How Do You Get Rid Of Stuff?

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by Peacock, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. Peacock

    Peacock writing some wrongs Supporter

    Apr 12, 2006
    SW Ohio
    What do you do with the stuff you want to get rid of?

    I am a packrat. It's a family trait. Unfortunately DH is a packrat too. So is his dad. So is his sister. Aaaaaahrg!!!

    DH and I are trying hard not to be such packrats. There's a difference between stocking up useful items and keeping things just 'cause they might be useful someday. Or because they have sentimental value. DH is a "don't be wasteful" kind of packrat. I'm a sentimental kind.

    So right now I've got six boxes and a two-drawer file cabinet full of kids' school papers and art projects. Those I know how to get rid of. It's just a matter of finding time and motivation to sort them.

    I also have about six boxes full of outgrown kids' clothes sitting in my basement bathroom. And more are on the way. Since I last sorted the clothing into boys/girls boxes, I've accumulated a pile of more outgrown clothes big enough for another box, and there are probably more in their closets and drawers to pitch.

    I have basically four options here.
    1. Give them away on Freecycle.
    2. Dump them at a thrift store collection point.
    3. Try to sell some of them at a consignment store.
    4. Save them and sell them in a yard sale this spring.

    Now, if I were really, really organized I would sort out the best ones, take them to the consignment store and see what they'd give me -- usually about $1 per item, but they're selective and usually only buy 1/10 of what I bring in. Even if it originally came from there and was worn exactly twice. And then I would normally turn around and spend it in the store, and then some. But then I have to haul all the stuff they didn't want back home again.

    I could do the yard sale route. I did that once, a few years ago, and ended up making over $300, mostly selling baby things like a swing, strollers, etc. and a few clothes. But baby things sell a lot better than older kids' clothes. OTOH I really like shopping yard sales for older kids' clothes, maybe because they're cheap as sin and nobody else buys them. It's clearly a buyers' market. And unless you're really self-disciplined, the idea of saving stuff for the yard sale you'll a sure road to ruin.

    Even dumping it at thrift store collection points can be problematic. Some of them are quite picky. There's one right up the street, but I've been told they won't even take half of what you bring if they don't feel they need it. But if I drive a little farther, Goodwill has a big truck in the grocery store parking lot and will take anything and give you a very generous receipt to use for tax purposes; sometimes you even get to fill it out yourself.

    Freecycle is a great thing; best of all, you don't have to haul the stuff anyplace, people come to you and pick it up. We've done that several times. Often these are people who really need your stuff - families that have lost everything due to fire or other crises, etc. But not always. And sometimes you get people who are rude and act like they're doing you a favor by taking your stuff. And some folks might feel funny about giving their address to total strangers.

    I've given the kids' clothes to people I knew with younger children, but right now I don't know any. My 8 yo niece has more clothes already than she needs, and my 5 yo nephew is already in the same size as my 8 yo son.

    Melissa dreams of taking her stuff out and putting it back in....I dream of having someone just come over and take what I don't want so I don't have to haul it anyplace.

    How do you get rid of it?
  2. wyld thang

    wyld thang God Smacked Jesus Freak Supporter

    Nov 16, 2005
    Turtle Island/Yelm, WA "Land of the Dancing Spirit
    the good stuff goes to younger relatives or friends, the ok stuff goes to goodwill, and the trash goes in the bonfire

  3. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2003
    How about making "memory" quilts with some of the outgrown clothes. My mom had a quilt that she made when she was young. She loved showing it to us and giving us a bit of family history with it. She'd point out fabrics on it and tell us that fabric is from her grandmothers best sunday dress, or this fabric is from great grandpa's milking shirt, etc. If you don't quilt, maybe you could provide prepared pieces of fabric to someone who does and they could make you a quilt in exchange for getting a lot of fabrics for their stash?
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    Getting rid of STUFF is like quitting smoking. The problem is you are addicted to stuff. You know you should get rid of the whole mess but don't really want to part with it. You have to go "Cold Turkey" or it will never happen.
  5. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

    Jul 27, 2004
    Sympathy here... long line of "it might come in handy someday" people.

    Clothing, these days, can be recycled. Call your local dump and find out if they can direct you to where the clothes need to go to make it into the recycling stream. Here every town dump has a little building into which clothing (and appliances, books, etc) goes. At the end of the week that which hasn't been picked over and taken away by someone who needs it goes to a recycling center in the middle of the state where it is ground up and used (if I understand this correctly) as stuffing in furniture pillows. Or ground up to be used as fiber in paper.

    While we look at clothes (especially one that don't fit any more!) and think "someone could use that," the fact is that it is extremely time and energy intensive (especially in a rural area) to try and get those clothes to a facility which will cycle them out to "those in need." So our town dumps have become the de facto clearning house of "used stuff." I used to feel bad about taking something like a pair of jeans which obviously weren't worn out to the dump... but after running into friends who were picking through the stuff for "finds" I don't feel badly any more.
  6. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

    Dec 29, 2002
    We combined two fully furnished and equiped apartments. Then we moved all of that stuff into a big farm house. Then we downsized into a small 1400 sq ft house and brought it all with us. That was a huge mistake. It took several years of casual work to declutter. It's creeping back in so it's time to start again, when I can do it all in a day or two.

    I use black trashbags so that nobody can see what I've thrown out if they come home while I'm working. When I'm done the bag is tied and taken to the trashcan outside even if it's not full. Then the hard part starts - don't think about what you've done. It's gone. The end. If it can be reused you can take it to Goodwill or a thrift store. If you think you're going to weaken, don't wait. Get in the car and go now if it's not too far.

    If I hadn't used it in a year I probably didn't need it.

    I learned about the 27 Fling Boogie from Fly Lady or the Slob Sisters. You get a trash bag, discard 27 things, tie the bag and discard. You don't have to stop at 27 things. If you're in the right mood keep going!

    Our home is much more relaxing. We aren't wasting time thinking about stuff, moving stuff around, or pawing through stuff to find other stuff. The best part - I haven't once wished I hadn't gotten rid of something in the last nine years. By dejunking I made room to neatly keep the things we truly need.
  7. Speciallady

    Speciallady Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    What size kids clothes. My son wears size 14 pants and the girls wear 8. I'd buy them from you. If not, give them to Saint Vincent Depaul instead of goodwill. They sell them or give them away there for almost nothing. 50 cents for kids clothes etc. And they help people pay there bills get food etc. and furniture and such. Very awesome place. I am the exact opposite of a pacrat. I don't keep much of anything that doesn't hold sentiment or has a useful purpose. I love to help people go through there things and get rid of things they don't "need"
  8. Yeti

    Yeti Well-Known Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    southern Michigan
    After my uncle passed we had to deal with his house hold worth of stuff. It cam down to throwing it away or or putting it on the curb with a "free sign". I got rid of so much stuff that way I could not beleive what people were taking. things I wouldn't have looked twice at were gone over night. made me feel good that someone wanted it and had need for it. plus I got my barn back!
  9. Melissa

    Melissa member

    Apr 15, 2002
    SE Ohio
    I rarely save anything, if I am not using it, it is gone.

    I send clothes to the Salvation Army, if they are too bad, I turn them into rags or I save jeans for quilt squares, don't save the entire clothing item, just the good part. Other items I save in my attic in one certain section. Our town has a Fireman's Auction every May and they accept donations of anything. We take everything we are not using there and it brings in money for the fire department.

    Another thing, once you get rid of everything, really think about what you buy. Do you really need another pair of shoes, wall-thing-amajig, smelly candle, etc... It is amazing what you can do without.
  10. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2002
    When my son first left home, I had a marvellous time 'getting rid of stuff'! The extra dinner set, extraneous tupperware, extra sheets and towels - you name it, he got it. Mind you, he got a lot of really good stuff, too, like a TV, a lawnmower, a large gas barbecue, a garage full of tools and garden equipment.

    Every time he visited, he'd take something back home with him. I was in Happy Land!

    But the system has broken down completely. Gradually, everything's creeping back! First it was the coffee table, which didn't match their new lounge suite - that went to a newlywed couple I know. Then it was a box of books that they didn't have space for, and some old curtains which they've replaced. Christmas day he brought back a pottery utensil holder - they'd got a new one which matched their kitchen. And so it goes.

    I suppose I can still try the newlywed couple for a few things! But if that fails, I will donate it to the charity where I work as a volunteer - and they can sell it off at their next Garage Sale.
  11. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    I'm trying very hard to do the same thing. I have to be tough though. I'm going with the easiest option I can find. If I try to mess around earning a $ or two it will never happen. I pass along as much as I can to people I know - niece gets nicest girl clothes, good boy clothes go to neighbors. Beat up clothing gets recycled into targets for bow shooting practice. Books go to some Mennonite friends with a pile of kids who like to read (some go to neice), kitchen stuff goes to the local Salvation Army type store, freecycle is great, the barter board on here has worked very well for me for farm-ish stuff, a free sign by the road also works wonders. Hope that gave you a few ideas! Good luck with the cleaning! I understand how difficult it can be!
  12. newatthis

    newatthis Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2006
    Central Wisconsin
    I have given alot of my dd clothes to our youngest neice "hand-me-downs" but believe me they don't look used.
    Other's if still great condition I put on ebay. I've found I make more on ebay than at the consignment store here in town. the so/so ones I take there. The mudd stained/holes in them I through in the trash.

    I do like the thought Spinner had of making a quilt with some of the so/so or good ones.
    When my kids were toddlers and grew out of their favorite P.J.s I made body pillows that we called "little Tasha" and "little Ariel" (my dd's names.)

    Hope my ideas help.
    I also am a packrat who is trying to get rid of some things
  13. Tonya

    Tonya Guest

    Do freecycle.

    Sort it into lots and send it out into the universe. For example, my DH is a geek and I had a lot of physics books and a lot of higher math books. They were gone in 15 minutes. Post that you have girls size X clothes. Then post again that you have boys size X clothes. That way you don't have the meanie greedies getting everything (which they would turn around and sell at their own garage sale!).

    I've send a ton of stuff out to the universe via freecycle. It's a rather freeing feeling. When my DH was running to Office Max every week to spend $3 to fax something for his company I asked for a fax machine and got several offers for them. We got a nice servicable one that has saved us about $100 so far!!!

  14. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

    Jun 8, 2004
    Carefully picking and choosing who or what will get your 'stuff' is another way to hold on to it. (trust me...I come from a long line of packrats!)

    For a non-packrat, sorting stuff carefully to send part here or part there works very nicely. For the packrat, that's a road to trouble. We sort, and re-sort, and decide, and change our minds, and then decide to keep this or that, or decide to pack it all up and do it later.

    For us, the best way is the quickest way. Put an ad on Freecycle. Say you have 'X' number of boxes of kids clothes, and whatever else, and that it MUST ALL BE PICKED UP BY THE SAME PERSON.

    And let them deal with it...even, yes, if they are a 'dealer'

    You aren't trying to 'find a good home' for this stuff....get it out!
  15. NWMO

    NWMO Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2005
    We give all of our "stuff" to a local thrift shop run by the individuals at a local sheltered workshop. We keep a list of the items donated for our tax records, but do not want to mess with sorting and putting in a consignment shop....too much work and the tax benefits are more worthwhile and easier for us to deal with in the long run.
  16. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 12, 2003
    New York
    We have moved from a 3800 sq ft home to a 1700 sq ft home. This is what I am doing.

    1-I have 5 empty boxes in front of me: auction box (weekly auction 6 miles away, antique shop, keep, give away and throw away boxes.
    2-I get a box from storage and go through it placing EVERYTHING in one of those boxes. I do this times 4 boxes everyday.
    3-When I have about 4-5 boxes in a group it goes to whatever the box says.
    4-I might mention that the keep box is also the "can not decide box". In the spring I will go through those boxes and finally decide, I will then either give away or have a garage sale.

    This system has worked great for me AND I have earned quite a bit of $. A suggestion: If you have something old take it to an antique store. They might buy it outright or put it in the store on consignment. It has been hard to part with "family things" but I decided to part with them and let someone else enjoy them. The money from "family things" is going into a college fund for grandchildren (yet to be born). Both my parents were college graduates in the '30's, they would be happy for the grandchildren's fund. I plan to have this done by 12-31-07 and hope to make @ $8,000. Is it worth the time? To me it is and a nice little part-time job!..Joan
  17. chicken

    chicken Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2005
    For me, I am not a packrat, but when we almost moved to Texas a few years ago, I had our kids come out and get anything they wanted that I no longer wanted to hang onto. Then we sorted it into 2 piles, the goodwill stuff and the dumpster junk. We didn't really have anything big enough to warrant selling. This was how we could get it taken care of quickly. I really just don't accumulate stuff though since one year we moved 5 times. That really makes me think about what I really want to keep in case we would be moving in short order sometime.
  18. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2005
    sure-fire way to get rid of something you don't want...
    Let the neighbor kids play with it, they break it, problem solved. :p

  19. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

    Apr 22, 2005
    South Dakota
    We have a 20 yard dumpster arriving Tuesday. We plan to fill it & then some. Nothing we own is valuable & there is much that "just needs a little fixing" or could come in handy". It has all got to go. Except for things like school books, craft supplies for camp & school, my mother's china, or 2 small boxes of knick knacks, it has to disappear so we can sell & move.

    This is the only way I think it will ever happen here.
  20. SquashNut

    SquashNut Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2005
    I ran my yard sale for 3 weekends last year and made $1200.00.
    When I was done the junk went to the trade a table at the dump.