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Use It Or Lose It!: How To Get Rid Of Stuff From Your Home

Updated on October 21, 2012

My Grandmother had many famous quotes...well, famous to me, one of which was, "Use It Or Lose It!". This simply meant that if you had anything that was of no use to you, and held no purpose for you...get rid of it! It also meant taking care of yourself, and staying active, physically and mentally. I'll address that another time, cause' today, I'm gonna talk about junk!

Whenever I asked my Grandmother how to get rid of junk, she would say, "Throw it in the alley, that's what I do!" I finally told her, "Grandma, there's no room left in the alley because of you!" She laughed. The point is, when you bring many new, or new to you items, in your home, AND your home is then bursting and brimming with with too much STUFF...something HAS to go! While it may be difficult to rid yourself of acquired possessions, it is a task that MUST happen!

I started getting up early on Saturday mornings, and while my son was still asleep, I'd shout in my loudest voice (...well, my usual voice is LOUD), "Use It Or Lose It!"

My son would awake with a stir, and started scrambling!!! It was FUNNY to watch him half-asleep making attempts to salvage his stuff! If anything was on the floor, that wasn't floor, carpet, or furniture, it was getting out of the house! I had no mercy, and made no apologies! You may think my methods were unfair, but if ever you stepped on a toy in the middle of the night while going to the bathroom, then you understand my point, and eventually...so did he! So, my son would gather things (after salvaging what he could), I gathered things, and we headed for the Goodwill. It helped my son to appreciate the importance of being charitable...AND TIDY!

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Here are a few suggestions for parting ways with the frays:

Give to friends, neighbor or relatives - This is ideal when you know people really well, and you don't mind them in your home. Everybody, ain't somebody to be all up in your space! And yes, I meant to say it JUST LIKE THAT!!!!

Barter with a tradesman, when you're having work done on your home (for a reduced or even wash of the price)- You may have something of value that's worth the cost of a small repair. Or perhaps you have a talent that you can use in exchange for the service...I'm talk'n bout' decent stuff folks...ya'll nasty!!!

Arrange a swap party at your home - Send out invites to friends, relatives, etc, and ask that everyone bring items in good condition, clean and bug free...yeah, that's right! We're talk'n bout' swapping stuff...AND bugs ain't one of em!!! Just be sure to swap for something that you can really use.

Take it to a dumpster, and run like h-e-!-! - No, don't do that, it's illegal, and you can twist your ankle trying to get away! All you'll end up with is a hospital bill and a citation!

Set the item curbside with a FREE sign - I have a couple of things in my home from FREE signs. Now admittedly I was a little hesitant with this one. It has to be curbside, or in an alley, and not close to the house. If it's on the property then I pass. This option may not work for all jurisdictions.

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Sell your items at a local flea market - You can rent a table at a flea market for a nominal fee. Price your items fair, and be willing to negotiate. Use your earnings towards a needed expense, savings, or treat yourself to something that you won't eventually need to get rid of.

Sell your items on eBay, amazon, craigslist, etc. - Please exercise care when taking pictures. You want your items to sell don't you? I have seen crappy pictures on all of these sites. The picture can denote the quality of the item. If the picture looks crappy, it may be considered that the item isn't as valued as you claim.

Post a flyer in your local grocery store -I haven't done this one, but I've seen it all my life...well at least since I could read and notice things. If you're comfortable with ANYBODY call'n your phone, then pop goes the weasel...get to popp'n...I mean sell'n!!!

Place your items on consignment - This is a great option for anyone who wants to make a profit, but does not have the time for a direct sale. Consignment stores basically maintain a percentage from the proceeds of the sale, and you get the rest.

Have a yard or garage sale - Get your table, stickers (or tape) and markers ready. If you have a clothes rack, use it! Arrange your items neatly and with appeal. If they have appeal, they WILL SELL! Be sure to get plenty of bills in different denominations, and coin change. Be willing to negotiate your prices. Remember...USE IT OR LOSE IT!

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Recycle - Recycling is an easy, and environmentally friendly way of getting rid of excess newspaper glass, plastic, etc. Many municipalities offer free collection of your recyclables. Check your area for recycling centers.

Donate to charity - Goodwill, Salvation Army, Veterans of America, Purple Heart, etc, are all great organizations to haul your wares to. Many offer collection services right to your home. This saves on gas, time, and possibly multiple trips.

Arrange a Bulk Trash Pickup for items beyond repair - Most municipalities will pick-up items from a pre-arranged call or online request. Contact your local government office for details.

Contact a company or person that specializes in hauling - This solution is ideal for the person who has items that are in excess of a bulk trash pickup. Bulk trash services offered by your City's government, limits the number of items. Although this option is fee based, it's worth having many items removed all at once. (See option for bartering).

Repurpose Your Items - Now this is one of my favorites!. I love re-purposing, and have a knack for using what I already have in creative and inventive ways.

Call ME...I can be there in five frugal minutes - Come on...ya'll know me, the frugal female with finesse!! I should be on speed dial on ALL of your phones...some of your phones!

Getting rid of excess items from your home doesn't have to be a challenge. More than anything, you have to be willing to part with things that you no longer have a use for. I enjoy re-purposing, and even I have to let go of things from time to time. Unlike my Grandmother's suggestion, and I listened to her MOST of the time, don't ever, ever throw it in the alley...unless you arrange for a bulk trash pick-up first...okay! Now everybody shout, in your loudest voice...USE IT OR LOSE IT!!!

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