sell it, give it away, or donate it?

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Creative Commons License photo credit: qnr

We’re 4 days into my 5/day challenge. Do you have 20 things so far? I guess if I count every member of my family I should have 120 things. I actually might! (I’ll share an update later) While decluttering and selling your used stuff may come at the bottom of your to do list, it may net you more in the short term than re-allocating your stock portfolio or slashing your monthly expense by 10%.

I got a question I hear often, and one that you my have as well.

“How do I decide if something is worth selling, or donating, or if it is better to give it away or toss it?”

Give your item a good once-over. If it is damaged, broken, and or repairable it should be trashed. (the exception is cotton clothing which can be re-used as rags)

If it still has life left, consider how much it would sell for. If you know what your time is worth, you can use that as part of the equation.

Most of my work is unpaid, but I consider my free time to be worth at least $10/hr, so if a sale won’t net me that I don’t bother. If it is something BIG I need gone I either post it to freecycle, put it by the curb (we get a lot of trash pickers on trash days), or put it on Criag’s List.

Donations are another option. REMEMBER NOT TO USE GOODWILL (or other charities) AS YOUR TRASH! Do not send them stained, ripped or irreparable items. It wastes their time and resources.If you are sending donations, remember to take photos of everything, and use a value estimator like It’s Deductible so when tax time rolls around you have an accurate number, and accurate accounting.

Despite what many people think you CAN donate more than $500 in goods, you just have to have proof. A receipt from the charity, your photos, and your estimates will be sufficient.

I’m not a fan of holding yard sales, since that is time away from work, projects, and the kids. I usually only net about $100 (or less!) and that’s for 8-10 hours of work.

My favorite place to sell things is Amazon.com. The listing stays up until it sells, and you have the prices of similar or the same items right on the site to draw from. I have used it to sell books, electronics, and several other items.

Tips for selling on Amazon.com

  • Ask your buyers for feedback
  • Be sure to ship orders quickly, and make sure you communicate with your buyer about expected arrival date
  • Do NOT make your item the lowest price. Most sellers who sell items for the lowest price do not have good customer satisfaction.
  • For books, be sure to be honest about the condition, and make sure you pay attention to condition when you compare prices. If I’m selling a Like New book, I would price it higher than a book that’s listed as “Acceptable”.

Here is a short video on me processing a few books from the kid’s rooms. Ignore the bad hair

Tell me how you decide what goes where when you are decluttering. I’d love to hear your ideas.

Kelly

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About Kelly Whalen


Kelly Whalen is the founder of The Centsible Life, a blog where motherhood and money meet. Her goal is to help readers live well on less. Kelly is a mom to 4, and loves that she can stay at home with her kids, and still pursue her passions for writing, personal finance, and social media. You can often find her on twitter and Facebook talking money and motherhood.

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  • http://www.patti-flynn.com patti

    i used to be forever hanging onto magazines because i wanted to save one recipe out of them.

    i got myself some cookery software and i'm now disciplined to enter interesting recipes right away and then take the mags to the doctor's office.

  • http://www.patti-flynn.com/ patti

    i used to be forever hanging onto magazines because i wanted to save one recipe out of them.

    i got myself some cookery software and i'm now disciplined to enter interesting recipes right away and then take the mags to the doctor's office.

  • Pingback: saturday roundup: halloween edition — the centsible life

  • Leigh

    Most of my decluttering so far has been with the staggering amounts of magazines I seem to collect. I’m forever holding onto one because of a workout routine or recipe. I’m been “recycling” my magazines by taking them to work for others to enjoy or dropping them by the library.

  • Leigh

    Most of my decluttering so far has been with the staggering amounts of magazines I seem to collect. I’m forever holding onto one because of a workout routine or recipe. I’m been “recycling” my magazines by taking them to work for others to enjoy or dropping them by the library.

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