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Reducing the stuff I have

Updated on June 9, 2014

Time to move this stuff on

Stuff: matter, material, articles, or activities of a specified or indeterminate kind that are being referred to, indicated, or implied. (thank you Google)

This lens is about all the accumulated treasures that we have. They are like a child - I know when I bought them, how much I paid for them, and what's it going to cost me when I throw it out and then repurchase it.

I have moved it 12 times, thought about getting rid of it, procrastinated it, and now it's time to take action and get rid of it.

Where should this stuff go?

I start by tripping over a pile, get disgusted, sort it and move it on.

Goodwill is my first choice for clothes and toys. The only reason for this goes back to when my father was little and the family didn't have much of anything. Goodwill brought them some clothes and a toy - this was 1944. So for that reason I start with Goodwill - and the fact that the store is about a 1/4 mile from my house.

Freecycle is next on my list for the things that are good but not worth trying to sell and that should not go into the landfill.

My friend Jim and I were planning a trip to the local toxdrop - he had paint to get rid of. At the same time I was waiting on someone to pick up a screen door that I had listed. The woman picked up the door and saw the paint "can I have it? I work with kids and we do lots of arts and crafts" Paint gone! no need for a trip to toxdrop - a great day.

Craigslist is the place I go to to list things I believe still have value. There are always bargain hunters out there. I have given up on eBay due to the fees and shipping costs. Don't get me wrong I have made money on eBay - about 10 years ago. However when you end up spending $10 over what the final sales price and shipping cost - back to Freecycle or Craigslist.

Last but not least - family and friends

Sometimes family and friends are first. Things that I can no longer use go to family and friends - if they want them. Baby strollers and bicycle tag-along's if taken care of last a really long time. I had a bicycle trailer that I received from a friend - my son and daughter both used it. It is now at least 16 yrs old as my friend bought it used from another family - now my almost 1 yr old nephew is using it and I do not have to store it.

I have gotten so much stuff from family that "I had to take" it was easier than arguing, that I try not to dump on family - I'll offer then move on.

How I get rid of stuff

Too much!  What's in these totes?
Too much! What's in these totes?

This is my madness for getting rid of things.

Time required: Time spent depends on how much you have.

Difficulty: easy

Cost: $0


  • Garbage bag
  • Recycle bin
  • Bags or boxes to put these treasures in


  • Camera


1. Trip over a pile and get mad / disgusted

2. Sort the pile.

3. Junk that is paper - recycle bin - Make sure to take your name off the magazine. Wait a minute if its a magazine move it on to a friend.

4. If the items are to be donated get a picture of them. Find out the value - I use It's Deductible to log and find out the value.

5. Put it in a bag a box the trunk - whatever it takes to get the stuff out of the house.

6. Repeat as necessary - personally I don't think I'll ever be done.

Am I done yet?

Just when I think I've got a handle on it I accumulate more or didn't get rid of enough. So I repeat the process - over and over and over. One day I will conquer my stuff.

Clean out the Garage

Here are just a couple of books to help you get started.

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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 3 years ago from Central Florida

      It does seem a never-ending process. Everything we bring into our home, eventually overloads it.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 3 years ago

      Good info here. I like to move things out as I go before it becomes a project. For every one thing I bring in the house, something must go. That includes mail and books and magazines. Makes it simple. Sometimes a challenge, but always good.

    • profile image

      changrcoacher 3 years ago

      Good lens with good information. It seems to be a constant process, huh? My revolving (recycled) stuff seems to be mostly clothes. I'm a Goodwill hound....makes me feel good that someone, somewhere, might enjoy it.

    • Dave Lynch profile image

      David Edward Lynch 3 years ago from Port Elizabeth, South Africa

      Some good ideas for reducing stuff. I normally throw things out or give them away when I move residence which I've done a number of times over the past twenty years.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Love this lens. Oh so true we can get so much clutter. I used to sew at home for a living and even after 10 years have past since I semi retired, I still have so much material, laces, cottons and it goes on and on. I just don't know what to do with it. Not many people make their own clothes these days and really it is only clutter in my home now. But I must do something about it soon.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Amazing, we could be sisters! I have a real problem with getting rid of things in a timely fashion, till finally I'm tripping over them. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 3 years ago

      Too much clutter results in distractions that nibble on the joy of living. Thank you for publishing this lens.

    • sjewula profile image

      sjewula 3 years ago

      @SusanDeppner: Ouch on the fire. Thanks for the post. My problem is I can't pass up free - sometimes.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Gotta do what you've gotta do. I was in the process of getting rid of stuff when we had our house fire. I don't recommend that method, but it truly was a blessing in disguise. Now I'm careful not to add (much) more than what we actually need. It's tough, too, but so worth it!