2011 in 2011: getting back out some of what you put in


My decluttering challenge challenge for the year is nearly over, and thankfully, it’s getting harder to find things to let go of around our home. Could this possibly mean that we are getting close to having just the right amount of stuff for our family and our home?  I think so, and that’s exciting news!

I’ve reached a total of 5241 items decluttered from our home so far this year – I’m now wondering if I can triple my original goal of 2011.  2011 items to declutter originally seemed like a very lofty goal, but once I got started, it had a way of snowballing.  Who knew that we had so much stuff in our tiny home that we would be gladly willing to part with? Certainly not me!  Lately I’ve started selling things from my own closet that I would have thought prior to the start of this project to be “staples” in my wardrobe, items that I would never part with.  Interestingly enough, once they’re gone I don’t feel any pangs of regret about letting them go.

I did a quick tally of things we’ve managed to sell this year, and I’ve reclaimed over $1800 from things that we were no longer using or no longer wanted. That’s sobering stuff. Here’s a quick breakdown of the things we sold and how much we managed to recoup on those things:

  • Clothing (Adult and Children) – $615.  The majority of sales I made in the clothing department were some higher end, brand name clothing items that came from my own closet.  I sold my remaining Lululemon jacket, as well as an expensive sweater that wasn’t getting any love from me.
  • Toys, Kids’ Gear and Children’s DVDs – $538.  Most of these sales were the result of some major toy decluttering, but nearly $100 came from the sale of some Baby Einstein dvd’s that my kids received as a gift, but never did end up watching.
  • Strollers – $525.  Strollers are darn expensive.  Thank goodness they have some serious resale value in my city.
  • Cloth diapers, disposable diapers and potty training stuff – $150.  Yes, I sold not only the last few cloth diapers I had left in my youngest son’s diaper stash, but a box full of unused disposable diapers too.  Yes, Craigslist is a VERY popular place in my city.
Selling things I no longer want has a way of reminding me that maybe I don’t need to be consuming quite so much stuff in the first place.  The biggest secret to keeping a decluttered closet (and home) is to not replace things once they’ve left, or of course, not bring them home in the first place!  I’ve developed the habit of shopping less, which of course has resulted in buying less – this is one habit I am hoping to keep in place permanently.  In addition to the items I had success in selling through craigslist, we’ve also managed to donate nearly 900 items so far this year to a variety of thrift shops in our neighbourhood, most of which were household items and clothing.

Do you have any belongings you’re considering selling to recoup some of your hard earned cash?  Do you like to eBay your former treasures or do you go the craigslist route? Or do you prefer to donate things when you are finished with them just to get them out of the house?


6 responses »

  1. oh and we sell our stuff on ebay, craigslist and at garage sales/swapmeets – this city has such a great 2nd hand market! Anything we donate we stick in our community housing drop off box – situated in each laundry room – i’ve got so many clothes and toys in these boxes – it’s a great idea! pretty much all our furniture is from either craigslist or the side of the road – i think our only first hand furniture is our bed!


    • After living in Vancouver for 12 years, I am just this year discovering how amazing the second hand stuff in this city is! Apparently, I have been living under a rock all this time. I took my first trip to Value Village a couple of weeks ago, and can’t wait to go back! That community housing drop off box of yours sounds so cool, I think that’s awesome to be able to donate your unloved stuff and to occasionally get something back in return – I guess that’s good karma!

  2. Hi Erin,
    I’m washing my Lulu apres yoga jacket as I write this. I’m going to list it on craigslist tomorrow! Such a great jacket for a rainy city. Like you, I have a similar jacket I wear more often. I much prefer craigslist to ebay. If I can’t sell something on craigslist, I donate it. We have four pairs of skis currently listed and someone came and picked up a TV today that I had listed for free. Much to my surprise, I discovered that one of Squirrel’s old North Face ski jackets is actually collectible!!!! He’s been dancing around here tonight extolling the benefits of being a Squirrel. Oh brother!

    • Good luck with the sale of your Lulu jacket! I am trying to get away from owning the more expensive brand name stuff, as it just doesn’t seem to make sense when I can have a similar product for about a tenth of their price – I found a black rain jacket at the thrift shop that I am so happy with, for only $25! 🙂

      I’ve never sold anything on eBay and I tend towards donating clothing and household items to thrift shops, whereas I’ve had success with selling toys and baby gear on craigslist. How funny that a ski jacket could be a collectible! At least Squirrel can say there is one benefit to being a squirrel!

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