Monday, July 14, 2008

No Sale

As part of our current quest to declutter our home, yesterday we held an impromptu garage no-sale. I wrote a listing for craigslist saying we were cleaning and would be putting items at the curb for free to anyone who wanted to stop by and get them. Then we began hauling stuff out of the garage, basement and house.

We gave away dozens if not hundreds of things, ranging from Kat's outgrown, well-used bike to cups and saucers from the kitchen to a 120-gallon air tank. At the end of the day, everything we put out was gone.

Here's why this works for us:

1. We have too much stuff.

We've had all this stuff (junk) in our basement and house for years. We've been in this house for two years, and most of it came with us from our previous home. Most of it was gathered (given to us or bought cheaply) with the intention of being resold at our garage sales, flea market booth or on eBay.

In the past, we've quite done well with reselling. Unfortunately, we gave up our booth in a money-making flea market mall when we moved and haven't found a local one that will turn a profit. eBay sales have dropped for a variety of reasons, and we just don't seem to be able to get our act together to have a garage sale this year. Yet, we have all of this merchandise (junk) sitting around taking up space.

2. It's one way to give back.

Since we don't go to church, we don't tithe. We also don't give regular donations to charity. This is one way for us to give back to the community.

Also, I believe in karma. What goes around, comes around. If we give, we will receive.

3. Our things land directly in the hands of those who need, or at least want, them.

We could have donated all of this stuff (junk) to a thrift store and taken the tax deduction. In fact, we DO do that. But those items get priced and sold rather than given directly to those in need. There is nothing wrong with that, but I like knowing that some things can go directly to others. (See #2).

4. Our stuff (junk) is not crap.

We never knowingly give away, donate or sell anything that is dirty, broken or not working. If we put something out at the curb, it is still useful to someone. It's just not useful to us anymore. Our trash goes out to the curb on a different day.

5. It's fun.

You wouldn't believe how happy people are to find good things for free. Everyone is smiling and happy. Everyone is friendly.

6. It's a lot less work than a garage sale.

There are no price tags to mess with, no haggling and nothing to pick up and put back in the garage at the end of the day. When it's free, it ALL sells!

Of course, not everything went to the curb yesterday. There are still plenty of items to list on eBay, to donate and to give away another day. But we freed up some space yesterday and made some people happy. It was a good day.

1 comment:

Mom of Three said...

Wow! Wish we lived near you! Although, I have to say, we just had our yard sale (12 families on one street) at the end of June. There was only one rule, the rest of it had to be donated--no going back into the house. I started the sale, and I couldn't believe how happy my neighbors were at the end. It didn't have anything to do with how much they made, either, they just seemed so liberated having gotten rid of a bunch of "stuff." The lady across the street had been renting a $50 a month storage space for years. She cleaned it all out and now saved that expense, too!

They came up to me afterward and asked if we could do another one at the end of summer. I don't know if that will happen, though I suspect I could come up with more things if I got really detailed. Either which way, decluttering was outright infectious on our street.

And I am getting on craigslist now to get rid of that rower!