Hello! You know what I’ve been up to the last few weeks … decluttering our home, and it feels so so good. I’ve been rather ruthless in my assessment of items, and I have plans to sell, donate, and discard a boatload of “stuff” … and to be honest, the hardest part was just deciding what items were lucky enough to remain guests in our home! But, the pain was all emotional, not logistical … the system I’ve devised is incredibly simple. So simple I think you all may benefit from it too, so, here’s a blog post on it!
Below I outline my four-step process for you — it’s “Pin-able” and I will save it as a Highlight on my Instagram so it’s easily accessible anytime … you can follow me on Instagram here (if you aren’t already)!
Ok, so a few more details. Yes, it’s really hard to part ways with some of your “stuff” … but if it sits in a box, or takes up closet space, or is stacked up in a corner and it’s not useful, needed or loved … it’s a source of frustration, anxiety, and distraction, period. So, be brutally honest, and let some things go.
I recommend you start with one room and complete your clean out before moving on to the next … a whole-house declutter can be overwhelming. Trust me, I’ve tried it, and it inevitably ends with you throwing in the towel and saying “Forget It!” Do one room at a time, and space it out over a few weeks … do one room every other day, or even one room a week if you’re busy. Taking on too much is a surefire way to fail out of frustration. There’s no timeline here … so don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself … and you don’t want to feel rushed because you want to do it right the first time.
So, after you’ve cleaned out all the “stuff”, what do you do with it? Well, for items that are still in pretty good condition, there are numerous options available to sell gently used goods. I’ve used both Poshmark and ThredUp, and I’m also a regular at a second-hand resale shop in the D.C. area.
A few thoughts on these options:
Poshmark allows you to set the price for your item and respond to offers, make counter-offers, etc. You will need to take a few quick snaps of your item and post it online using the Poshmark app … from my experience if you don’t include measurements on clothing items, someone will ask, so preempt that by taking a few key measurements and add them to your listing — bust, length and waist for tops, waist and inseam for pants. Once your item sells, Poshmark provides you with a prepaid shipping label, which you can print at home. All you need to do is pack it up, apply the label, and drop it off for shipment.
ThredUp is a little more low-maintenance … but I’ll be honest, you will get less money than if you sell the item yourself. With ThredUp, you simply go online, create an account, and request a bag, or two or three. When your bag arrives, pack up your stuff, and ship it. The folks at ThredUp will attempt to sell the item for you and if it sells you’ll receive a small percentage of the selling price. If your item does not sell within the allotted time frame, you have the option of having your items returned to you, or ThredUp will donate/dispose of them for you.
The other option is to visit a consignment or resale shop. These shops generally take only quality items that are in excellent or very good condition. In terms of quality, it should be J.Crew/Banana Republic level price or higher … for example, they likely won’t accept second-hand Target purchases. Do a quick internet search to find a shop in your area, and be sure to read through what types of items they’re currently accepting (most only take seasonal items), and pay attention to any restrictions.
For my readers in the D.C. area, I’ve been visiting Remix Recycling Co. (formerly The Mustard Seed) in Bethesda, MD for years. I usually walk out making anywhere from $75 – $200 per visit … not too shabby! You can check them out here … but be sure to pay attention to their selling requirements, and know that if you schedule a selling appointment and don’t show, they’ll charge you a $10 no show fee that will be deducted from your earnings at your next appointment.
So, time to start the process! Grab some garbage bags and start sorting … and be sure your piles or bags are clearly labeled, you don’t want to inadvertently throw out something precious. And after you declutter each room be sure to follow along with my Post-Holiday Refresh Series, which will help you refresh and update each area of your home … you can see the Bedroom Edition here!
Happy almost-Friday my friends!