Friday, January 29, 2010

Decluttering Challenge: The January Report

I haven't forgotten about my decluttering goals; in fact, I've made some progress in several areas, and it's time for an update!
  • We donated a pile of items to Goodwill several weekends back... AND I have already started another pile of worn-out clothes where the old pile used to be! I will try to take a picture next time before my husband industriously bustles the pile out of the house. He did itemize the donation for our tax records before he swept everything away, good man that he is.
  • I have finished paring down the books in the household. We still have plenty left, but I have shipped two boxes to Powell's. I have already recieved payment for the first box. I omitted one book from the original order because it didn't have a dust jacket, so I recieved a little less than they had quoted: $48.50. This was so easy to do and rewarding so fast that I lost no time putting together a second box! I highly recommend this as an easy way to sell your books.
  • I have also put a few books up for sale on that appear to be in reasonable demand (aka Worth more than A Few Dollars) yet Powell's didn't want to buy them. The remainder of the books are together in storage, and I will pull them out in a few months to see if I can sell them locally--it doesn't make sense to me to ship them around the country if they are worth less than it costs to ship! Stay tuned...
  • I had a few pieces of dishware that it was time to part with. Nothing antique or family-cherished, just a few pieces that do not match any of my other dishes and/or that I do not use. I contacted Replacements Ltd., a company that buys and sells pre-owned dishes and collectibles. It's a great place to find a dish that you need to replace, or sell dishes that you no longer need. They were willing to purchase 6 of my items, one for quite a competitive price. I carefully packed up the pieces and sent them off--double boxed!

  • It should be worth it, though, as I am waiting for my payment of $89! I did have to pay shipping and insurance, which came out to $11, so my net is $78. I have additional pieces that they aren't buying currently which I will keep for now. Maybe I'll check back in a few months and see if they're purchasing those pieces again.  
$78 from Replacements plus $48.50 from Powell's (for the first box) brings my January total to $126.50. I am going to make my $100 loan payment, but I'm going to donate the $26.50 balance to a charity supporting the crisis in Haiti, which I haven't selected yet. It's a small amount, but every little bit helps, right? (ETA: I selected a charity and made the donation; you can read more about it here.)

It doesn't count for this challenge, but I also made a number of store returns and exchanges in January. In one case, I had ordered a pair of pajamas, top and bottom sold separately. They ran out of the top, but still sent the pants. The pants weren't very useful to me without the top they belonged with, so I sent them back. Sometimes it seems like more trouble than it's worth to return something, especially when it 'could' be useful, but I am trying to raise my standards and consciousness to only bring wanted, necessary, and useful items into the household. If something isn't exactly right or useful, I need to return them for a refund.

I still feel like I am just scraping the surface of the items that need to be moved out of my home and into the hands of people who will find them useful. Fortunately, coming up with this challenge and posting scary pictures of my basement for the world to see have really motivated me to think about ways to move this stuff along in creative ways. I look forward to sharing my plans and experiences as they happen throughout the year!

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