All last month here on The Good Stuff, we’ve been sharing clever home hacks and de-cluttering strategies for streamlining your surroundings and improving form and function in every room. Once the process to de-clutter has begun, the next (and most often more difficult) step is figuring out what to do with everything you don’t want or need. Don’t fret, because we’ve got you covered! We’ve done all the research for you and are back this month with tips and strategies for getting rid of the clutter and possibly even making some money along the way!
Source: Metropolitan Organizing
The first step to streamlining your home is going through the painful process of sifting and sorting through every area of your home. Be sure you check out our awesome family room, kitchen, office, closet, bathroom, and bedroom strategies before getting started!
As you work through each room, keep these questions in mind as you decide what stays and what goes:
- Have you used the item in the past year?
- Are you holding onto a particular item for sentimental value?
- Does the item fit you or your living space?
- Do I already have a similar item that serves the same purpose?
If you are overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin, start by honing in on the simple things to clear out right away!
- Cards people have given with no sentimental value
- Socks with holes in them
- Stacks of magazines
- Shoes that no longer fit
- Expired anything
- Outdated and broken electronics
Source: The Homes I Have Made
While getting rid of unwanted clutter is the goal, some items can also be given new life and new purpose! Look at some of your items with a critical eye. Can your item be re-painted, repurposed, or up-cycled? The Internet is full of ideas to inspire you! Check out how these old cabinet doors got a fresh and functional makeover and other clever up-cycle ideas here and here! If you’re torn whether you can or should paint your old furniture, Centsational Girl and Apartment Therapy both provide great guidance to help you decide!
If you do determine that a fresh coat of paint or new hardware will help you use or love something again, these tips will ensure you get the most from your makeover efforts!
Source: The Handmade Home
Can’t decide if it’s worth the effort to post/sell or just donate and be done? This smart flow-chart can help you quickly and easily figure it all out!
Determining whether you want/need something is the first part of the decision-making process, but then you have to figure out what to do with the unwanted item next. Anything that is broken, damaged, disposable, or cheap can most likely be thrown right out. However, “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” has never been more true than these days, and selling your possessions not only recycles but can put some extra cash in your pocket!
Before listing everything you’re selling on all sorts of sites, get organized with this handy printable. It tracks everything from what you’re selling, where, how much you’re asking, and if it’s finally sold all on one neat sheet!
The Selling Process
Source: The Homes I Have Made
Selling unwanted items has become a profession and hobby in and of itself! Resources and ideas for safely and effectively selling your stuff are all over the web. Start your research with Snail Pace Transformations. The author includes fantastic links and tutorials for selling almost anything you can think of online!
- Even with your more valuable, good-quality items listed/sold online, don’t under-estimate the money-generating power of a good yard sale. Learn how to organize and execute a well-run sale to bring in money and move your stuff fast!
- Craigslist is one of the quickest and easiest ways to sell your items from the comfort of your own home.
- Facebook buy/sell trade pages are fast becoming a quicker and more-trustworthy alternative to Craigslist.
- Things like books and video games have niche markets and have distinct re-sale venues. Utilize places like Amazon’s Trade In program to get cash back for all those best sellers cluttering up your shelves.
- Ebay is another awesome resource for getting rid of valuable or new/gently-used items.
How to Donate
Whether it’s while you’re de-cluttering or after you’ve exhausted all of your selling options, you will most likely be left with things that can be donated. Beyond just the local thrift store, there are a wide variety of places and organizations that accept donations. Miss Minimalist has an excellent roundup of donation spots and centers for everything and anything.
Making donations today has become quick and easy, thanks to thrift stores and donation bins on almost every street.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore accepts donations that many thrift stores do not. Especially consider these donation spots for old or extra building supplies, light fixtures and furniture.
While you don’t get cash in your pocket from donating the way you would on a Craigslist transaction or a yard sale, some donations can reap great tax benefits.
Source: I’m An Organizing Junkie
Even after you’ve de-cluttered and streamlined your home and sold and donated all the unwanted items, the job is never truly done. Be sure to do these last few, very smart tasks before you consider your space clutter free.
- After you de-clutter your clothes — be sure to get rid of your hangers and shoe boxes too
- After you get rid of your kids’ old toys — think about what to do with toy shelves and toy furniture
- Remember that extra space invites clutter so be mindful of your storage
Unwanted items can accumulate faster than you might expect so take some time to put a plan in place for keeping clutter in check. Consider setting up a station to store unwanted items until you’re ready to deal with them. Not only can this idea keep piles from growing all over the house, but will also make the trash/donation/sell process much quicker the next time around!