I’ve Paid For This Twice Already…

Frugal living and debt reduction tips for a better financial future. This is one family’s story.

April 24th, 2008

Why Get Rid Of It If It’s Perfectly Good?

I have a lot of stuff. Not expensive or extravagant stuff, but just the random detritus that one collects traveling through life, especially if one is a hoarder. I don’t have a use for a lot of it, but yet I can’t seem to get rid of it. Why? Because it still works, I might need it someday, it goes on and on.

The bottom line is, I have trouble letting go of things if they are perfectly good. Even if they have no use in my life.

I’ve tried selling a lot of it, and have gotten rid of some that way. I have boxes of stuff though for our next yard sale, which I know won’t all sell. And I know what I need to do, no matter how hard it is.

I need to get rid of it.

Whatever doesn’t sell at the yard sales this summer needs to be carted to Goodwill, or wherever else will take it. I need to let go of all the clutter that abounds in my house. I don’t need it, I don’t even want it, I just can’t get over the fact that I spent money on stuff and I won’t get it back. I honestly can’t even recall what most of the stuff in the boxes in the garage even is. It needs to go.

Someone else might need it, and put it to good use. And my world will be a little easier to navigate with much less stuff.

Of course, I hope I sell a ton of it at the yard sales, and snowflake it all to debt. A girl is allowed a dream or two, after all.

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17 Responses to “Why Get Rid Of It If It’s Perfectly Good?”

  1. You know, that used to be my hang-up too. I couldn’t part with things knowing how much I’d paid for them – even if I hadn’t used or worn or needed them in years. Once I got over it though, well, there is no going back. Everytime I take things to donate at Goodwill or sell something on Craigslist, I just think about how someone else will love it and that is enough for me.

  2. I have the same problem, until I reach a mental point of “enough is enough” and just junk it all. Sounds like you’ve reached that point.

    It happened to me this year, too. I just finished sorting out my clothes and will donate most of them to a battered women’s shelter. (They always need stuff because a lot of the women leave their homes with nothing but the clothes on their back)

    We have only been in our current apartment 1.5 years, so the clutter (other than clothes) hasn’t built up that much yet.

    The hardest part is when I have a shirt that I got somewhere special or on a trip… even if I haven’t worn it in years it’s still extra hard to get rid of.

  3. I’ve been working to drop unneeded things and the first major step in going through one of my “hoarding” closets was have a friend come over and be the one standing in the closet. It’s easy to get rid of old things when a friend pulls it out, looks at you and asks, “Really? When was the last time you even looked at this??” The *shame* alone gets you to add more things to the donate/trash/recycle piles.

    I also recently made unclutterer.com my homepage… so every time I go online, I see something about getting rid of STUFF so it doesn’t control your home. :o ) Another way to make myself feel guilty enough to do the right thing!

  4. Ever hear of Freecycle? What doesn’t sell, freecycle it.

  5. My favorite things to sell at a garage sale or donate to Goodwill is stuff that I bought used to begin with! I love the feeling that I bought the item cheap and got some use out of it and now it’s being recycled all over again. :)

  6. For spillingbuckets: One idea I ran across in a decluttering book is to make a memory notebook. Write down a description of the item and all the memories associated with, take a picture if you need to. Instead of having a ceiling-high stack of stuff you can’t get rid of because of memories, it’s in the notebook.

  7. I could have written this post myself.

    I’m slowing learning that clutter is soul crushing, its a burden not worth keeping around.

    I have a really hard time getting rid of stuff that people gave me. Now I ask myself, “Would so and so want me to be saddled with this thing the rest of my life?” Of course the answer is “NO WAY”. When I give a gift I don’t expect the person I’m giving it too to keep it forever, I don’t even care if they keep it a day. I’m just learning that I don’t have to keep stuff given to me forever either. Thinking this way makes it much easier to let go.

    I been rounding things up around my house – Stuff to ebay and stuff to donate. I put the stuff I want to donate in a garbage bag and when the bag is full I put it in the back of my truck. The next time I go into town I donate it. I’m sure if I left the stuff sitting around or if I could see it in a box, I’d have a change of heart and decide to keep it. I need to be ruthless with myself, it’s the only thing that works for me.

    You can do this! De-clutter your life, it’ll set you free!

  8. twistedsouthernbelle Says:

    April 24th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    I am a Huge fan of Freecycle. It is a email group/site that allows you to list your items you want to send to a good home keeping them from going to a landfill; Freecyclers will pick up the item from your home or a designated spot. It also allows you to recieve items that you may need as well. I have gotten many things. when we moved all of our moving boxes were from Freecycle and some where on there third or fourth use. We also got rid of a dining room set.

  9. I agree, it’s hard to get rid of things that still work. I live in a house that is only 475 sf and I know I have “stuff” to get rid of. I freecycle, yard sale, goodwill, trash, recycle.

    I was even silly enough to pay for a storage unit for 6 years to store my boxed of possessions. I can remember opening a box and having a fondue pot and a coffee pot in it. Neither of which I ever remember using, neither of which I will use. Freecycle it went.

    I’m on a mission to purge my clothes. I’ve got clothes I never wear that just need to go.

    I don’t think I can go totaly Zen on my possessions, but I’m making a huge effort this spring and summer to really slim down.

    good luck and keep dreaming

  10. I agree with Crazy Debt. I hate to sound all “new age” but I really do believe that things have energy and storing, looking at, dealing with all that extra stuff gets in the way of directing that energy elsewhere.

    I think that’s what Crazy Debt means when they say that clutter is “soul crushing.” And I think it’s what you mean when you say “my world will be a little easier to navigate with much less stuff.”

    Think of it this way: All that stuff can be turned into money. If you have books, take them to a used book store and sell them. Half Price Books will give you cash on the spot. Not a lot, but enough to snowflake.

    If you do end up donating to Goodwill, list what you gave them, value it at itsdeductible.com and write it off on your taxes.

    Good luck!

  11. I feel that all the time. It’s hard to part with something that might be useful in the future. My grandmother’s house is so crammed with stuff that it’s crazy and verging on irresponsible.

  12. My wife has the opposite problem. She gets rid of everything. Our home is like a modern museum. She even gets rid of things she sometimes regrets later. She got rid of a Swiss Army Watch because she never wore it. Then we went hiking, and she had no watch! If something doesn’t get used around my house, it’s gone — to ebay or Goodwill. I think it’s psychological — both hanging on to things you don’t need and the need to get rid of anything not being used enough.

  13. :D You can do it.

    I know exactly how you feel and it sucks. “But I PAID for that!” Yeah.

    You could try a final go on craigslist for the things that don’t sell at the garage sale!

  14. I’ve been struggling with the same thing – I hate to get rid of something that I might have a use for someday. But when we decided to stay in our 1300 aquare foot house and have a baby, I had to overcome my resistance to getting rid of stuff. We’ve been clearing stuff out for the last few months, and I’m loving the clutter-free (nearly!) result.

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