When you are going thru your stuff, decluttering…it can be overwhelming. There is just so much, and what do you do when you have a giant pile growing of things to part with?
My friend and I are having a yard sale. I have purposed to use whatever money I make to use towards fixing up the house. That way, we can focus our paycheck money on regular bills and paying down debt. I know my yard sale items won’t amount to much, maybe a hundred dollars or so, but still, that’s a project I can complete. That’s fixing a ceiling or part of flooring or completing the porch. It is little, and as you are considering this, you may not even feel it will be worth it…but, think of how much a small amount of money can do. It can complete a project. Or more. Maybe, instead of using it for a project, you donate the money. Maybe you give it to someone who can use grocery money. Maybe you take your spouse on an amazing date (hint hint honey!!! Oh you know I’m just kidding!! 🙂 ) Maybe you take your kids on a family date, going to a movie and grabbing dinner. That seems simple, but it’s a simple luxury that will bring memories that isn’t often done, especially in big families (Have you tried to go to a movie with your spouse and three kids?? Yikes!!). That was money that before you didn’t have to spend. And all from extra stuff.
Sometimes, I look at an item and think I need it…but then I think about what I can make from it. I sold an entertainment center that I was using for homeschool supplies. Truth is, it was big, bulky, and in the way. It always looked cluttered and it wasn’t a thing of beauty…it was an eyesore. We found another way to store my supplies, and the entertainment stand was empty. I thought about repurposing it (which is a great thing to consider when decluttering…) , painting and using it as an entertainment center in our living room…but then I thought against it. I could sell it and use whatever profits towards my next home project. I didn’t love it and didn’t want it anymore. And so I did. I got rid of it, my friend got something she needed, and I got some cash that I needed to pick up things for our next project.
It’s not yard sale season yet, however, as if you couldn’t tell from the piles of snow in our front lawns! So I’m storing the stuff, already priced, in my eldest son’s room. He could care less, and I don’t have to see it every day. As I declutter, I price it, and add it to the pile in his room. The larger items, like the entertainment stand, I will sell as I declutter, and not wait until my sale in May. If you don’t have a teenage boy’s room to clutter up with your decluttering, then maybe you have a corner in the basement. A closet in your baby’s room that is pretty much empty. Just find a nook, and start stashing!
Another tip is to keep boxes as you get them. If you go to a grocery store, ask for the egg boxes. They are usually pretty sturdy. When you get a box from Amazon, if you can use it to store stuff, use it! Garbage bags do well for linens, but boxes are good for books, nic naks, and other things that can rip bags.
There is another way of investing your items tho. Donations are a great investment. Have a bunch of baby stuff? Maybe donate them to the pregnancy crisis centers or to a young mom starting out. Have a bunch of old clothes, or household supplies? See what kind of ministries are available in your town. Not only the homeless shelter or in a bag for Goodwill, but some communities have outreaches that help out families who lose things due to fires or other family crisis. Ask around. Maybe God is speaking to you not to invest the money in yourself or your home, but maybe, into a complete stranger’s life.
As you look at items, considering their destiny, ask some questions: Is it worth anything to me? Do I love it? Do I need it? Will it be better used somewhere else in the house, with a different function? Can someone else benefit from it? Would I be better off selling it and using the money for something else that is needed? Is the item worth more to me than what I can make financially from it?
Not everything will go to the same pile. I had a bunch of clothes, so I donated most to the Mission (homeless shelter). I had some old homeschool supplies and puzzles that I gave to a mom who is planning on homeschooling her son. He is only 3, but the stuff I have will be great for pre-k or kindergarten stuff. And then there is my giant pile in my son’s room. Sometimes things require prayer. I know it sounds silly, but I debated over the homeschool supplies to give to my friend. I could make some money from them, I reasoned. And I could. But I remembered when I started out how God used people to give me things, to help me out, and I knew He was calling me to help out another young momma as well. You will really discover yourself in doing this. It will show you where you trust God, and where you may need to trust Him more.