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easy ways to clear the clutter

2012-07-31 - 9:12 a.m.

I leave too many posts around the internet. Here's one I scribbled yesterday, which might actually be helpful to somebody somewhere. The topic is getting rid of clutter, and faithful readers know I've been selling and swapping my extra stuff for a few years now, clearing a few hundred pounds a year. (Yes, I weigh it.) On Monday, I dropped off 7 pounds of stylish but too young for me now clothes at the Goodwill. Can I count that as a swap? I think so -- I swapped the outfits I'll never wear again for some airspace in my closet. So far this year, I've sold, swapped, or donated 322 pounds, so I'm on track to hit this year's goal of 400 pounds. Anyhoo, here's the post I left around at the unclutterer:

I always love a new idea for clearing clutter. Very eager to test those electronics suggestions, if that works, that could be a little gold mine.

In thanks for this tip, I’ll offer my own thoughts and hope they help somebody. What Ann said about pawnshops. You will not get a fair price because pawnshop owners are used to dealing with desperate people who will take any nonsense price. Consignment shops are no better. I hardly ever had a consignment deal where the owner didn’t steal at least some of the items and money. They claim the item didn’t sell, but someone must have shoplifted it. Or, if they’re a friend, they’re more honest about the fact that there’s no way to pay the bills on what you make running a consignment shop, so they were forced to “borrow” your money.

Any barter that involves paperwork does not reduce clutter. It adds clutter. My choice is to only barter like to like, to avoid creating a tax obligation. That is, I can swap clothes for clothes, or books for books, or stones for stones. But if I swap clothes for stones, then I would have a paperwork hassle that is contrary to the idea of getting de-cluttered. I mostly swap stones, and if no one has any they want to trade for mine, then I sell them instead. If it’s going to be paperwork, it needs to be for cash.

Craigslist works for many items, especially large ones. Adorama for cameras. Many electronics are just a recycling fee waiting to happen, but you could try the Maker community. My husband sold some old tubes to an inventor in Finland…ya never know! Books, well, Amazon, of course, and they pay fast, but too many sellers are running some mysterious swindle where they sell books for a penny, so most books can’t be re-sold for a price worth your time, and they should be swapped/donated/made into papier maché — all three techniques I’ve done with happy results, depending on the book.

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