Tips to get you started:
- Commit to “less stuff”
- Document progress! Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and taking pics of before/after is a great way to keep yourself motivated so you can recall your progress.
- Tackle smaller projects first to build your confidence.
- Divide stuff into 4 categories – Keep, Toss/Recycle, Sell, Donate.
- Start an minimization or organizational Pinterest board. It also helps with motivation.
- DON’T go buying more baskets or bins; the point is to empty out the ones you have! You may need to go buy some large storage totes for the purpose of organizing your categories of stuff, but cardboard boxes work too!
- Research and immerse yourself into Minimalism. I recommend the Netflix documentary Minimalism, as well as a book by the same title/authors. Check out Facebook groups and read about it as much as you can.
- Remember that everyone has their own level of Minimalism. Some choose to live out of a backpack or tiny house; some (like me) just choose to have a huge purge of stuff and maybe layoff the acquisition of NEW stuff for a little while. You don’t have to live in a tee-pee with only what can fit in your pockets to adopt this lifestyle!
Making Money through Minimizing:
While the main objective for getting rid of stuff is to have, well, less STUFF laying around, there are ways to making some side cash off of this endeavor. I personally love to hustle goods. I worked in the sales arena for a while and it is in my blood. I get a rush off of wheeling and dealing and exchanging goods for some cash.
Purging and minimizing won’t make you rich, but it can and will impact you financially. For one, if you’re committed to less stuff, that means you are spending less money on said stuff.
If you follow my tips above to divide into four categories, including “sell,” then you will possibly make some money off of that stuff as well. Here are a couple tips to do that:
- Price it to SELL IT. Don’t price it emotionally. Remember – the goal is to get rid of it; not become a millionaire.
- If you have designer goodies, check for online/Facebook groups specific to that brand (i.e. Coach, Michael Kors). People in those groups often have a better idea of the value of what you are selling because they are also familiar with the brand.
- Create a social media/Facebook group to post your stuff in, similar to a virtual yard sale. ONLY add people who want in. There is nothing more annoying than getting randomly added to groups.
- Set up PayPal and Venmo accounts. These are the easiest ways to exchange money person to person.
- If you want to be able to ship items, set up an account with the USPS and order some (free) supplies. You’ll be able to ship from your front door and avoid a trip to the post office. Note: Flat rate is usually a couple bucks more, but the convenience of not having to go to the dang PO is worth that extra $$ to me.
Holly’s Total Money Made thus far: $4000+
Bins, Totes, Baskets, etc. liberated from junk: 40+
MOTIVATION & PROGRESS….
Master Closet BEFORE & AFTER!
Minimizing isn’t about bare-bones “going without”…. it’s about weeding out the unnecessary and keeping that which adds value and joy. Top two pics show my disastrous closet before a purge; bottom two are after. Managed to free up many bins and bags, as well as top two shelves of my “shoe closet.” I could still probably find more to get rid of, but this is a start! Ended up with a couple totes full of stuff that will be sold or donated.
Linen Closet BEFORE AND AFTER
Everyone has that one closet that tends to catch it all. This is ours. It wasn’t that it was awful before, but once I started pulling everything out it was just a disaster. I ended up with a bag of old towels (we switched to all white so we can bleach them) to donate to the local no-kill animal shelter, Little Victories, as well as lots of expired medications that got safely tossed. I am also looking for places to donate sheet sets that are in very good condition as I don’t feel as though I need FIVE sets for ONE bed. [facepalm!] I’m also proud to say that those three totes on the top shelf are actually empty. I just put them there for a pop of color. LOL
Other Pictures of Note…
What else can I do with allllllll this STUFF?!?!?
Yard sales or online marketplaces can help you generate some cash, but what to do with those items that you no longer want or need, but perhaps have use left in them that could be a blessing to someone else?
- First of all, if it’s broken, stained, or defective, just throw it away.
- Many things can be recycled locally (i.e. old bottles)! Don’t add all your stuff to landfills if it can be recycled.
Once you have determined what you are selling and thrown away the “trash” (or recycled it), what can you do with the remaining items? Remember, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
- Animal rescue organizations or shelters will take old towels for kennels, etc. I sent a whole trash bag full of old (clean) towels to Little Victories here in Huntington. The Huntington Cabell-Wayne Animal Shelter also has these on their wish list at times.
- The Huntington City Mission (and I’m sure many shelters/missions), schools, and Ronald McDonald House will take unused mini/hotel toiletries
- Ronald McDonald Houses will take many gently used donations. Check with your local organization for needs.
- Stuffed animals can be donated to many places, depending upon location, such as police stations or sheriff departments. They use these gently used/newer stuffed animals to give to scared little “on-scene” victims. Huntington locals can contact our HPD for more information.
- Here in Huntington, the Cridlin Food & Clothing Pantry accepts donations. This establishment allows families in need a true dignified shopping experience for food and clothing.
- Goodwill Industries is always accepting donations at their various locations.
- Rehabilitation facilities are often looking for gently used household items for graduates of their programs who are getting back on their feet (i.e. sheets, pots and pans, small appliances). Locally in Huntington, you can check with Recovery Point for their needs and drop-off information.
- Check with churches/your church! They are often collecting items.
- Check with local day cares or child care centers. Mildly used toys are great for sharing!
- For random photos laying around – check out a photo scanning service, such as Legacy Box.
- Want to display many photos but don’t want to clutter up your walls? We have a digital picture frame that is one of my favorite possessions. It connects to your WiFi and you just email pics right to it! We have a Pix-Star and it is great, but there are others on the market. Definitely get one with WiFi connectivity so you can just “beam” the pics over. No one has time for uploading from a USB these days!
- Don’t be afraid to use Social Media (i.e. Facebook) to create albums! If you’re worried about privacy, you can set individual albums to “Only Me” for visibility so they are for your eyes only.
- Books can be donated to many places, including some of the organizations mentioned above. You can also donate to your local libraries, thrift shops, or find a Little Free Library near you!
- Furniture can be tricky if it’s really large or bulky. We have actually set stuff out on our street (which is pretty well traveled) and had it disappear within minutes. You can always donate it to Habitat for Humanity Restore, and they will come pick it up! They also take leftover building supplies/materials, and appliances. Contact them for information.