I have too much stuff. I'm pretty sure this is a problem for all young adults transitioning from high school to college to the real world. As you transition you have to buy new stuff. Furniture, appliances and clothes are all necessities so I started off buying cheap stuff, because that's what I could afford. Slowly I've been buying nicer stuff to get ready for the real world. A better TV, better clothes, real dishes. Here's the problem - I never got rid of all that cheap stuff I was replacing.
My fiance and I have 3 different sets of dishes. Three.
This post (and the next few weeks of my life) is going to be all about minimizing the clutter and getting rid of all that junk I don't need.
Make three piles or three baskets or three whatever.
- Stuff you're throwing away
- Stuff you're giving away
- Stuff you're selling
- Ah! I lied, there's an optional 4th pile: To-Do
I'm starting room by room. In my closet I made the three piles. Anything I wanted to give away went to my sisters first & anything they didn't want went to Goodwill. Anything with holes or stains gets thrown out (unless I can repair it, then it goes into my to-do pile). The last pile is being sold, either at a garage sale or on eBay.
Here are the main places I had to clean out:
- My clothes. It's getting to the point that I probably don't wear 50% of the clothes I own.
- Jewelry and Accessories. All those scarves, bags and hats, gotta go.
- Kitchen. We have doubles of silverware, plates, bowls, tupperware and cups we will never use.
- Office. Aren't we all guilty of too many pens and pencils? I also have too many etsy supplies, shipping supplies and scrapbook paper.
- File cabinet. I have files from 5 years ago I will never need. I gotta clean that out!
The hardest part is getting rid of the stuff I've been holding on too.
It's easy to keep the hoodies from high school even if I never wear them. They have memories attached to them! But here's the thing, they're just taking up space and I will NEVER wear them. You have to let go of that junk you're holding onto because of memories.
Obviously there are things I won't get rid of (like my great-grandma's Cinderella book or the scarf my cousins got me from Ireland), there are some things it's okay to keep, but not everything.
It's February so a garage sale isn't really something that would work right now. That's why I'll be selling most of the "sell" pile on eBay. There are some clothes and jewelry I can add to Etsy but a majority of my stuff will go to eBay.
There are some items that are harder to ship and would sell much better at a garage sale than online. Things like dishes and glassware we put in a storage bin and we will sell it when it warms up.
You can also put stuff like that on Craigslist but I personally don't like doing that. There's something kind of creepy about a person coming to my home to buy something... just my weird opinion.
The best tip for selling stuff on eBay is GOOD PICTURES. If you are taking at least 5 and well-lit photos, you will sell products much quicker than you would with one crappy photo.
Include a good description, explain why you're selling it, tell the buyer if there's anything wrong with your product. Give them more than enough info so they know there will be no surprises.
I'm almost at my senior year of college (yay!) which means I'll have to start looking for a big-kid job soon (booo!). That means interviews, job fairs and clothes that I couldn't go jogging in.
I'm not sure if any of you have noticed, but adult clothes are expensive.
That's why over the next year or so, I'll be spending less money on Victoria Secret's sweats and more on some actual blouses and pants. My new favorite store has to be this cute online shop. I want everything from there.
Minimalism doesn't mean you can't have a lot of stuff. It's about owning things you'll actually use and getting rid of the extra stuff. Buying nicer furniture, better clothes, and better kitchen appliances means I can get rid of the stuff I've been holding onto that I really don't need.
How will you minimize?
What are you doing to get rid of your junk and invest in nicer things?