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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Unclutter and make headway

Back in 2009 I lost a huge chunk of my original website when a server deleted the entire thing. I was able to recover about a dozen posts at the time, but I just ran into some old ones that I’ve decided to re-release. Here’s one from the summer of 2008.

This week I received some terrible news, my neighbors are moving. The reason it’s terrible is that we’ve had some very bad ones in the past, and they have been great to live next to. To clear out all their crap, they decided to follow the grand old tradition of having a yard sale. How does this help you? It’s an example of one thing you can do to kick start your Emergency fund.

They raised over $1,100 in two afternoons spent sunbathing. They sold all the crap they had been holding onto, but in reality didn’t need anymore. It was hard for them to give up some of the items they had been grasping onto for years, some had a lot of sentimental value to them. In the end, they gave up a lot, but in the process became much less burdened when they had to move and eventually im sure realized that they weren’t missing the items much at all.

Take a look around, I mean a real inventory of your home. How much of your stuff is crap? I’m sure more than you are willing to admit to right . In fact, I bet if we tried we could unclutter your house right now and earn you some bucks. Let’s give it a whirl.

You really need to unplug from your emotions on this one, I find having a drink or two helps 🙂

Pick a room to start with, I suggest a bedroom. Go through every square inch of the room and touch every single item in it. When touching an item, ask your self “when is the last time I used / enjoyed this actively?” If it’s been at least a year, seasonal items excluded, put it in a box. When you finish with your stuff, move on to clothing, shoes, hats, blankets, DVDs…etc…..

Take the box and bring it to your computer. Separate it into 4 boxes.

  1. Things I can sell
  2. Things I can donate
  3. Things I can recycle
  4. Things I can throw away.

Take box number 4 to the curb RIGHT NOW. Do not wait, do not linger.

Look up places to recycle box 3. There are plenty of stores that have bins in front, otherwise check with the local garbage dump for a drop off location.

Take box 2 down to your local Red cross, Salvation army, church or animal shelter. Many of them will provide you with a certificate for a tax write off.

For box one, it can be a little more complicated.

You can use Ebay to sell the big stuff quick, but little things are harder. Another option for everything to go is Amazon. You can set up a seller account in minutes, or you can have them take your stuff right away with the Fulfillment by Amazon program.

There are also small businesses all over the place that will sell your stuff for you and take a fee, just drop it off with them and forget it. Or you can always go my neighbors route and have a good old fashion garage sale.

Now you just cleared out the room, made a few bucks to pay your bills, got a tax write off for your junk and helped out mother earth. Overall not a bad day.

Think you have what it takes to let go?