WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THAT STUFF (Downsizing 101)

Our Downsizing 101 Series is wrapping up today with a final post on what to do with all the stuff you no longer need. As you declutter and minimize, it is important to have a good plan for what to do with all that leftover stuff. Here are some options for you to consider:

Click here to start at the beginning of the Downsizing 101 series.

Sell It.

Motivation – Money for your travels! We did use Craigslist a few times, but to be honest, we aren’t sold on its security. Our experience went fine, but we do think you should be aware of its downsides.

What worked great for us was selling our yard equipment (chainsaw, riding mower)  and a lot of our big furniture items to the couple buying our home. That won’t work for everyone, but there is no harm in asking. We made them a list of items with prices we thought were fair, and they said yes to every single one. We saved time and money by not marketing all these items individually and not having to move or deliver them. It is a great place to start if you are selling your home.

I have never tried to sell anything on Ebay, but you certainly could try it. Just know that this process will add some extra steps, as you will be dealing with getting paid electronically and shipping.

Also, you may consider an auction. We knew a couple who had answered the call to become missionaries, so they did one big auction of their home and everything in it. It worked very well for them.

If you are having trouble selling your items, then our best advice is to move on to option two. Do not get stuck in a pattern of thinking that items are worth more than someone is willing to pay for them. Most items, you will not get your money back or what you think it is worth in resale – that is life.  Be grateful for what you can sell and move on. If you need to, re-read our post on The Emotional Side of Downsizing – it may just be the little extra bit of motivation to help you with your sell pile.

Donate It.

Motivation – Your stuff meets another’s needs! We donate things often, but when looking at a large quantity of donations, it is nice to have a one-stop opportunity where you can take all of your items at one time. For us, this was our church, which held a “Free For All” each year. Our church did not sell the items, just gave them away for free, which is what we liked. We wanted people to have our items free and clear.

Check with your Salvation Army and local churches for places that accept all types of goods. I know the Salvation Army will even schedule a pick-up for you and send people to pick-up furniture and the like.

We also use the collection bins for clothing and small items that you may find in church parking lots. We choose to use Community Aid bins, and you can check out which items Community Aid accepts here.

Trash It.

Motivation – Let go! Inevitably, you will have items that are not in donation condition and need to trashed. Please recycle what you can and dispose of items properly. If you have large items, call your local dump, and they can give you prices and the process for dumping. We have done it lots of times with all of the renovations we have done through the years, and it is a pretty simple process and usually not too expensive.

Know of other places that accept donations? Or easy ways to sell items? Let us know in the comments!

 

Hope you enjoyed our Downsizing 101 Series! Remember, hold on to your motivation and passion. The open road is waiting for you, and so are we! 

6 comments on “WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THAT STUFF (Downsizing 101)

  1. Hey guys! Happy Spring!
    I’ve started to sell a fair amount of items on local facebook Yard sale group sites. Starting the downsizing process from the basement up, of things we moved with us this summer, but know we won’t be needing for Full Timing…(there is a light at the end of the tunnel, as we are hoping to be on the road in just over 2 years…so I’ve got the go ahead from the boss to make stuff go away! ). Once someone expresses interest in a posted item you ‘talk about it’ through private messaging. I only meet people in public places to ‘swap’ cash for the item…and some areas encourage you to do the swapping in the lot at your local police station. Pet gear seems to move especially fast. Also, yard items, tools, and sports gear.

    The Purple Heart Society (Veterans group) will also come to you and load what ever you need to be gone (that is useable)…onto a truck and take it away. We have donated to them before every move as we started downsizing two moves ago. It is a great organization that finds the items new homes with Veterans that will use the donated items. I even gave them my cross country ski’s!

    Hope all is well with you, and am looking forward to reading about your adventures back on the road…once Aunt Glady is well.

    • Great insight, Cindy! You have added some great ideas to this post – thank you! And thanks for sharing how Craigslist is working well for you. Only about two years to go until fulltiming? That will be here before you know it! Hope to see you guys again soon! (By the way, we are loving our dried herbs – they have brought great flavor to the cold winter months!) With love, Jen

      • Hi Jen,
        Point of clarification….I do not use Craigs list for anything…I use (on Facebook) local groups that are virtual sale / swap groups for things you might put in Craigs list…but just want local people to have access. Maybe that can also be done on CL, but I don’t know how as I’ve never used it. (Gee, maybe I should start??)
        SO happy you are liking the herbs. I use them all the time too. Also using the chia pudding recipe as I partially freeze it and use it to trick me into thinking I have had icecream.
        On another note, I got a discounted Berkey from Amazon and LOVE LOVE LOVE it!
        I am filtering water for everything…cooking, drinking and even giving it to the doggies instead of tap water. I also bring gallons up to the campground that we have the RV in to use up there, as I don’t use camper water even if it goes thru a normal filter. I initially bought the Berkey to leave at the campground in the RV, but used it all the time at the apartment…so I washed out some bottles then rinsed with filtered water…and fill them up to take back and forth each weekend.
        And yes, making our last move helped us to cut down the time frame until we full time. Y’all are an inspiration!
        Luv and Blessings to you as well, Cindy

        • Thanks for clarifying! So glad to hear you are enjoying your Berkey! Like I mentioned, we take ours everywhere! Once you have purified water, you start to realize just how bad other water tastes. I am so glad it is working out for you! Hope to see you soon! Jen

  2. We just went full time RV in September. Married 22 years with 2 grown children, now empty-nesters and had a 10×10 storage FULL top to bottom of plastic storage totes for over a year that we were paying for. Not to mention a house full of “stuff” that we did not need. We purchased our RV and told the kids “come and get it or we’re getting rid of it”! We did what you did; we sold some stuff, donated most of it, and tossed the rest. We now have nothing in storage and every single thing we own travels with us in our RV! It was the most difficult yet freeing experience of our lives to do what we did, but we are so glad we did it 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    • Hi, Sherri! Thanks so much for sharing your story! I know it is encouraging for our other readers to see how big of a change you made. Great job! Safe travels to you!

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