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:52 pm

My family of soon to be 4 lives in a 1000sqft condo. Unless we wanted bins sitting in the living room or off site storage, we can't get to the hoarder state. Simply no room for non essentials. We do have 5 strollers tho...
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

User avatar
Jazztonight
Posts: 976
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:21 am
Location: Lake Merritt

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

Post by Jazztonight » Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:02 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.
+1
Craigslist for free is my go-to place to get rid of stuff. I gather 4-6 (generally unrelated) items, take a photo of the group, and offer it as a "package." When the emails come in asking for them, I respond to one at a time, saying they need to be picked up "today." If a person agrees, I give them the address, put it outside the door, and say that the box with their items will have a post-it note with their name on it, and to just take it. Usually, this rids me of the items quickly. Sometimes people flake out, and I go to the next person who's asked for the stuff.

Getting rid of items at this point is difficult because some things, like my old merit badges or my father's WW2 hats have sentimental value. So I guess a couple of boxes of stuff such as this will be left to my adult children. Then it's all their problem. Since they'll also be getting a bunch of cash, I don't feel too bad about this.
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

quantAndHold
Posts: 3593
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

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

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:16 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:23 pm
Tamarind wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:08 pm


Also I watched multiple family members run up costs for storage units, or haul so many boxes during a move because even while downsizing they couldn't bear to part with the stuff. That's a powerful incentive to beat the habit.

:oops: My in-laws, who can barely afford to live on their own (and only with financial help from me), have been paying ~$200/month for storage units for as long as I have known them. Most of it is equipment from my FILs chiropractic practice (that he closed 5yrs ago) and boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes (literally an entire moving truck when we moved them) of decorations because MIL has a thing for planning themed parties. $2400/yr to store things they have no use for, in perpetuity, when they are on a scary-tight budget.
I listened to a podcast the other day (sorry I can’t remember which one) where the speaker claimed that storage units often cost more per square foot than residential rentals. I’m not a pack rat so I have no clue about the storage market, but wow.

gretah
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:14 pm

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

Post by gretah » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:06 pm

A few strategies that have worked for me -

When I am angry (such as after a 40 min call with customer no-service), I use my bad temper to get rid of things. I look for things to donate or toss. Donations go to the thrift store within 2 days. Feels great to donate. Menopause inspired lots of purge sessions.


When dealing with a moving deadline, I set the kitchen timer to 30 or 60 minutes. During that time, I only pack or fill boxes with things to donate or discard. When the bell rings, I am off for the rest of the day.


Accumulating books is a slippery slope. So I have a rule: if I buy a book, a book I already own must go to the library donation box.


When I am dusting, I ask each item if it is truly worth dusting another year or 5 years. Many times the answer is no.


Sentimental things - I don't need more than one or two items to remind me of someone. If I have multiple gifts from someone, usually the items less lovely and needing more dusting will go away.


I have a collection of pug figurines. My family is not interested. But Pug Rescue would love to sell them to people nuts for pugs and raise money for vet bills. My Will states PR gets the collection plus travel kennel, leashes, etc.


Senior centers like to receive jigsaw puzzles and DVDs. If the center has an active quilting group, fabric appropriate for quilting and good sewing scissors can be welcome.

User avatar
MaryO
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:36 am
Location: New Jersey

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

Post by MaryO » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:46 am

gretah wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:06 pm
Menopause inspired lots of purge sessions.
Wow, if only I had done a purge session with every hot flash, my attic would have been super organized.

This thread has inspired me. I scheduled a Veteran's pick up in two weeks so we'll do some purging and packing every day.

rj342
Posts: 663
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:21 pm

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

Post by rj342 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:22 pm

With a paid off house we no longer beat the standard deduction, so we get no tax benefit from donating 'stuff'.
However, I have no interest in a yard sale: the time and hassle of preparing, dealing with strangers etc just not worth it to me for small profit.
I'm definitely not dealing with total strangers on Craigslist, much less selling and shipping thru eBay.

So generally I just drop 'stuff' at Goodwill as needed and don't bother getting a receipt.
Once a year our church has a big fundraising rummage sale so we contribute items to that if the timing works out (not going to hold on to clutter for months waiting for it to come around).

Wife has done a certain amount of buying and selling lightly used quality clothes through a local Facebook group, so the people aren't completely faceless, opaque strangers.

Church Lady
Posts: 560
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:49 pm

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

Post by Church Lady » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:26 pm

Have you tried the KonMari method?

I would recommend Mari Kondo's book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but you don't need another book in your house :D Fortunately, her method is so popular, there are plenty of you tube videos and web articles about it. Just search the web for KonMari.

One of her suggestions which is oddly helpful for discarding things is to acknowledge the role an item played in your life, and thank it for its service to you. Weird, but I got rid of some inherited stuff I truly had no need for by acknowledging how the item helped my Mom, recognizing that it couldn't help me the same way, and thanking God for the item's service. (Saying thank you to a piece of embroidery was a road too far for me, but maybe you should try it. :| ).

If you are keeping mementos of loved ones, it helps to be selective about what you will keep, and acknowledge that leaving it in the attic in a plastic bin is not what a memento is for.

Good luck! You're not the only one struggling!
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.

JimmyD
Posts: 786
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:03 pm

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

Post by JimmyD » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:45 pm

I'm a big fan of Facebook Marketplace. It takes less than a minute to take a picture of something and post a short description. Every time I come across something I no longer need, I post it and subsequently sell it there with next to zero effort or hassle. I just make sure to always put a disclaimer to the effect of "cash only, no other offers, pick up only, first come, first served etc."

In fact, just last night, someone came by and gave me $5 for an old Diaper Genie that had been sitting in our attic for over five years. It's nice having people come by to not only pick up your junk for you, but to pay you for it too.

FI4LIFE
Posts: 322
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:27 am

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

Post by FI4LIFE » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:23 pm

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.
This has been my experience as well, which is why I started selling things really cheap as opposed to giving them away on Craigslist. I think people equate "free" with "garbage" for some reason. Without an exchange of money there is no binding contract so nobody feels bad leaving you hanging. It's strange.

User avatar
djpeteski
Posts: 899
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:07 am

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

Post by djpeteski » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:36 pm

One thing you can always do is advertise your stuff and sell in bulk to an ebayer. Finding the right person is the key, one whose time is valuable and will be willing to take a bulk load of stuff off your hand for a 60-75% discount. While that seems massive, making one sale for all your stuff is a massive time saver for you.

Post Reply