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To follow the thread about buying too much crap, I wonder if many of you have difficulty with getting rid of stuff. I no longer buy crap and I find it extremely liberating (as well as good for my purse). However, because of my frugal side, I have difficulty letting go of things that I already own but no longer need. For a concrete example, I still have several boxes of disquettes even though I swear only by my USB key. Also, I have boxes of stuff advertized online that never sold. I still keep them... maybe another garage sale one day... Anyone in a similar boat ? How do you deal with this ? Sometimes I just feel like hauling everything to a church or value village and breathe the freedom, the packrat frugal side be damned :D

Dave
 

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I wish I could offer you advice, but I'm in the same boat....waiting for some words of wisdom. This I know, though - sometimes it's just good to let go.
 

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I'm slowly but surely purging my surplus "stuff". There's tons of things that I have that don't serve any useful purpose that just take up space. I'm selling them or giving them away bit by bit.

It's liberating to not be so attached to things...
 

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For me there's no attachment issue, it's more a problem of logistics. I have tons of stuff that I plan to get rid of, but I want to get rid of it responsibly (both fiscally and socially/environmentally). That means not just hauling it out to the curb for the garbage collectors, and that slows down my purging considerably.

So far, I've taken the followng tactics:

Books: I've cut my book collection by more than half over the past five or six years. In the past I would read a book and if I loved it I'd keep it so I could read it again someday. But 90% of the books in my collection are books that I've read only once, and some of them are books I read once 20 years ago. Most of them are available from my local library if I ever do decide I want to reread them. So out they went. I sold a dozen or two on Amazon, sold a few boxes to local booksellers, tried (without success) to donate the rest to libraries and bookstores, and ended up giving them to Goodwill.

CDs: I'm a pretty serious musician and have a large CD collection, a few thousand. They're all in boxes in the basement and because we listen almost exclusively to music on the computer or iPod these days, those CDs have stayed in their boxes for the past five years. So most of them are going too -- it's harder (but not impossible) to sell CDs on Amazon, but mostly I'm giving them away to friends. The ones I can't give away will be pitched; I don't have time to try to sell them as there are too many.

Clothing: This one's easy: if I haven't worn it in the past year, out it goes to Goodwill. I do a purge every change of season.

Photograph albums: I scanned the photos and slides I really wanted to keep, and now they're all stored on my computer (and I keep an offsite backup). The originals went out in the trash. That got rid of a few boxes.

Electronics: Old computers, modems, disk drives, etc. have a way of hanging around after they're no longer being used. I found a small nonprofit in my city that takes this old equipment and finds new uses for it either in local nonprofits or they ship them to developing countries. So I donated most of my old electronics to them and got a tax deduction as a reward.

Paper files: I used to save all kinds of articles, stories, whatever caught my eye as something I might like to read in the future. Over a couple of cold, wet winter weekends I went through all those files and got rid of more than 3/4 of them. There's a shredding service in town, so I boxed it all up and took it in to be shredded (some of those files were things like ancient electric bills etc. that had my name and address on them).

Hardware and equipment: I remember once going to a yard sale and seeing a big red pulley and thinking, "oh, I could use one of those someday." I hauled that pulley around with me for a decade or more from apartment to apartment, and it finally dawned on my that I would never find a use for it. I've got quite a few things like that in the basement, and again I'm just waiting for a rainy weekend to go down and look at it all with a cold, fresh eye and get rid of the things that realistically I will never use.

It's true that occasionally I've gotten rid of things that I end up having to buy again a few years later when the need arises. And it's true that occasionally I've gotten rid of a book that I end up missing later on. But those are rare exceptions. The overall feeling I get from my purging of stuff is one of lightness and freedom. But boy, does it take time. It would be a lot easier to just have someone haul it away and be done with it, but my conscience would knaw at me knowing that all that stuff just went to the landfill when it could have been useful to someone else.
 

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If you don't have time to sort things yourself and/or bring them to the local thrift shops, call your churches or said local thrift shops...I am sure they have volunteers who can pop by and pick up your stuff at your convenience.

Or check with your local FreeCycle group, you never know because your trash maybe another person's treasure.
 

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To follow the thread about buying too much crap, I wonder if many of you have difficulty with getting rid of stuff. I no longer buy crap and I find it extremely liberating (as well as good for my purse). However, because of my frugal side, I have difficulty letting go of things that I already own but no longer need. For a concrete example, I still have several boxes of disquettes even though I swear only by my USB key. Also, I have boxes of stuff advertized online that never sold. I still keep them... maybe another garage sale one day... Anyone in a similar boat ? How do you deal with this ? Sometimes I just feel like hauling everything to a church or value village and breathe the freedom, the packrat frugal side be damned :D

Dave
I hear you. Decluttering is very liberating indeed. Letting go “stuff” is pretty tough since I was (or maybe I still am) a pack rat also. I must admit it gets easier as the ball gets rolling. Since last year, my wife and I started to purge our unused belongings. We list them in Craiglist, Kijiji, and UsedEverwhere with much success. We decrease the prices on each renewal, and on 4th renewal - they're FREE! Everything disappears quickly at this point. Had one garage sale this year and we are hoping to have another one. Whatever is not sold WILL be donated. Nice to get cash out of the “non-appreciating assets” and invest.:)
 

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I don't have a problem with getting rid of stuff. Moving a lot in my twenties made me clear out over and over so I live fairly lean and mean now. In an ideal world I'd live in one of the tiny apartments they showcase on Apartment Therapy, but the husband won't have that. Most of my books and all of my CDs are gone at this point. Freecycle, Craigslist and Bookmooch have been pretty decent resources for decluttering over the years.
 

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I'm in the middle of moving right now, and I have donated approximately ten gazillion books to a local hospital (they were VERY appreciative), and have given a ton of CDs to friends.

I have some stuff/collectibles (what my wife calls 'junk') that I'm saving for my son, such as certain toys still in the package. If only I had some Star Wars figures (still in package) from when I was a kid!!!
 

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Had a yard sale last weekend, and made $80 selling useless things (excuse me, things other people consider useful). Everything that did not sell went to Goodwill. What a liberating feeling.

In the process, I discovered the long-lost calla lilly bulbs my wife's been looking for all spring, so brownie points for me! They were even sprouting in the basement.
 

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I've got a pile of old issues of The Economist wasting space on some shelves at home. I've thought about trying to sell them on eBay, but then again, it would be much easier to dump them in the recycling bin...

Unfortunately, I was raised by a family of pack rats; I was never very good at decluttering.
 

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I've got a pile of old issues of The Economist wasting space on some shelves at home. I've thought about trying to sell them on eBay, but then again, it would be much easier to dump them in the recycling bin...

Unfortunately, I was raised by a family of pack rats; I was never very good at decluttering.
You may want to donate said magazines to your local library or church. I would like to see students and kids continuing to develop a strong love for reading even though they are getting bombarded with the latest tech toys and gears.

I find reading to be a very rewarding hobby, it's cheap, relaxing and empowering, all at once.
 

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Over the weekend, I got rid of an old bicycle by donating it to Cycles Nord-Sud, a Québec-based organization that takes old bicycles, fixes them up, and delivers them to developing countries. They were even able to tell me when and where my bike is going to go for its next life (Cuba, next week).

Their website is www.cyclonordsud.org but for those of you in other provinces I bet there are similar services available.

I had to contribute $12 to help defray the costs of shipping, but they gave me a tax receipt for $100, so I come out ahead.
 

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I was a pack rat for many years until recently when we moved. There was so much stuff that we had many extra unwanted boxes we din't want to take with us. It dawned on me then that I should better be getting rid of stuff. At least the ones that I haven't used in many years.

Since then I have been posting my stuff on kijiji.com and khrido.com It has been a great help, and I am enjoying it. Side effect is that while browsing through I see many items that I could "use" and end up contacting the sellers :eek:
 

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Books and magazines are the hardest thing for me to get rid of. I can't bear to get rid of them.

I'm toying with giving them away to a hospital or putting the books up on book mooch. The second idea seems like it would take more energy than it is worth. I'd have to catalogue them all, ack. My girlfriend, a bookmooch fan, has offered to do this...so whatever floats her boat!

Clothes I usually just donate to Sally Ann.

Old video games are another problem. I never know what to do with them. They are from older consoles that no one uses anymore, and I guess I could try to get store credit from ebgames, but I don't really play video games anymore. I guess I could list them on kijiji and see what happens.
 
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