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Material Possessions – How to Get Rid of Stuff & Cleanse Your Life

Updated on September 14, 2015

You don't need to hire a professional home organizer to get rid of stuff and be clean and clutter free. Living space too small to occupy mountains of crap and other material possessions? It might be time to cleanse yourself by clean sweeping your clutter and getting rid of your junk to save yourself from a nightmare of landfill proportions. You might even gain some positive rewards in the process.

Sentimental Value

Most people keep things because of the many memories associated with the object: a pocket watch handed down from grandpa, an old picture frame from a high school buddy, memoirs of past relationships. If the items in question mean more than your leg to you, great, keep them, but if you won't even begin to get teary eyed from throwing them away, dispose of such nuisances.

Maybe you need help letting go?

Good tip a friend gave me...

1. Put the stuff you think you might not want anymore in a box.

2. Keep the box in your attic, basement, closet, wherever.

3. If in 6 months, you never go to get anything in that box... get rid of it!


Many of the things people own serve a function: whether to help them clean, to help them relax, to entertain. Look around, what doesn't serve a purpose? Do you really need three step stools? Will you ever really watch all the Blu-rays you own again? Do you really need your ancient childhood toys that even your kids won't play with? Eliminate the redundant tools and useless items and keep the essentials.

Sell Sell Sell

Things you may no longer want, need, or harbor space for could be exactly what one of the other seven billion people out there dreams of owning. Start using services like craigslist, eBay, and Amazon. Let family and friends know they can finally buy from you that awesome Hawaiian-print tapestry you keep tucked in the garage. Distribute your depreciation-prone electronics before it will cost YOU money to get rid of them. Your stuff holds a value to someone, cash in now!

eBay Selling Tips

1. Check to make sure your item will sell.

This will give an idea of the general sale price, shipping costs, and other information for similar auctions.

  • Type the name of your item into the into the eBay search.
  • On the next screen at the bottom of the left navigation column, click the Sold listings checkbox.
  • At the top of the listing content column, click the Auction button.

2. If you know your item will indeed sell, start the bid at $.01.

Yes, a penny! This will earn your auction immediate attention and increase the number of overall bidders. The perceived value will increase. Trust me, the final price will still fall in the range you researched.

3. Offer free shipping if possible.

Especially for items you would send at a flat rate, like books.

4. Include your own photos.

Nice bright pictures. Show the parts people care about most. Never use stock photos. People trust what they can see.

5. Tell them everything!

  • Defects
  • How often you used the item
  • What will be included
  • Why you decided to sell your item (as long as it's positive!)
  • How much you enjoyed it
  • Your return policy

Be honest. People care more about knowing exactly what they will be getting. You don't want any returns.

Just starting out on eBay? Need more help?

Craigslist Selling Tips

1. Always take cash only.

Do some research on how to identify fake money!

2. Meet in a public place for the transaction.

Meet during the day (if possible).

3. Follow eBay Tips #4 and #5.


For the things you cannot sell, you can always give away. Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and other charitable organizations would love to claim your unwanted items and give them out (more likely resell them) to those who really need your stuff. You will be able to claim the donation as a tax deduction and feel good about giving back to the community in the process. You can donate and recycle at the same time!

Cure Yourself of the Shopping Bug

Time for you to practice a little self-control when venturing out into America's consumer-driven landscape. No more impulse buys and binge window-shopping. Do you really need another white blouse to add to your dozen others? Shop when you need something and you will be less likely to buy when you don't.

Tell People "Cash, not junk."

Well, you don't need to be that bold, but asking for money over objects will not only keep your scrap pile from increasing, but also allow you to buy what you can utilize and enjoy the most. Alternatively, you can benefit from creating wish lists during birthdays and other holidays - preferably with a registry where others know the gifts already bought.

Breath. You're finally free!

Hopefully, by implementing the cleaning clutter tips mindset above and actively taking the necessary steps, you will liberate yourself from your material possessions, make and save money in the process, and live in a less overwhelming environment.

Move easily, walk freely, and focus on more than the junk around you.


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    • peachpurple profile image


      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Selling of junks is a clever way to clean yr room

    • Gorochi profile image


      7 years ago from All Around the World

      Great introduction to getting rid of junk. I take a bit of a different approach, though, to sentimental items. I think that it's OK to get rid of them, even if they make you teary eyed. The memory, for me, is not in the object but in myself.

      If you're interested, I wrote more in detail about my experience letting go of sentimental items.

    • kimbaustin profile image


      9 years ago from Sunny California

      OMG! I could write a whole book on this. Hmmmm!!!! that gives me an idea. As a near "professional" junk cleanser, I can totally relate to the benefits of removing years of clutter. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I totally agree. We have entirely too much junk and stuff. You just don't realize how much you have until you try to move like you describe. It's a serious problem. I think our entire culture is geared toward collecting stuff... People need to slim down.

    • thegecko profile imageAUTHOR

      Warren Samu 

      10 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Ya, while in college I moved myself and my girlfriend probably over 9 times, and even with the little a person owns by that point in their life, I always thought "Man, where did all this junk come from..."

      Time to break away!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I agree. I will be happy when I can move with only 1 car load of "stuff" total. I am almost there.

      An associate sold EVERYTHING before her last move and has lived happily ever after with no junk.

      Thanks for this hub.


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