Thursday, January 6, 2011

Three Things To Do With Stuff

Need to get some clutter out of your house? Here my favorite ways to do just that:
  1. Give
    1. Freecycle
      1. I love Freecycle. It's a group of people in your area who give stuff to each other. It's that simple. You join the group. Then you post items either via the website or email that you are giving away. Likewise, you can ask for items that you are looking for and also ask for items that others are getting rid of.    
    2. Charity 
      1. Clothes - Some people have expressed concern about what to do with clothes that are not fit to be worn again...they don't want to toss them in the trash since synthetic materials don't decompose. Well, I have good news. Take it to Goodwill. They give any torn or stain clothing to textile factories who then reuse it.
      2. Be sure to write any donations off on your taxes!
    3. Friends
      1. Don't forget to think about your friends and family when bringing items out of your home! But be thoughtful about it. Don't give a dozen mugs to your friend who already has 46 of them. Don't offer your old dirty Lazy Boy chair to your brother who doesn't need an old dirty chair. Some people have a hard time saying "no thanks" to things that are offered to them, even if they don't need or want them. So, then you're just passing along the problem to someone you love. 
  1. Sell

    1. Consignment
      1. I love this option for those with kids. I consign at Tot Trade Charlotte. Now, it's work. But it's also worth it, especially if you have big items to sell. There are also consignment stores where you take your items. My experience is that you get more consigning them at a sale. But, keep the time in mind. It takes some time to tag all those clothes and toys. Dropping them off at a storefront is much easier. There are also consignment stores that have nothing to do with kids. One of my favorites is South End Exchange.
    2. Craigslist
      1. This is another option to sell your more valuable items. I currently have a Rolling Laptop Bag for sale. It's quicker than consigning items, but it can come with hassle as well. You have to take pictures of the item and upload them to your computer (this is hard for some know who I'm talking about...those of you who have 500 pictures from two years ago still on your camera). You have to repost your item if the listing expires. You have to worry about the safety of someone coming to your home to buy the item (I always recommend meeting in a different public location). But, sometimes it's the best venue to sell your items. And in my opinion, you make the most money this way.
    3. Ebay
      1. I don't like this option. It's too much of a hassle to list items, shipping is always a hassle, etc. But, some people love it and make money. And it may be the best way to sell those rare items.
    4. Yard Sale
      1. LOTS of work. Unless you have a lot of things (like a moving sale or estate sale), it's best to donate the items and write it off on your taxes. Less work and less stress. One of the only benefits I can think of is that it helps you meet your neighbors.
  1.  Repurpose
    1.  But don't hoard. Just because that peanut butter jar is a great jar doesn't mean you need to keep it (since chances are that if you like to repurpose things, you already have 5 peanut butter jars sitting somewhere waiting for a project).
    2. Keep the time into consideration. I would love to save some of my kids old clothes to *someday* make into a quilt. Yeah...not ever going to happen (I'm not crafty). I'd love to save milk jugs to turn into bird feeders. Also not going to happen. My life is too full of other things to be crafty...that's just me. So, find what you have time and energy for and what you don't. 
    3. Have a purpose when you repurpose. Don't do it just for the sake of saving something from the landfill...because if you really don't need the item or don't like the item, your house becomes the landfill.

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