Sell Your Stuff – Is It Worth It?

sell

Do you want to sell items that you have decided to discard?

Excuse me while I get on my soapbox.

I recently read a blog post by Retire Before Dad, it was called, That Clutter in Your Home Used to Be Money. He had some great points to which I agree. I often see clients struggle with letting things go because they think those items are worth money. Consider that “Most items aren’t worth money anymore. Even if they are, they probably aren’t worth the time needed to convert them back to cash via Craig’s List or eBay.” If you can list, move, meet, negotiate and sell your stuff, then go right ahead. But a lot of people can’t. They don’t have the time, the experience, or the patience to follow through.

I preach the fact that an item is yours until it is gone from your house. How are you going to list the item on Facebook marketplace if you are not on Facebook? Do you have the time to research what to ask for the items? How about the time to answer email or text inquiries and wait around for people to show up (or not) and finally, how will you get the big stuff (that bedroom set) out of the house? These are things you have to consider when you decide that you no longer want something and then how to get rid of it.

Once you own an object, it owns you until you release it from your life. Click To Tweet

Is it worth it? All of your stuff (and mine) is depreciating as you read this. It actually begins depreciating as soon as you use it. Never use an item? It’s still worth less than what you paid for it.

I encourage you to let go of the precondition of getting something in return. Unless you are trying to sell a car, really nice furniture, or bonafide collectibles, the couple of bucks you may get for anything else, is not worth the time and effort. Don’t hold on to any guilt or think that maybe you’ll use it again someday. Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that could happen if I got rid of this and decided I really needed it?”

Do you struggle with letting things go without a cash return? Let me know in the comments what it is.

OK. I’ll step down from the soapbox now.

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization.

She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client.

Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.

Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization.

She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client.

Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.

10 Comments

  1. Sara Skillen on April 4, 2022 at 9:00 am

    I’m right up there on the soapbox with you. I frequently have this conversation with people about garage or yard sales. Unless you love bantering and bargaining, it’s an awful lot of trouble to gather, set up, price, display, and take up a good portion of your weekend just to have someone offer you 50 cents for something you priced at $1.50. AND, if everything doesn’t sell (and it won’t), you still have to do something with the leftovers. You can save a lot of steps by taking things straight to charity first.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 4, 2022 at 7:09 pm

      I agree Sara. It’s a lot of work and people don’t realize this. Save the time and donate your items.

  2. Jonda Beattie on April 4, 2022 at 10:00 am

    I’m in the choir with you. I tell my clients that garage sales are fine if you look at them as a social event more than a way to get money. Group garage sales are the best. I ask them to consider what the value is on their time when they think of putting items out to sale.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 4, 2022 at 7:10 pm

      I like the idea of a garage sale being a social event. They do end up being just that.

  3. Seana Turner on April 4, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    Preach it, Janet! This can be such a hurdle for people. Sometimes I’ll suggest we look an item up on ebay to get some idea of its worth. I tell them to only look at items that have SOLD, and that typically brings a dose of reality.

    Of course, there are valuable pieces, and there are wise options for those. But donating to a worthy charity can often be the quickest and wisest next step.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 4, 2022 at 7:16 pm

      Oh I so agree! People hang on to things because they think that they may be worth something. I always suggest doing some research. When you know more you can make a better decision about how to move forward.

  4. Sabrina Quairoli on April 4, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    You are preaching to the choir! I recently got rid of a treadmill because I wanted a stationary bike. It went fast (within two hours) on Facebook Marketplace. The trick is to price correctly. I found it has a lot to do with how much you want to get rid of an item. If someone wants it out of the house, they are willing to price the item lower than they could probably get.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 4, 2022 at 7:19 pm

      Yes, pricing it right is great advice. Some things sell well, but a lot of things don’t.

  5. Julie Bestry on April 5, 2022 at 3:07 am

    I’m with you. I spend a lot of time explaining to clients that the heartache of watching someone offer you pennies on the dollar at a yard sale for something you once scrimped and saved to afford, then spend time and money caring for and preserving, just isn’t worth it. It takes effort to get to the point where a client recognizes that they can amortize the cost of something over its life (or their own lives) and accept that every dollar and cent has been wrung out of it, and it’s time to donate it and give it, and themselves, freedom. We’re all up on that soapbox together!

    • Janet Schiesl on April 5, 2022 at 6:47 am

      I think we all think alike and like a soapbox once in a while.
      I have the same discussion with clients. Hoping they can realize that they got a good cost per use from an item. Now let it go with no regrets.

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