Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Downsizing or Pairing Down

We are in the midst of downsizing or pairing down our belongings again.  To get to a place where we want to be - only living with things that we need and use, we know that it is going to be all uphill from here.

To give you a little insight, when we first moved here, we got rid of about 1/4 - 1/3 of our household goods which felt great because we had not realized how much we had accumulated after being married for 11 years.  By got rid of, we mean consigned, sold and freecycled. Our loss was their gain and it freed up a lot of space in our home.  We made every effort to make sure our items would be reused or re-purposed and kept them out of our landfills to lessen our carbon footprint.  Four years later and we are in the same situation where we are back to square one and are downsizing again.

This Spring, we went through everything that we own from the kitchen, shed, attic, kids rooms, jewelry, bags, garden items, outside toys, everything and put together things that we did not use/do not need anymore.  Before we knew it, it was more then we had anticipated.  What we did was we separated our items into three categories - consignment, sell and freecycle.  Once all the items were in their respective categories, we moved on it.  We put a lot of our items up for sale on Craigslist, we took some of our items to our respective consignment shop and we have freecycled quite a bit of stuff that others can reuse and pass on whatever they cannot use to others.

Most of our outside toys and garden stuff sold very quickly on Craigslist, however we do have a few more items available.  One of our consignment shops you can only take 10 items in twice a week and we have not been making it down there very often in the last month.  Starting this week, we will try to make it down there to consign our items to try to make at least a little money on our stuff.  We have not taken anything down for quite some time to the other consignment shop that is currently accepting everything but shoes and clothes.  We tried having a yard sale this past weekend and barely anyone showed up even after much free advertising, however my friend and I swapped a lot of stuff (electronics, clothes, kids stuff, stuffed animals, etc...) from each other and saved ourselves money that way.  We love swapping items amongst friends because we are saving money and getting semi new items in the process.  We are also posting some free stuff on Craigslist which is going quite fast as well.  We have freecycled quite a bit of items lately which makes us feel good about helping people/other families and giving back to our community.

The downsizing process continues as we try to free up more and more space in and outside of our home.  We will be trying to have another yard sale in a different area toward the end of the month which we are hoping will bring in more people in to look at our stuff.  This time all the advertisement will be done for us and my friend and I will share the cost of the space.  To sit for a couple of hours to try to sell our stuff is worth it just to get rid of our items and keep them out of our landfills.

We still have options at this point to try to get a little money for our items - consignment shops, posting items in lots on craigslist, freecycle and if all else fails donation (tax write off).

We could save ourselves a lot of time and headaches by just donating our stuff and taking the tax write off but since we are a single income family who constantly tries to keep as much money in our pocket, we want to make sure we make every effort.

We can already see the difference from all of our hard work paying off - consigning, selling and freecycling.

It will be so nice to have all the extra space once all is said and done.

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