To Sell or to Donate: That is the Question

posted by Andrea | 12/20/2018

to sell or to donate

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.

Hi Andrea,

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?

Please Help!

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!!

What are your thoughts on selling or donating?

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62 comments

  1. JJ

    12/20/2018

    In our small town, everyone expects you to sell most things for $1 at your yard sale. No time for that!?! And then they try to talk you down. Like, what?!? I am a get it out the door asap kind of woman. My father-in-law saved EvErYtHiNg and gives it to my kids as he finds it throughout his large home. Many things have 30+years of accumulated dust and smell odd. Like, every family has their own “smell” but any 30 year old family smell left to itself is just, well, unpleasant. So with my kids’ stuff I always think, “What will my daughters-in-law and son-in-law think if I save this?”

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah $1 per item just isn’t worth it for the time involved!
    And good for you for thinking about your kids and how they might feel when left to sort through all your “treasures”!

    [Reply]

  2. Lauri

    12/20/2018

    I was just thinking about donating vs selling items I need to purge today! We moved in August and I did sell most of the big ticket items such as a dining room table with 6 chairs and clothes dryer however I decided my time was better spent doing other things then selling many smaller items and ended up donating a ton of stuff before we moved and then once we moved in I donated quite a bit more! It felt fantastic and I am so relieved to have all that stuff out of my life. At this point in my life I am much more inclined to donate. Like you most of the time I just want the stuff out of my house fast and bring my purged items directly to a donation center.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — sounds like you purged a ton. I’m sure that feels great!

    [Reply]

  3. Margaret

    12/20/2018

    I always donate–I’ve never even tried to sell stuff, as it has never been worth the hassle to me. Nor has it ever been worth while to try to take anything as a deduction, because I have never exceeded the standard deduction, except once. I donated a viola (unplayed for more than 30 years, oh the shame) to a local college which provides music lessons and instruments to low-income children, and got a letter from the college with its value. That one year my state withholding had been miscalculated–I normally don’t need to pay any in or get any back–and I owed several hundred, which was covered by the donation of the viola. That time virtue was more than its own reward,:)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — this is a great story Margaret!

    [Reply]

  4. Laura

    12/20/2018

    With my son leaving for college we swapped our kids rooms and did a major purge. I can attest to the fact (I am definitely sentimental–my kids not so much) that it is hard to “Let it Go!” But I have really been making an effort. We have sent a ton of bags to donation this fall and I have pared it down to the ‘saleable’ items. I have sold quite a bit on Facebook–my goal was to earn enough to buy an expensive ceiling fan for my daughters “new” room–and I met the goal and then some. It is surprising what sells and what doesn’t and for me that is part of the game. I think that bug is inherited. I used to help my grandma with garage sales when I was a kid. I like to try to earn cash before I donate. However that does mean I have bins and boxes sitting around and it does get problematic at times. But I’m working on it. Consignment sale comes up in March-although I swore I was done with those! For me its worth the time and effort to earn the extra cash with tuition to pay and rooms that need remodeled. My next goal is new flooring for my living room and a new couch.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — this is awesome Laura!
    Good luck with your consignment sales (and the new flooring!)

    [Reply]

  5. Summer

    12/20/2018

    I love how direct you are and so true! You either get time or money! FYI, with the changes in taxes coming for 2018, a married couple receives a standard deduction of $24,000.(Single $12,000) It would be tough to donate that much for the average household, so this isn’t going to make a difference for many of us. However, I have been doing this whole house purge along with Andrea and it is sooooooo worth the amount of space we now have! I, too, personally have donated 98% of the stuff to get it out.

    Great tips, as always! Happy holidays all!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh wow — thanks for sharing that information about the new standard deductions for 2018! I’m sure our accountant would know all of this, but it’s interesting for me to realize too. I guess it makes me feel less “guilty” for donating instead of selling — even if I don’t take the deductions!

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  6. toriw

    12/20/2017

    Sometimes donating is a better option. Especially if you don’t want to deal with the stress of having to deal with buyers…If you want to make a donation to a credible place I would suggest visiting Giving Center, it is an IRS verified 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, they strive to help individuals and families across the nation. When you donate you will both be helping those in need, and you will receive a tax deduction. Beginning the donation process is really simple, all you have to do is submit the online donation form on their web site and on of their representatives will get back to you to walk you through the rest of the donation process. If you have any questions regarding making a donation their staff is always willing to answer them. If you’d like more information visit https:// http://www.givingcenter.org.

    [Reply]

  7. Tamara

    12/18/2015

    My 4-yr-old self initiated a toy purge of her room around Thanksgiving. I about passed out from sheer shock when she hauled this basket full of toys out of her room. She told me they needed new homes with other kids.
    As shocking as that was, it was also sad. In the basket was her first much loved stuffed monkey–the toy she dragged everywhere just after she learned to walk.
    I thanked her and praised her for being generous. Then I put the toys aside figuring she would ask for at least one back. She didn’t.
    We took several boxes to Goodwill, including the purged toys (minus that stuffed monkey). My daughter called out to the men, “Be careful with those. They very important for someone to love.”
    Why am I the one who feels like crying?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    WOW!!! This is probably one of the cutest stories I’ve heard in a LONG time!
    Your daughter sounds amazing — and I’m sure she and Nora would hit it off 🙂

    Also, I’m not sentimental at all, but I’m glad you saved the monkey!

    [Reply]

    Rhonda Reply:

    That one made me cry, too! And I’m not all that sentimental!

    [Reply]

  8. Julie

    12/18/2015

    We have actually met some really nice people with selling on Craigslist that we would have never known otherwise. I love it:)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    us too! in fact, we’ve meet some of our “neighbors” this way too!

    [Reply]

  9. Nena

    12/18/2015

    I took a whole of stuff to the thrift store today .. I had tried to sell online for a few weeks on a local fb group and no luck so out it goes 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay! Good for you! I’m sure it felt great to get that stuff out of your home before the holidays!

    [Reply]

  10. Bonnie'sMama

    12/18/2015

    I would love to be able to give away lots and lots of money, but since I don’t have lots and lots of money, I give away my stuff instead. Over and over I have seen that as I give away things which I don’t need anymore, God has the most creative ways to bring me the things that I do need. And the more we give away, the more He gives us to give.

    And boy, it just feels So Good to win back that space in my house and garage! That’s a big reward for me.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I LOVE this way of thinking!! So many people I know make the “excuse” that they don’t have enough money so if they donate something they might potentially need later, they’ll have to spend more to buy it again. However, I’m with you… there have been so many times when I’ve given something away and then found a better option later on when I needed something like that again. In the meantime, I wasn’t storing it in my house and someone else was enjoying it!

    [Reply]

  11. Amanda

    01/06/2015

    I’m currently in major purge mode. First its January and second, I had a baby 6wks ago plus the influx of new Christmas stuff, and I’m feeling suffocated by stuff.

    -We have a big box of books to go to half-priced books. It’s going this weekend (mostly because I need my husbands help to carry since it would be next to impossible w/ 2 kids in tow as well). I know they don’t give a lot of money, but any money is more than I’d have if they were sitting on my shelf gathering dust.

    -I just started gathering up clothes to donate. The next charity that calls, gets them. (we used to have a salvation army near by, but it closed, and usually the charities call about once a month, so I shouldn’t have to hang on to them very long)

    -I’m putting away some of my maternity clothes as I’m starting to fit into my regular clothes. Once they’re all gathered, I will offer them to friends first, but if they don’t want them, I plan to sell them as a lot on FB. If they don’t sell in a few days there, we have a local crisis pregnancy center that will take them. I saved them last time because I only had one bin and had the space to store them (although I loaned them out twice between pregnancies), but now we’re almost positive we’re done having kids, I don’t want to hang on to them.

    [Reply]

  12. Jane

    01/06/2015

    Gosh, I have this internal struggle with everything we give away and even throw away. I have never used Craigslist, but our county has a BUY, SELL, TRADE group that many people use. But, mostly, I don’t find it worth my time. We did a home remodel project that had our house torn up for quite a few months. Many things were boxed up and we found we didn’t use them. When our street had a neighborhood garage sale, we had our first garage sale with 20+ years of accumulation. It was a success. We priced to sell – most of it was 25 cents. If it didn’t sell, we dragged it to the street and gave it away. Anything else went into the dumpster. Nothing came back in the house. It felt great. Subsequently, we tried garage sales but they were never as successful as that first one and not worth our time and effort. (In my opinion, the best garage sales to shop are the ones that have years worth of accumulation!) Now, I keep a bag that I add donations to and simply wait for one of the many service organizations to send me a card so I can place my donations on the porch. So easy!

    [Reply]

  13. Kelli

    09/04/2014

    Thank you so much for posting this! I needed to hear that today! I need to clean our basement out and I just couldn’t get past the feeling of what if I sold it! You are completely right that it takes a lot of time to take pictures, post, and then wait. I am definitely taking the time tomorrow to de-clutter our basement so we can finish it! Thanks again!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    You’re welcome Kelli — I was actually just struggling with this again as well. I’ve purged a lot of clothing lately and there were a few items I still wanted to try and sell. However, I just know I’m not willing to make the time to sell them right now… so I just bagged them ALL up last night (honestly!) and am sending them to ThredUp to see if I’ll get any amount of commission from them selling my items for me.

    If I don’t make any money, oh well, I didn’t waste any time. If I DO make a little — great!

    [Reply]

  14. Tanya

    01/25/2014

    Hi Andrea,

    I have a question that I hope you can help me with. I have a wedding dress that I am trying to sell. It is in great shape and I don’t have room for it. I put it on Craigslist, I put it on preownedweddingdress.com, I even tried eBay and the only responses I get are people from different countries who want to scam me. It is driving me crazy. Please help. Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Tanya, in my opinion, wedding dresses really don’t sell well at all. You basically need to give them away — especially if it’s more than a couple years old as styles change SOOO much.

    Here are some creative ways you can either donate or repurpose a wedding dress

    [Reply]

  15. Brigid

    01/23/2014

    Hi,
    Love this post!! So much I “pinned” it ;0) I am having trouble parting with my girls clothes…any suggestions? I still have ALL their baby clothes and most of their other clothes-they are 5 and 7 so we have a lot! I am sentimental over them so that is a huge factor and they are also nearly perfect shape. I want to sell some, donate some and come up with some idea for keeping some as keepsake.
    I was also curious if you had any suggestions on how to itemize/price donation slip? Our stores just give us a letterhead receipt stamped with the date, so I want to fill it out and submit with taxes, but not sure of the best way to do it.
    Thanks,
    Brigid

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Brigid!
    And if you want my honest opinion, you must remove your emotional attachment from the baby cloths and just realize that there is no reason to keep them anymore. I realize you want to sell some, but it will be SO much easier to just donate them all because then you won’t need to look through them all again (and get all emotional again). I think you should read this post to get a little more perspective on your stuff.

    Oh, and as for the tax deductions — they don’t make any difference on our taxes so I never even take the deduction slips (which means I also never itemize, so I’m not sure what to tell you on that) Sorry!

    Good luck with the purging — you can do it 😉

    [Reply]

    Brigid Reply:

    Thanks for your reply. Normally I am a huge purger and don’t have a deep connection with most of my “stuff” but baby clothes are giving me pause. Maybe it is because we have our two and are done with that part of the journey. Watching them grow and change is amazing, but also bittersweet! I have read the post you suggested, when it first came out, but alas, I am still stuck!!

    I think I will need to find a way to save a few pieces or make a quilt from some to really get me to let go of them.
    Thanks, keep writing your blog, it’s one of the best out there-I read it daily!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Well everyone has their “thing” when it comes to emotional clutter — your’s just happens to be baby clothes 🙂

    If you want to do some sort of quilt, I would HIGHLY recommend contacting Jane from Maiden Jane Quilts. She made an awesome t-shirt quilt for me 2 years ago and she’s going to be making another one for Dave here pretty soon.

    She is super professional and can take pretty much any scraps of clothing you have and turn them into a wonderful memory quilt that you can actually use. Then you can maybe purge the rest 🙂

    [Reply]

    Brigid Reply:

    Thanks for your suggestions and non-judgmental attitude, much appreciated!! I will contact Maiden Jane, her website and FB page look great! I may be on my way to some empty tbs and much needed space in our basement!!

    [Reply]

    MamaToo Reply:

    Brigid, baby clothes are my thing, too! Maybe it would help if you could donate at least some of them to a pregnancy care center. Then you can think of another mama lovingly picking them out for her baby and enjoying them like you did, instead of thinking of them going onto the long racks of clothes at Goodwill or another big thrift store. Especially if they’re in good shape, crisis pregnancy centers are very glad for used baby clothes.

    At our crisis pregnancy center, the young ladies earn needed baby items by attending classes about parenting and child care, etc. I volunteered there yesterday, and was a little sad with how empty their little “store” was, and by how many of the donations were not really very nice.

    [Reply]

    Jane Reply:

    Thanks for the shoutout Andrea! I have found that I make the baby clothes blankets for the growing kids, but they touch the moms deeply.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    no problem — thanks for the cute quilts 🙂

    [Reply]

    Heart and Haven Reply:

    One tip that helped me with baby/kid clothes (especially with my daughters cute items), was to take pics of everything.
    – I separated by size and season (ie. 0-3 mo. fall/winter, 6 mo. spring/summer) & sold all the items on craigslist in “lots” by size & season (to make it easier & more efficient than selling individual pieces, typically .50-$1/item unless it was a specialty item).
    – The pictures were also my “keepsakes” of all the cute clothes

    The boys clothes have been easier (basic jeans, shorts & tees). But since I have boys ages 8, 3 , & 15 mo. I store “hand-me-downs” in rubbermaid bins, stored by size. Any items that have stains/tears I throw away and only store the best items.

    My rule of thumb is once I’m done with a size/season, I’ll post to craigslist by lots (priced @ .50-$1/item).. If it doesn’t sell within 2 weeks I donate to Goodwill.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I did this with Nora’s old clothes too. I sold all her 0-12 mo stuff to ONE lady on Craigslist… and same thing with her 12-24 mo. stuff. Within 24 hours both times!

    [Reply]

  16. Carol

    01/21/2014

    I read your posts on selling on Craigslist and it really helped me. I got rid of a whole bunch of Halloween decorations just before Halloween. I also sold a small table with chairs, an air hockey table and a punching bag. I made sure I had lots of pictures and my descriptions were accurate. Since I wasn’t in a rush, I held out for the price I wanted, and I got it every time!
    It does take patience, but getting rid of the stuff was well worth it. Sure I didn’t get what I paid for, but these items were just collecting dust. Thanks Andrea!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — congrats on selling all that unneeded stuff. I’m sure it feels great to have a less-cluttered home (and a little extra cash in your wallet!)

    [Reply]

  17. Tracy

    01/21/2014

    I try to do a garage sale once a year, in the nicest Texas weather months. It’s very hot most of the year here so we otherwise never see our neighbors, and there’s a lot of Mexican people looking for things to take ‘home’ so I’ve often got talking to someone and donated stuff to their family. It’s usually a good day.

    There’s a Habitat for Humanity ‘Restore’ near by so anything practically can be donated there, they will come and pick it up if you can’t take it.

    I’ve also left things on the drive in good weather with ‘free’ signs, and people take them.

    [Reply]

  18. Laura

    01/20/2014

    I have posted on Craigs list for larger items that I don’t want to deal with. However, we hardly make any money off it. We sold a large bakers rack that I bought for $950 and it sold for $30:( I needed something else for that space that was more contained. I loved that bakers rake, it was really pretty actually, glass and silver. Anyway, we got our years worth out of it and someone took it off our hands, if I had room I would have kept it, but then it would just be taking up valuable storage space. Then, just a few weeks ago I sold my glider and ottoman that was in my kids room for $25, pretty pathetic. But, it was going to a new mom and will be loved in a new house. She even texted me the next day saying thank you, the baby and I love the new glider! How sweet is that?! I priced it low because it looked like others on Craigs list that were $75 were sitting there for a long time. Glad it went to someone who is enjoying it.

    [Reply]

  19. Cindy

    01/20/2014

    I have found that the idea of selling things has been huge barrier for me in decluttering. I work full-time and homeschool my kids. One reason for the accumulation of stuff is lack of time, lack of space, and feeling overwhelmed. I find when I donate and can get it out of the house immediately, I feel a sense of accomplishment and feel energized to tackle another small project. I imagine that when I have some space to store things while waiting for them to be sold, I might feel differently. For now, however, I’ve come to accept that the primary goal is getting the stuff out of the house. I do try to pass along used books/homeschooling items to families who need or want them rather than sending them to the typical places I donate.

    [Reply]

  20. Brenda

    01/20/2014

    I have a crowded house and very little ‘extra’ time, but my friend has lots of space in her basement and does daycare from her home and has little pockets of ‘extra’ time all thoughout the day. We worked out a deal this winter when I went on a cleaning/purging frenzy: she takes what we both think will sell and puts if on Craigslist and facebook then when it sells, we split the money. If there is stuff that doesn’t sell, I will put it in my car and drive it somewhere to donate. It will not enter my house again! haha

    [Reply]

  21. Tricia B

    01/20/2014

    We have Facebook groups in my local area specifically for selling items. Most have at least 500 members. I prefer using this avenue to sell because even though you do have flakes, you likely are dealing with a real person, feels a bit safer to me. And about 50% of the time, I meet them outside a local grocery store.
    But most of them time, things like adult clothes and books don’t sell… And it surprises me what people ask for a item or what they think is worth selling, that they should just donate it.

    I just took 3 bags of clothing and a box of books to my local Green Drop trailer this weekend. I love that they are just down the street for donations since its a 20 minute drive to a local thrift store. https://www.gogreendrop.com/

    [Reply]

  22. Debby

    01/20/2014

    I walk that line between donating, freecycling, and Craigslist. I donate to Goodwill very frequently. I freecycled a huge heavy entertainment center to some college kids that were thrilled. So much so that the mom kept offering to pay for it because it was so nice. I told her the fact that the girls were so excited was payment enough for me. I have sold things to friends just posting a status on facebook, and lastly we just sold our kitchen of old cabinets on Craigslist for $900. We were so happy and the people loved them. We took them down and he loaded them from the garage into a U haul. I also bring odds and ends to work and people shop for free out of the back of my van before I head to Goodwill. They love it. Beats it going to a landfill.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Sounds like you have a pretty good system down — and have found the right balance between selling and donating for you! Purging is always a continual process in our house so it seems like we’re always posting SOMETHING on Craigslist or starting a new pile for the donation center.

    [Reply]

  23. Deb

    01/20/2014

    I try to find someone I know before I donate, like a lot of people want books, etc. So, I either post on my FB page or in a homeschool group I am in. I prefer this method if at all possible, it is amazing how someone is looking for exactly what you have at the same time. If no one wants the items which is pretty rare, then I usually give them to the Salvation Army (which has a drive thru here which is SUPER convenient)…….

    We are pretty much clutter free around here and I LOVE it.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I totally agree with your theory of asking friends or family first — but I had to laugh because I usually do the exact opposite (I never ask friends or family).

    I have lots of friends and family members that tend to “hoard” things just because they are free, so they will literally take WHATEVER I offer whether the need/want it or not. So we’ve just gotten into the habit of donating everything without asking 🙂

    Also, that’s crazy that Salvation Army has a drive-thru window! We don’t have a Salvation Army super close to us so I’ve never donated there before — but that’s really cool!

    [Reply]

    Deb Reply:

    It isn’t exactly a window, but it is a covered area around the back of the store that you pull into and they meet you at your car and unload for you. We live in MT, so just being covered is a plus and help for larger items is an even bigger plus. 😉 I totally agree that some people will take ANYTHING that is free, but my parents are hoarders and they actually NEVER go on Craig’s List or garage sale, they just NEVER throw/give anything away. We could not be more opposite in that respect.

    [Reply]

  24. Deni

    01/20/2014

    This post is perfect timing for me! To me, January is the perfect time to de-clutter your home, since you are inside more due to the weather. I have personally sold items on e-bay and been disappointed by all of the fees they charge for you to sell. In the end, I did not make enough to justify all of the time, money and effort I put into it. I have to agree it will be worth it to sell when you have big ticket items ($50 +) but for under $50., I say donate it. First I ask family members if they would like any of the items and if there is anything left, I simply drive it to the local donation center. I don’t even ask for a receipt for taxes anymore as it does not help on our personal taxes. The best thing about this, is the relief you will feel when you drive away and go home to a de-cluttered home!

    [Reply]

    Davina Sanchez Reply:

    I save every receipt for donated goods and I’ve made the comparrisons with or without this line item in my taxes and save between $300-$800 on our taxes depending on how much I have donated that year (The year we moved was my biggest savings.)

    With 4 kids constantly outgrowing clothes, toys, sports equipment and other household items, my donations add up.

    [Reply]

  25. Melissa

    01/20/2014

    You make a very good point that time is often more valuable than money. I see people selling baby clothes, DVDs and other small items for $.50 to $1/item on a Facebook garage sale group and I just think are you going to meet someone for $1?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes I agree. I usually won’t drive to buy anything for less than $10 (just like I usually won’t waste my time selling something for less than $10).

    The only “exception” to my rule is if one person is selling multiple low-ticket items (like a whole bin of toys or cloths that I’m interested in). If they live pretty close to us, I might still make the trip for several $1 or $2 items — but that’s VERY rare!

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    Amanda Reply:

    I will occasionally pick up for a dirt cheap item, especially if it’s brand new and deeply discounted off retail. However, I usually only do that if the item is located in my suburb, or the next suburb over (which is where several of the stores we shop at, our church, and both sets of parents live, so we drive there several times a week anyway). If it’s on my way to run errands anyway, or only a few blocks out of the way, and I can save money, I will! My favorite is that a few weeks before my newest baby was born, someone was selling a NFL onesie for “our team” NWT for $2, I had to drive right past that street that day anyway… so it was no big deal for me to swing by and pick it up, and my new munchkin was able to wear it several times before the end of football season (and now, I can sell it this spring in a kids clothing resale sale that we have locally)

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  26. Shelly

    01/20/2014

    Where we are located having a garage sale is a great way to get rid of our unwanted items. We easily make around $500 when we have one. The best part is our daughter (who is 4) sells the toys she picks that she no longer plays with. This has taught her so much already at such a young age!! Any leftovers we have we donate to a local organization that helps the needy. I would say if you donate, do your research and find what organization you feel will use your items most wisely. Don’t just dump it at the nearest place for convenience. There are so many great organizations that truly help those out who are in need! (And many will even come and pick the stuff up!!)

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    Andrea Reply:

    We have TONS of garage sales in our area too — I’ve just never been a fan of hosting a garage sale at my house because I can’t bring myself to hang onto everything for such a long time 🙂

    Psychologically, it does me a world of good to just move the items out ASAP so I never have enough to warrant a garage sale… however, I’m super thankful there are people like you because I LOVE going to garage sales!!

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  27. Mary Ann

    01/20/2014

    We are saving for an anniversary trip this year so we’ll be doing a yard sale in the early spring with the stuff we’ve collected. If we weren’t trying to save up, I’d just donate it all! Any leftovers will be donated though.

    Anything I don’t want to deal with selling or is too awkward to move, I put on Freecycle. Some one comes and takes it away for me. Win-win!

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    Lee Cockrum Reply:

    I absolutely LOVE Freecycle!! I think it is the perfect place to,get rid of odd or specialized items that would be thrown away, or not even accepted by Goodwill or some other donation place. We have gotten rid of a riding lawn mower and a push mower to be used for parts. Also got rid of a whirlpool bathtub motor that needed to be rebuilt. It was not worth the time to my husband, but a retired gentleman was very happy to have it as he had the time to work on it!

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    Mary Ann Reply:

    Me too! Recent things we’ve posted on Freecycle are a dresser that needed some TLC, doors, pool supplies (we got rid of the pool when we moved here), a big box of sewing supplies, dress pants (given to me but wasn’t able to use them), an old but working vacuum cleaner…

    We are often blessed with hand-me-downs from friends, so I like giving some things away sometimes instead of trying to sell them!

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    Andrea Reply:

    yay — happy anniversary!

    and I’m SO glad you already have a plan in place to donate everything that doesn’t sell at your garage sale. I know WAY too many people who bring all the unsold items back into their house — which totally defeats the purpose. Definitely sounds like a win-win for you 🙂

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    Mary Ann Reply:

    Oh no, it won’t come back in the house! I get antsy just thinking about the boxes piled in the shed waiting for the yard sale. LOL!!! Want it gone!

    We usually make around $150-$200 at our yard sales so we feel that it’s worth the trouble.

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  28. Stephanie

    01/20/2014

    Warning: If you do post things for sale on Craigslist or Facebook, be prepared for no-shows. One of the most frustrating things for me is blocking off a time, and then no one coming. And, if you are a BUYER, please, please, please, do the rest of us a favor and SHOW UP.

    Okay, done with my rant. 🙂

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    Andrea Reply:

    Stephanie,
    I’ve actually talked about this in one of my Craigslist posts. You can read how I handle Craigslist meet-ups in this post (and I almost never have to deal with no-shows as a result)

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