Over the past few years, I’ve talked a lot about selling our unneeded items on Craigslist — and it’s true, I have sold many, MANY of our unneeded things via Craigslist (and other online sources) over the years.
BUT… what I might not have said in so many words is:
I most definitely do not SELL everything we purge!
In fact, I would estimate that, at this point in my life, I donate over 80% of everything that leaves our house on a weekly and monthly basis — I don’t even try to sell it.
Sometimes, this is because the items I’m purging aren’t high-value items (like adult clothing or small decorations).
Sometimes it’s because the items aren’t in awesome condition, but still usable.
But many times I donate the items simply because I want them out of my house ASAP — without the hassle of taking photos, typing the information, checking my email, and dealing with no-shows.
Yes, the extra income is nice (and I have made thousands of dollars from my Craigslist sales) but as many of you probably know, there is just something to be said for getting the stuff out of your house NOW, and being done with it!
Am I right!?
I get lots and lots of emails regarding donating versus selling… here’s one I got the other day — I think this person explains the “pull” we often feel between “should we sell or should we donate?” very well.
I want to have my home simplified SO bad (excess clothes, shoes, coats, bedding, furniture etc.) that I just want to donate all of it so I can make fast progress and move on! But, then I think of your experiences selling on Craigslist and the money you have made.
So is it really worth the time to keep everything until it sells and get the money? Or should I just donate now?
I’m sure many of you can relate to that plea… even I have struggled with purging things I know I could sell on Craigslist but just don’t want to make the time to do it.
As with so many things in life, there is that constant struggle between more time or more money.
Some of us obviously have more wiggle room when it comes to time and others have more wiggle room when it comes to finances.
But we almost always have to make that difficult choice — time or money.
To Sell or To Donate: my personal opinion…
If you really ENJOY selling things on Craigslist (or Ebay or Facebook) AND HAVE THE TIME to do it, I would say try to sell some of the bigger items.
HOWEVER — and this is a big “however” —
If the idea of trying to take pictures, post items for sale, deal with the emails, etc. is very overwhelming to you, then I would definitely recommend donating everything right now and being done with it for good.
And yes, I do “practice what I preach”.
As many of you know, I’ve been on a mission to do a full-house purge before the New Year — and boy have I purged A LOT!
So far, I’ve gone through the entire basement, every room, closet, and space on the main floor, and over half of the upstairs. I’ll easily finish the upstairs over Christmas break — and yes, it feels good!
I think I only sold 3 things total (bigger baby items) and the rest went straight to our local thrift store.
I didn’t keep track of it all, but there were at least 4 trunk loads of donation items and several bags of trash.
I suppose that if I really wanted to spend the time, I could have probably sold significantly more items, but I personally felt like it wasn’t worth my time or energy in this season of life.
I just wanted the stuff gone ASAP.
The peace of mind and instant de-clutter was way more valuable to me than a little extra spending money.
So are you ready to purge?
Just do it — I promise you won’t regret it when you get back home and can instantly enjoy your extra breathing room! There are many situations when our time is MUCH MORE valuable than our money (and our sanity). In my opinion, purging small items is definitely one of those times.
Also, since I’m often asked: we don’t claim our donated items as tax deductions anymore. It doesn’t make much of a difference for our taxes, and it’s another thing I’ve decided isn’t worth my time (or the extra paperwork.) However, if that’s something you’d like to do and it DOES make a difference on your yearly taxes, then definitely look at the deduction as an added bonus to a clutter-free home!
Plus, think of all the people who will benefit from your cast-offs!
And for those of you with a nice pile you want to sell…
Here’s a link to ALL my Craigslist 101 posts — lots of good information and helpful advice in those posts!
Just remember the value of your time… set a length of time you will allow your items to sit unsold and vow to donate them after that time has lapsed!
I think that covers it!
Hopefully this post will be helpful to those of you who are planning to do some decluttering after (or during) the holiday season!!