Sometimes one of the hardest things to do is decide to let things go. If you’re like me, you spent lots of years accumulating stuff. My goal, as a bargain hunter, was to accumulate the most stuff for the least amount of money. So if something was on sale, I would buy 3 of them, just because they were so cheap. I bought my kids toys from garage sales, so I was able to buy more. So now I have a house full of stuff. I’ve been holding garage sales for years to unload some stuff I no longer had use for, but I would generally buy just as much, if not more, stuff to replace it. And I was selling things occasionally on Ebay and Half.com.
A while back I reached a point where I finally decided I had enough stuff. In fact I decided I had too much stuff. So I started actively working on unloading items, trying to get the most money I could. I discovered Craigslist which meant I could sell locally year round and not have to wait until my next garage sale and I usually got more from my items than I could at a garage sale. I also found I could easily sell items on Amazon, expanding my online selling to toys and household items. Last year I discovered swapping sites like PaperbackSwap and Swaptree, that let me swap items I didn’t want for items I did.
I’ve been training my kids for years to get rid of their stuff. I tell them that if they get rid of their books, games, movies or toys then they get to keep the money when I sell them. When they’re ready, they readily hand their stuff over to mom to sell. There are still times though that my daughter will give me something to sell and then she’ll see it again in a few weeks or out at the garage sale and say “Don’t sell that, I still want it!” So then I wait until the next time she’s thinks she’s ready to get rid of it
I’m glad I’ve moved into this stage of my life since I lost my job earlier this year, which means I have to minimize my spending. My kids, who are ages 11 and 14, still want stuff. They know the routine. They have to wait until I can find it inexpensively or wait until I can complete a swap to get it.
It’s a freeing feeling to simplify and declutter. I have more space in my house. I have less items to clean around. It’s easier to find the things I do have. If we do have to move because I get a job out of town, then I’ll have less stuff to cart with me. I don’t want to end up like my in-laws who have so much stuff they could just never let go of, and so one year my husband and I will have to deal with it all. I also think I’m sending the right message to my kids by saying we don’t really need all of this stuff.
So start thinking now about letting go.