Sell, Trash, or Donate?


You finally take the step to go through your stuff and get rid of what you don’t want. You spend time making decision after decision and are happy with what you’ve decided to keep.


Then you piles of stuff you no longer want or like or use still taking up space in your house because you don’t know what to do with it.


Should you trash it?

I personally feel bad throwing things away. They have to be in terrible condition. If my only options are to trash something or keep it, I’d rather keep it. I’d feel so wasteful otherwise. I tell myself I could find some good use for it. I’ve gotten better about this over time. But I still think of people who go to thrift stores to shop for materials to make all sorts of crafts or themed decorations. If the thrift store doesn’t want it, I let them make that decision. I’m sure they have a plan in place to deal with stuff they don’t want. You won’t be the first or the last to donate something they decide to pass on. If you don’t have a problem throwing things away, go for it. This section wasn’t written for you anyway, but maybe the next section is.


Should you sell it?

I’ve found that people usually have one of three reasons for wanting to sell items.

1. They feel guilty for how much they paid for it and want to ease the guilt by getting some of the money back. That guilt will keep you from impulse buying of something else you don’t need next time. But for now, the money is already spent. Don’t let it continue to steal space in your house and brain and schedule. Get rid of it the fastest, easiest way possible. Hint: it’s usually not by selling.

2. They need the money so they feel guilty for not trying to get money for something nice they’re getting rid of. Many people in this category have small children, so they feel obligated to bring in more money to raise those children. The catch is that most people with small children aren’t just sitting around with lots of free time on their hands to start selling stuff, at least in my experience. I don’t know anyone who consistently makes a significant amount of money from selling what they’re getting rid of. Yes, people have made a few hundred here and there, but that could be done more efficiently by taking up a part-time job. If you’re actually selling stuff, great! Keep it up until it’s no longer worth it. But if you’re always just “planning” or “trying” or “about to start” selling stuff, getting that clutter out the door might be a more valuable use of your time. You’ll feel so free. And you’ll have more time to spend on endeavors that are more important to you or on other ways to make money.

3. They just enjoy the process of selling. Not me! But if that’s you, then have fun getting rid of clutter while also earning a little cash. It isn’t worth the hassle for me. Plus, I’d rather have that stuff gone immediately. So I will sell books because the stores will take them off my hands and pay me the day I go in. It’s all taken care of at once. If someone else is hosting a yard sale and allowing me to sell stuff there, I’ll also do that. Or if it’s something I could ask $100+ for, I’ll sell it. Otherwise, selling for fun might be something better done when you’re in the maintenance phase rather than while you’re getting rid of loads of stuff.


Should you donate it?

If you haven’t noticed, this is my go-to method. I’m here to set you free from guilt and obligation. You put a lot of time and effort into parting with these items. Enjoy the feeling of having them out of the house finally. Get your space back to where it’s functional. And rest in knowing that you’re helping someone else be able to enjoy what you’ve gotten rid of.


1 Comment Sell, Trash, or Donate?

  1. littleblackdomicile

    I’m with you on the donate method. Of course I trash the junk. Some things just wear out. In our design firm, we do work with clients who hunt and find treasures to repurpose. The cycle is complete this way!-laurel


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