How many things do you have lying around that you use maybe once in a great while, or not at all? How many extra shirts, pairs of pants, scarves, etc are hanging in your closet (or hiding away in your drawers) that haven’t been worn more than once in the last several months or years? How many toys have your kids not touched in weeks?
I know our answer was simply: far too many.
You may use it. It may be something great to have on hand. But if you don’t use it enough, it doesn’t deserve the space in your house and your wallet. I can’t tell you how many things we’ve resold that we don’t even remember using now, cause it was just filler stuff. Our kids don’t care about that box of dollar store toys we donated, they don’t even remember having them.
In addition to simply having a less cluttered life, the money we’ve gotten from the resale of many of these items has actually paid our bills. Just using Craigslist, we resold an extra couch for $225, a climber toy for $40, a bunch of old knitting needles for $15, a bedding set for $200, a train table for $75, a few bags of baby clothes for $50, etc, etc. A little here and there can add up to a lot. And all those extra books you have sitting on the shelf that you’ve been meaning to read (but probably never will)… Look them up on Amazon, you might be surprised how much some of them are worth! (Yeah, many of them are selling used from $0.01… But we’ve sold quite a few for $6-10 each, or more.) All you need is a (free) Amazon Seller Account and you can start shipping them out from your local post office. Amazon lets you resell many other things you wouldn’t expect, too! When in doubt, look it up.
If you really, really want to buy/keep any given book, do a Google for it. Chances are you can find a digital version far cheaper than the hard copy. Or if you have a decent scanner, scan it in, crop it, and make a PDF, then resell it! Eliminate clutter in your life. Most eReaders (the iPad, for example!) read PDFs as well as their own digital format. (If you need help doing this, feel free to ask–I’ve done this with many of our books). You can take this purging a step further with your DVD and/or CD collection, and resell in the same way. iTunes will import your CDs, and programs such as Handbrake will import your DVDs. Now, of course, you should never give out copyrighted material, but if it’s for your own use, I don’t see a problem with that.
Don’t be afraid to just give some things away, either. If it’s not selling and it’s really not worth THAT much anyway, bless someone with it, or donate it to Goodwill, Salvation Army, whatever. Even in a completely jobless situation, where we needed the money, we have done this–and honestly, you see the return. Maybe not that minute or that day or week even, but it will come back to you in some way.