Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Thursday, August 2, 2007

To Yard Sale or Not to Yard Sale?

So what do you do with the stuff you don’t want to keep, that you don’t want to throw, but would like to try selling or donating. What are your options?

  • Yard SalePros: set up is right at your house; you could make some cash while getting rid of items. Cons: no guarantee of selling anything; your time sitting outside with your stuff on a weekend; costs of promoting the sale (via posters or ad in paper); whatever doesn’t sell, you still have to deal with.

  • eBayPros: can do from your house; you could make some money (a lot depending on item). Cons: no guarantee of selling anything; your time to take digital photos, write listing, and monitor listing; cost of listing plus final value to eBay for whatever sells; if items don’t sell, you still have to deal with. In my opinion, the things that sell best on eBay are items of brand names and unique/antique or collectible status.

  • FreecyclePros: you don’t have to go anywhere; just list the item(s) and if someone wants, they’ll come and pick up. Cons: no guarantee that someone will want; your time to list, monitor email responses and coordinate with person you’re giving item(s) for pick-up; sometimes Freecyclers don’t show, and then you can re-post or decide what to do with item(s); not all towns have a Freecycle group; no money is exchanged.
  • Local Charities (i.e. Goodwill or Big Brother Big Sister) – Pros: your stuff goes to a charity; you feel good about donating; you receive a tax deduction receipt; your item(s) leave your house. Cons: you may have to bring the items to the charity; not all charities accept all kinds of things or all the time; no money is exchanged; for whatever they don’t accept, you have to deal with.

  • Give to Friend/Family/OtherPros: you get rid of usable items; people that you know receive the benefit of your donation; free exchange. Cons: might be hard to find someone who wants stuff; may be time-consuming to coordinate & make exchange; you may plan to give to friend or family but never get around to it, so stuff sits around at your house; no money is exchanged and no receipt for your donation is gained.

Obviously there are advantages and disadvantages of each option, this list certainly isn't exhaustive, and you have to do what is right for you. I strongly suggest, however, that you consider each of the pros and cons before you start decluttering, and limit the number of outlets for your stuff. Don't have 5 categories -- "I'll sell this, donate that, give that to Aunt Jane, save those for my neighbor Sue, and do a yard sale for the rest". It's unrealistic and slows down your process for reducing the inventory in your house.