I have been working hard to save money and roadblocks are getting thrown in my way ALL the time. Dentist bills, oral surgeon bills, helping the ‘rents, etc, etc. I just keeping hurdling those blocks and keep putting money away. I’ve also started to look for other means of income (short and long term).
One of my first steps in finding extra money to put away for a early “mini-mini” retirement has been to look around the house and determine what I really need and what is just a bunch of clutter taking up space.
I think reading Leo B’s book The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life really struck a chord with me. Learning to live with less is a great way to save money.
I have been working on minimizing and downsizing for a couple years now, but I’m dedicating the next two months to really going through the house and determining what I really need. Its a huge task, but now that winter is setting in I’ll have time to work inside.
I think the easiest way is to take it in small bites. Start with a drawer, closet, or cabinet (dear lord have mercy, don’t start with anything huge..ie: basement or garage–baby steps, people, baby steps), as you empty it out create three piles: Keep, Sell/Donate, Throw Away. The item should be placed in the pile that was your first instinct (listen to your gut on this one). No wavering between keep or sell, keep or sell. Just place it in the pile you first thought of when you seen the item.
I decided to tackle this area of my basement that keeps getting piled up with stuff. This used to be my scrapbooking/crafting area. I’ve been so busy working and running the business that crafting kinda took a back burner. Emma took a bunch of stuff out of her room and put it down here. Then the kids decided they wanted to use the main part of the basement for a gaming area so everything was tossed into this area 🙁
Once everything is sorted into the three piles look back through your keep pile one more time and make sure you really, truly need all those items. Do you use it daily? Is it vital to your existence?
Y’all know what to do with your toss pile 🙂
Go through your donate pile and pull anything that you think has a value of at least $10. Set those items aside to sell. The rest just box up and head down to your local thrift store and donate it. Remember to get a receipt so you can write the donation off on your taxes.
Now it’s time to tackle the sell pile. Man vs. Debt blogger, Baker, has a fantastic e-book titled Sell Your Crap (gotta love a title like that). If you are not familiar with how to use ebay or craiglist Sell Your Crap can help. When selling items online the most important tip I can give you is to post photos of your items.
Selling my stuff is where I hope to make some money. Not sure if there is anything of value to sell, but I guess I’ll find out. By the way, I’m searching out the most effective way to sell off a lot of my paperback books. I checked what a brand new, read once, paid $8 for paperback is going for online…..75 freaking cents. WHAT??? Guess that’s a good reason to buy used or just use the local library. (((sigh)))
O.k., so you’ve taken your donate items to your local charity of choice and you’ve posted your sell items on craigs list, now its time to take care of the keep items. When you are putting away your keep item its a good idea to put it back in an organized manner. Use small containers to hold like items together. I’ve found that baskets work great!
I wish I had a photo of the completed area, but the keep pile is still sitting there waiting for me to come back and take care of it. I did, however, take care of the toss and donate items. This week I will be working on posting the items to craigs list.
Did you find this post helpful? What’s your best organization tip?