Fall Cleaning

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  October 9, 2013 — 10 Comments

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. -William Morris

Once or twice a year I get the urge to go through and purge our home of all the clutter. Where does all this stuff come from? It seems everyone I know has huge piles of unwanted crap in their homes. And yet still we shop–I’m guilty of this myself! I don’t have a solution to offer, but the quote above is one that guides my efforts to simplify my home. I don’t hold onto anything out of guilt, and sentimental items are limited to what fits in the chest at the foot of my bed (I go through every few years and purge what’s no longer meaningful), My big problem these days seems to be greed–if I hold onto all these outgrown clothes I can save them for the next kid (who may or may not be able to wear them based on gender, size, and season anyway), and if I sell these unwanted items instead of donating them I can use the money to buy something I really want or need. But because I don’t always have time/inclination to sort through everything to store or sell, I end up with piles. I’m considering setting a deadline–whatever I haven’t stored or sold by Thanksgiving goes to the Goodwill, no exceptions. Thoughts?

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap

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10 responses to Fall Cleaning

  1. A few months ago a friend of mine had a clothes swap. It was awesome! Everyone brought gently used clothes they no longer wore and took home a bag of new clothes! The excess items were donated to goodwill. We also enjoyed some dinner and wine together :)

    I think this would totally work for kids clothes and household items as well. Plus it is a fun excuse to get together!

  2. Most definitely. When you donate stuff, you can claim the full value of the items, and get a nice tax deduction, whereas when you sell stuff, you usually have to let it go for less than it’s worth. So you’re helping others AND helping you. Plus, donating is so much less effort than selling. Drop it off at the center, and done! No meeting up, no posting on sites, no price negotiating….but if you do donate, send it to America’s Thrift Store at the Cortana Mall. Goodwill charges insane prices for items and it appears the company isn’t actually all that dedicated to helping people with financial constraints get things that they need.

  3. I’ll only Craigslist something if I can get at least $20 for it. It’s not worth dealing with the Craigslist circus unless I’m earning at least an Andrew Jackson for my trouble!

    All of the kids’ stuff that is in good condition I tag up and take to a huge kids resale event in our area. It’s a bit of a hassle, but it’s only twice a year and I think the craziness is sort of fun. Plus you get early shopping passes when you consign, so I am able to stock up on reasonably-priced kids clothes to replace the ones I’m selling.

    Everything else gets donated. I keep a hamper-type basket in our bedroom so I can easily drop stuff in there when I get the urge to donate it. So it’s out of sight, out of mind. Once the hamper fills up, I itemize everything (for tax deduction purposes) and take it in. Selfishly, I donate to our local Savers because you get 20% off coupons for the store when you do.

    So really, I’m not reducing my clutter. I replace one set of kids’ clothes for another and buy more Savers stuff to offset the stuff I just donated. So this really isn’t good advice, LOL.

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap October 11, 2013 at 10:15 am

      There is a big consignment event every year here but I always figured that it would be about the same amount of hassle in the end as craigslist/facebook swap groups with less money to show for it. I do love your idea of a hamper for donations. Wish we had a Savers here! I visited one in Austin and it was awesome.

  4. What about a garage sale? We went through and purged our house BIG TIME at the beginning of the year and had a yard sale a few weeks later. We made a few hundred dollars from it and now have much less to trip on in the house. :)

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap October 11, 2013 at 10:16 am

      Oh man, I did the garage sale thing a couple of years ago and I’m getting twitchy just thinking about it. So much work! So early in the morning! So many weirdos talking to me! The introvert in me says no way.

  5. I am a big believer in passing things (that aren’t easy to CL or that I don’t feel comfortable donating for sentimental reasons) on to friends. We did this with a table I inherited from my grandparents (not heirloom quality) that didn’t fit in my teeny dining room — I gave it to my friends when they moved. Now when we visit their house I still get to sit around it and enjoy it. It makes me happy knowing that they’re getting use out of it.

    For baby clothes, I tend to pass them on among my circle of mom friends. The way we share hand-me-downs, I know there’s a good possibility I will get some back for the next kid.

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap October 11, 2013 at 10:18 am

      That is so sweet! I do have one younger boy in my circle, but he was born in the fall and my son was born in the summer so the size/seasons don’t quite match up. Most of my friends have girls!

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