What to Do with All the ____@____.com We Have Accumulated over the Last 10 Years?

Updated on July 28, 2011
M.S. asks from Chicago, IL
14 answers

My family is moving into a smaller house. We have 2 kids and have accumulated so much ____@____.com over the last 10 years. We have mostly clothes, housewares and toys. We have some stuff that is probably junk and some stuff that might be worth something. To top it all off - my mom passed away 4 years ago and I took so much stuff from her house because at the time I wasn't ready to let it go. Now - it needs to go. I am just curious to know what other people do to get rid of their stuff. I have a bunch of questions.

Should I just donate it all to goodwill, salvation army or a church rummage sell and be done with it?
Is it worth the time to list some of the nicer stuff on ebay or craigslist? Where have you had more luck selling stuff? What kind of stuff sells?
Is a yard sell worth it?
What about consignment for the clothes (it is mostly kids clothes)?

Another question I have is we are currently saving all my 3 year olds toys for my 1 year old. Is this silly? Should I just thin the toys out and just save a few favorites?

Thanks in advance!

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answers from Lansing on

Yard sale it first, then donate what is left over. (Price the stuff to sell) I would also thin the toys out.

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answers from Chicago on

Yard sales take time. CraigsList or eBay can be successful to sell some items, takes less time. I vote for CraigsList over eBay because it's less work for me - but my success has been mixed. A stroller went really quick. Other items, not so much.

My preference is to donate - it's less time consuming. I have bags or boxes around the house that are always there, and when I spot something that we've outgrown or is not used, in it goes. Broken toys or cheap toys just get pitched.

Interesting perspective that may be helpful. My 6 year old was not listening, bad attitude. Sent her to her room. She started throwing things. I calmly went into her room with garbage bags and started throwing everything away. I explained she had too much and wasn't taking care of it and it was time to get rid of everything (Ok, books went into a box). But everything else went into garbage bags. Her room now has her bed, her desk, a book case (holding 2 books and her piggy bank) and 2 stuffed animals.

20 minutes later, she said "Mom, I love my room". She has markers and paper on her table and she spends tons of time in her room drawing now.

Good Will you have to drive to drop things off. Other organizations come to your door to take things off your hands (Cancer Federation, Vietnam Veterans, Epilepsy Foundation to name a few).

As for things from your Mom, if something has a fond memory tied to it, consider taking a picture of it.

For saving toys from your 3 year old for your 1 year old, same vote of saving a couple favorites, and donating the rest. Keep things like blocks or legos or bikes. Other than that, bless someone else with it.

The more "stuff" you get rid of, the better off you are. Easier to keep your house clean (takes my 6 year old 4 minutes to clean her room now), and easier to find things. I'm on an infinite cycle of reduce, reduce, reduce.

Good luck!

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answers from Chicago on

We needed to do a yard sale this year and I was totally dreading it because I thought it would be so much work. In the end it really wasn't all that bad. For a few weeks we piled all the stuff for the sale in the garage - I'd do a clean sweep through a closet or shelf and put anything for the sale by the back door, and then we'd bring it out the garage on our way outside. The day of the sale we dragged everything out and for the first hour or so of the sale I walked around putting price tags on things. It wasn't terribly organized, but the first day I made around $80. I'd recommend scheduling a sal. army pick-up for the day after your sale to clear out whatever is left. You'll make more money on craigslist or ebay, but that just wasn't worth my time (you have to take pictures, load on the computer, do the listing, respond to interested parties, set-up times for people to come and look and then usually they don't show up). I'd only do that for expensive items that are worth the time. gl.



answers from Beaumont on

I'd just divide it into groups, craigslist, salvation army, throw away and keep. How involved can you get past that? When do you move??

Regarding saving the toys, I'd just save the favorites.



answers from Chicago on

I made about $300 from a yard sale. After it was all organized and ready to go (not that fun), it was actually kind of fun. But another great resource I use now is Freecycle. It's an online giveaway system.

Good luck!


answers from Milwaukee on

If you have the time and energy to put together a yard sale I would do that first. For me that is never an option because I work 10 hours late night on Thursday and all I want to do on Friday is clean, hang out with daughter and do nothing.

If you do the yard sale whatever does not sell go the Goodwill route, maybe take some of the nice kids clothing to the consigment store.

We just cleaned out our garage, we have stuff sitting at the curb right now and tomorrow (which is trash day) I will remove the items from the curb and take them to Goodwill. As I said before no time in my week for a garage sale and we want the stuff out now. Next few weeks we are going through the basement.

For the kids toys keep the items you think are the best. We live in a small two bedroom house, just one kid and that kid stuff takes over. I have been weeding through my daughter's stuff as well as our stuff so we have a place for everything instead of piles everywhere. If you know the size of your new house, storage areas, decide on what can fit and what has to go. When you get to the house you can also see what fits or is too much and make another goodwill or similar run once you have it figured out.



answers from Chicago on

I would say the EASIEST and quickest thing to do in your case would be to estimate how much you think everything is worth and give it all to Goodwill. Be sure to generally jot down what you are donating, especially the items worth more (and if they are really worth more, do try ebay for a few things) - you'll get a tax credit for it! good luck


answers from Detroit on

I have had GREAT luck selling stuff on Craigs List. Baby & Kid stuff (high chairs, pack n plays, swings....) go pretty quick. I always say cash only and buyer must pick up. I have taken kids clothes to a store that will give you cash, but it's hardly anything, so I prefer to donate.



answers from Chicago on

i love buying & selling stuff on napervilleyardsales.com also known as bookoo.com



answers from Pittsburgh on

Unless the kids clothes are very new and higher quality, consignment won't be a good option for the clothes. You might try a "bag of 3T boy clothes" ad on craigslist--make sure the 'season' of the clothes is the same--like with like in a group.
As for the furniture--you might sell the nicer stuff & just donate the excess. Shelters and rehab programs are always glad to get furniture!
Yard sales--eh--I've had 3 or 4 and IMO it's just not worth the work, considering people want a new pair of kids jeans for .50!
With a yard sale, if your prices aren't low, you're going to still have the stuff anyway.
Is there a family at your church that would be blessed by the donation of the furniture and clothing?
Most of my kids clothes I pass along to people that I know personally that can use it. Toys--donate to local pre-schools and day cares, books/mags go to our local nursing home.
Personally with the toys, I would save a few "big ticket" items for the O. yo and donate the rest.



answers from Chicago on

Get rid of the broken stuff. I would thin out the toys. And toss anything that hasn't been used in 1 year.


answers from Washington DC on

Anything that is in GOOD to GREAT condition donate. There are many people out there suffering right now and could use the clothes and toys.

I personally wouldn't save my 3 years old toys...let someone else enjoy them - right now they are taking up space and causing you more headaches...I would save MAYBE one or two of the favorites.

it's OKAY to live with bare minimums...it's OKAY NOT to live in EXCESS...I've been trimming my house down to get rid of the materialistic side...they are THINGS...what's most important is my family...so instead of looking around at the possessions...look at your children and then find out what you NEED from there...

If you have the time and need the money - craigslist and ebay things but if you don't - then donate, donate, donate....

I haven't had a lot of experience selling clothes on ebay...I've sold collectibles and toys, etc...my sister in law sells nothing but clothing on ebay - however, she sells the "label" items not just something from Wal-Mart or Target...for the kids clothes - consignment might work as well however, many consignment shops are deluged with kids clothing so before you take the stuff in - look and see what they have...if their racks are full and no one seems to be buying, then you won't be seeing money anytime soon....

Try a garage/yard/moving sale....that will get rid of a lot of it - at least I would HOPE it would! :) and then go from there.



answers from Chicago on

The real questions for you are:

Do you have the time to do a yard sale?
Or do you have the time to separate out the nicer clothes and go to a consignment store or set up on ebay or craigslist?

I have done the yard sale this summer...made over $500 but the work was SO much plus working full time. I was going to have another one, but decided it wasn't worth my time.

I did ebay and that took so much time to make the clothes perfect and then try to get them to the post office. I only made about $30 off of 10 really nice items. SO not worth my time.

Share your toys with another mom that has a kid that's in the middle that would return them when your 1 yr old gets to that stage. I did that and it made both families happy.

It's easier to just give things away. There's Goodwill, and shelters around.

Really look at your time and decide if it's worth it for the money that you may or may not make.

I've had one other garage sale and made $40 in 3 days and it was horrible. Share freely and you'll probably be happier.




answers from Detroit on

I would start out by discarding anything that is broken, outdated or worn out like clothing. Second, organize the good stuff--clothes, toys, housewares. I would do a yard sale, but check with your city to make sure whether you need to pull a permit or not. In my experience, toys and housewares sell well in a yard sale. Clothes, not so much. Consignment stores are great, but they can be picky on what they take. I would call them and ask what they'd take first. No sense wasting a trip. It's a great idea to keep some of your 3 year old's toys depending on the space you have. I would definitely keep the pricey/good quality toys like Little Tikes stuff. Kids enjoy building toys, riding toys, and noisemakers most. Anything else, I'd put in the yard sale. Whatever is left over after the yard sale can be donated. Some charities like Purple Heart can be called and they will pick the stuff up.

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