Jun 18 2010

It doesn’t matter what you paid, if it’s collecting dust!

I’ve been motivated to sell some unwanted items on eBay, toss out junk, and set aside things to take to the thrift store.

I want to use the cash to bump up our house savings, but I also just feel so much better when our apartment has less clutter!

I went through our storage locker (included in our apartment’s rent, just so ya know) and pulled out a cabinet shelf thing that we used in our last apartment.

It looked damaged. We’d been storing it for a year and I just couldn’t see a time when we’d want it in the future. It was bulky and was taking up quite a bit of storage space.

I asked Shane if he’d be ok with throwing it out.

“How much did we pay for it?” he wanted to know.

“I think $20-30, but it doesn’t matter!” I told him.

The current value of the thing was probably $0.50. And since we had no immediate or future need of using it, it was worth negative money to us.

If you’re hanging onto an item simply because you paid a certain dollar amount for it, then that’s not a good enough reason to keep it.

You have to enjoy it, get some use out of it, or otherwise have it add value to your life. Otherwise, it’s just taking up space. Get rid of it!

The same thing goes for items received as gifts. We might be more likely to hang onto some trinket that we don’t love, but we love the gift-giver so we hold onto it forever.

Cherish the sentiment, but get rid of the item.

If something still has some resale value and you want to sell it, go for it. But otherwise, donate it or throw it in the trash if it’s clear no one would want it.

Is it hard for you to part with some items, or are you a ruthless purger?



14 Responses to “It doesn’t matter what you paid, if it’s collecting dust!”

  1. AMEN!!
    .-= Trixie´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday =-.

  2. I’m a tosser because I grew up with a family member who probably qualified as a hoarder. Even if I paid a lot for something, I’m willing to sell it for dirt cheap or give it away if I’m 90% certain I won’t use it in the coming year. It may feel a little painful to sell a $75 item for $10, but that brief pang of financial loss is quickly overcome by a clean, streamlined home! (At least that’s how I feel about it!)

  3. My problem is with things I’ve inherited. My mother and all of my grandparents have died over the last 4 years, and all of their things have to be dealt with. It’s just me and my sister – and I have a tiny one-bedroom apartment. It is so difficult to part with things that remind me of them.

  4. Oh yeah, I love tossing things! I should do it more often though as our place is getting pretty cluttered.
    Funny story: my in-laws are extreme hoarders, they never throw ANYTHING away. Recently I was helping clean out a huge closet at my parents where us kids still had some stuff. I came across some huge and ugly running trophies that I won when I was 11-14. I didn’t want to store or display them so I took some pics and threw them away. When I told my SIL and MIL they freaked out! These things are ugly and would take up a lot of room but they still couldn’t believe I threw them out. Ah well. :)
    .-= Stacy´s last blog ..33 weeks! =-.

  5. This blog entry reminded me of a funny story. When I was little, my Granny wanted to clean out our hall closet. I began crying hysterically. When she asked me what was wrong, I wailed, “But these are my memories!” Keep in mind, they were probably old documents and stuff with which I had no interest, but it made me sad for some reason. And it’s pretty much been the story of my life ever since.

    I have a hard time throwing out things with any kind of sentimental value. I’m getting better about it (I finally allowed my Granny to get rid of crane machine stuffed animals, etc.). How much I paid for something isn’t as much of an issue, though. For example, Fiona ate a large piece of a brand new, straight-out-of-the-box bookshelf that Steve had found us at Goodwill. It cost $30, and we reimbursed him for it. But when she ate the piece of it, we were like…should we try to find the piece? What to do? But ya know what, it just wasn’t worth it. We were getting ready to move— and it would have just been one more thing to hassle with. It sucked that she chewed it up before we’d even had a chance to put it together, but whatcha gonna do? I don’t know how much the future in-laws liked that we threw it out (or that she chewed it up, rather)…but in that case, the hassle we saved was worth more to us than the money. The end.

  6. I’m a hoarder by nature… :) but just this last week, I looked at my closet and decided it was time to purge. I must have cleaned out at least half the clothing in there! I’m going to list the items in good condition online to sell (hopefully will get some $$ to buy new needed items), and the items that are more used are going to the thrift store.

  7. I have a hard time throwing out sentimental things, too. I think part of it comes from moving around so much – things that moved with us I have an almost obsession with, and could never part with them. I have read that’s true with other TCK’s – it’s interesting how “stuff” can take the place of “home”.

    We have moved apartments so often in the past 5 years… I would put some pieces of furniture (usually small) in our storage closet for one apartment, only to find that in the next apartment a year later it was exactly what I needed. (Example: I have an awesome baker’s rack that I picked up new at second hand store. I used it in our kitchen in apartment #1, but didn’t have room for it in apartment #2 so I kept it in our storage closet. In apartment #3 it was an essential piece of our bathroom to hold our towels. Now, in our house, it’s an essential piece of my kitchen as a pantry! I’m glad I didn’t throw it away in apartment #2!)

    Of course, it’s only worth keeping if you have the room. If you’re paying for a storage unit to hang on to stuff you “might need someday”, then it’s more questionable.

    You also have to figure the cost of replacing it and the likelihood of needed it again. Example – I managed to get a free glider at one point. I moved and didn’t have room for it, so I had to sell it. I sold it for a steal because it was slightly damaged. Now that I have a baby and have the room, I would give anything for that glider back! I haven’t been able to find one for the price I sold it for. :-(
    .-= ashley@twentysixcats´s last blog ..our den – finished! =-.

  8. My husband is the one who clings to sentimental things! If it was given to him as a gift, he wants to keep it. Frustrating at times, but what are you gonna do?!? :)
    .-= Becky´s last blog ..30 Weeks! =-.

  9. I have improved a lot in this area, and that is due to having to move stuff with me from place to place. The more I move with it, the more I realize that it is a physical burden if it is something I’m not using, and just not worth lugging around to the next place we will live!

    I also learned a lot about this when we moved from Boston to Memphis. We had a TINY apartment (400 square feet) and had no “real” furniture to speak of in it (everything was particle board). We got a quote from a moving company…$3,000! Ha! The entire contents of our apartment were MAYBE worth $1,500. So you better believe we sold off the majority of our items, and we loaded up everything into a small u-haul (the kind you attach to the back of your truck). I think that cost us around $500.00.
    .-= Tiffany´s last blog ..Another Great AIO Diaper: Twinkletoes! (GIVEAWAY!!!) =-.

  10. Yeah, moving a lot is a great way to keep stuff to a minimum! It’s like…do I REALLY want to move this?

  11. I threw away one of my birthday gifts this year. I dearly love my grandma, but would never have the occassion or guts to wear a feather hair barette the size of my hand. I opened it, had a good laugh, and tossed it. When I called to thank her for her gifts (there were a couple great things in the package), she mentioned that she had such fun making the barette for me. So she had fun, I got a chuckle, and now it’s gone. That’s gift enough for me!

  12. Timely post as I have been trying my hardest to declutter my bedroom. Just this weekend I washed six loads of clothing that I found stashed in my room. The clothes were clean when they were initially put in my room but after sitting for weeks (months?) they were covered with a layer of dust and kitty hair so I couldn’t take them straight to the thrift store. Anyway… I agonized over what to keep, and what to donate. I even asked my non-hoarding 20 year old son (who told me to throw away every single thing, even if I could still wear them, hah!) I had several flat sheets – I never use those on my bed and my children don’t use theirs but I was thinking maybe I could use them for going on a picnic (do that maybe once every two years), or to cover vegetables in my garden in the winter (probably couldn’t find them if I did save them) and finally just decided to donate them, grimacing the whole way to my car. Now that they are in the car, I’ll do my best to find a thrift store or clothing donation box. I am sure I will never miss them. I also got rid of a box of books… sure I could list them on half.com or amazon.com or with one of the book swapping sites, but then they’ll have to sit around collecting dust because no one seems to want my books! It is a big stretch for me to declutter. And there is SOOO much clutter to get rid of in my house! I refuse to rent a storage unit so it just hangs around in the way and making our home so difficult to live in. I wish it were easier for me. At least I’m trying!
    .-= Mrs. Accountability´s last blog ..Friday Finds June 18th, 2010 =-.

  13. That happens to us all the time — clean clothes will sit in the bedroom on the floor forever, and eventually get wrinkled and need rewashed. What a pain! I think if I can cut down on the amount of clothes I have, maybe that will help somehow.

    Glad some of your items made it to your car! That’s a great first step :)

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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