Let go of the rest (Part 1)

We are working our way through the word SIMPLIFY, with each letter representing a step to make your downsize or move easier. Last month we looked at “P” which stood for “pick what is most important”. Once you have taken the time to think through what is most important and what is necessary to keep, the next letter “L” is “Let go of the rest”.

There are several avenues for letting go of items that are no longer needed. Where they go will depend on their quantity, quality and value both monetary and sentimental. You can share them with family, donate them to a nonprofit in your community, sell them, or recycle/trash them. Let’s look at each method.

  • Family – Although you would love to pass your things down to your children, most of the time the kids do not want or need your things. Often they already have their own things or they have chosen a different decorating style. You can offer the items to them, but don’t cause problems by pressuring them to take them. If they do want something, encourage them to make arrangements to pick it up promptly so you can continue making progress on your downsizing.
  • Community – There are so many wonderful nonprofit programs that could benefit from your extras. It feels great to share your items with a charity that you are passionate about. Take time to find a donation place that would value and treat your items as you would. I have list of some resources on my website, www.nworganizingsolutions.com , but would be happy to help you find a place that you could share your specific things with.
  • Selling – Several options are available to sell your items, but you need to realize that most of the time our possessions are not worth as much financially as we think they should be. With so many seniors downsizing and flooding the market with similar items, and with the younger generations not wanting to buy older items, the demand for your items may be very low.
    • Estate sale- If you have an entire household to sell you could consider an estate sale. Generally you need $7,000-$10,000 worth of goods to make this method profitable.
    • Consignment – A second option would be sending a few special items to a consignment shop, where they sell it for you and take about 35-50% of the profits. This is great because it removes it from your home and puts the selling responsibility on someone else.
    • Selling it yourself -. I highly discourage garage sales as these are very labor intensive and you get very little return on your investment. Selling on the internet is another option. Household items can also be sold on E-bay, Craig’s list, or Facebook Marketplace, but you need to do the work of listing the items and following up. Please be careful when using these services as you will be selling directly to strangers.
  • Recycling – If an item is in poor condition and no longer usable, don’t just toss it in the trash. Find the best way to dispose of it. There are many places (especially in the Portland area) that recycle or reuse items, whether they are shoes, paint, electronics, craft supplies, or metal scraps. Don’t burden charities with your trash that will only cost them time and money to dispose of. Want some suggestions for where your “trash” can go? You can find some in the recycle/reuse section of our resource guide.

As you continue to move forward with your downsize, remember to let go of the rest by finding the right place to take all those things you want to share with others.

© 2018 Beth Giles

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