Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Lightening the load

I'm finally getting around to selling a bunch of items we no longer use or need. They are mostly kid related. I managed to sell two Britax car seats in the last 24 hours and I've listed a Medela pump as well as a crib to sell.

I'll also be giving away a booster chair and will probably list some Cooshie boosters soon. I have a list of other things I'll try to sell soon when I get a chance.

In the meantime, it's been fun "earning" money for things that have just been sitting in storage in the basement.


jewishfarmer said...

We're overdue for a large decluttering (shoulda listened to Chile!). I give most of our stuff to friends or to charity, mostly because I'm too lazy to organize myself for ebay or Craigslist most of the time.

I do keep some things too - I have given away innumerable boxes of baby stuff (as far as I can tell, 4 kids = infinite baby crap), but I kept a box or two of fairly basic things - clothes, blankets, a few toys, bottles, my sling - on the theory that one never knows when these things may be wanted.

Even though I have no intention of having another baby, we've occasionally talked about adopting, so we're not getting rid of everything.


Chile said...

I'm still sorting for a big yard sale tomorrow. In the meantime, I've sold a few things on craigslist and a few on ebay. Generally after a yard sale, we load up the vehicle and donate everything that's left to charity, sorting for appropriate destinations. (Old towels/blankets to the Humane Society, books/multimedia to the Friends of the Library, etc.)

And, Sharon? You can pay me to come out and help you declutter. I've done it for other folks and even held their yard sale for them. 'Course it'd take me a while to get there on my bike... And just because I'm vegan doesn't mean I'll be a pain at dinner. Just throw me some spuds and kale. ;-)

Cave-Woman said...

We just did this...had a big yard sale! It was great. How wonderful to move things on to a new home.
The "rest" we donated to charity at the end of the day.
The next week, I took a few things that were a little too nice for the yard sale and put them in a consignment shop.
And, when I can upgrade my bicycle to one that doesn't hurt my back, I will sell my currently bicycle at Craigslist.
So---yea---All of the above.

Anonymous said...

I haul several boxes to the thrift store every month - we keep a box by the front door and I try to declutter continuously. I've been doing this for about four years and it isn't slowing down. Our attic is half empty, but there is still a lot - five years of revolving roomates' stuff in the attic, books I've read & don't want to keep, things my mom gave me (all my school papers since kindergarten?) when she sold her house. And whatever shelf space I managed to free has been more than eaten up by kids books.

When we started decluttering, I traded a lot of books in at used book stores, but I have more used book store credit than I will ever use. I've occasionally freecycled large objects - a fridge, a table.

About half our baby clothes go to my goddessdaughter, and the rest go to the thrift store or the rag bag, but I have kept 1-2 outfits in each size for sentimental reasons. And we do keep a few too-young toys around for when people with babies visit.

We have regular clothing swaps and I try to save my clothes for those, but after an item has been through 2 or 3 swaps and no one wants it, it goes to the thrift store.

I'm not a big spender but I'm definitely an acquirer, so this is a constant issue for us. My folks just came to visit, fished the singing elvis dog they sent us out of the giveaway box and put batteries in it, so now my son is all attached to it again. Grrr.

Green Bean said...

Most people opt for donating to charity and it seems like a great option. When we do donate to charity, I separate them out like Chile so I make sure that the items find a home that will use them. Dumping a bunch of bags off at the Goodwill does not mean those items will necessarily find their way into a Goodwill store and back into commerce. Breakable items may be broken and tossed. Sets might be lost (I try to pack them together when I do donate this way). And more than once, my sister and I have discovered perfectly good items in the Goodwill or similar trash bin. My sister's friend recently found a giant Barbie castle (no comment, this is not mine!) in her Goodwill trash can that was in fine condition. She offered to pay the worker for it and he took the money.

It's not that I think we shouldn't donate to charity. If you can find a charity (like a pet shelter, nursing home, foster care) that can and will use your items, I absolutely believe you should donate them there first. Just remember that places that re-sell the items at thrift shops often throw out or lose some of the items so, in my opinion, they sould be one of the last stops if you want to make sure your castoffs don't cast into a landfill.

Jenette said...

T have been keeping a box in my closet for things to 'donate'. I give the first choice to family and friends. Then if its a small amount I try to Freecycle ... if its a lot I donate to charity. Up till a few years ago it all went straight to charity then I found people I knew actually wanted my old things :)

JessTrev said...

Clothing we pass on to multiple family members. Random stuff that has a specific purpose I tend to freecycle. I also give some stuff away/sell a few big items (almost new stroller, amby bed) via our local parenting listserv. But some stuff (like a nice highchair that I got as a hand me down) I give directly to charities. I did that with a bunch of my maternity stuff when I did not know another mom who could use it. I used to work at a place that helped families who were transitioning from homelessness to home ownership. I agree with those who note that dumping piles of stuff on charities is not always the best way to ensure that your used stuff gets good use. Freecycle is a great tool, imho.

Anonymous said...

I tend to pass on clothes to other mom's with younger kids - otherwise I send them to the community center thrift store that I also am a shopper at - they resell items and use the profits for offering aftershool activities that are fun and affordable for working families.

I've noticed that our local craigslist people have gotten a tad bit greedy - trying to sell used items for the same sale price as a new one at walmart or toysrus. And I've seen tons of sob stories out there on the wanted section. Our Freecycle got like that so I stopped reading it because I would find it such a drag. I don't like seeing ads like
"Single SAHM of 4 needs new leather sofa set"

Katie said...

Until recently, I just threw everything out. I live in Manhattan, no car, definitely not easy to get rid of things any other way.

However, since losing nearly 80 lbs and gaining so much energy, I now look at trips to charity shops or Freecycle pick-ups/drop-offs as fitness opportunities. Unfortunately, a recent attempt to get rid of my nicer "fat clothes" didn't go so well...I showed up at a Housing Works thrift store where the clothes were WAY nicer than the stuff I'd brought. Think Banana Republic v. Old Navy. Now I know to make the extra effort to make sure that all dumping happens and appropriate dump sites.

Assuming that Jet Blue doesn't impose the one-bag-per-passenger check-in rule before May 21, I'll be bringing old summer clothes and a few small household items to Mexico, where a few local charities (literacy library, disabled kids home) hold flea markets to raise money.

Anonymous said...

One option you didn't mention is consignment stores. We have a great kids' shop near our house. We don't have friends or relatives to hand-me-down to, so I take my daughter's nicer things to the consignment shop and either trade them for the next size of clothing or receive a check later, which I put into our emergency fund.

Then I donate clothes (still usable) to charity. Household stuff and "not great but with a use for somebody" (landscape timbers, a broken dishwasher) I try on Freecycle.

In our neighborhood, too, some things go out in the trash or on the street with a "free" sign and often get picked up before the garbage collectors come. We have a bench on our front porch made from a neighbor's tossed-out bench and another neighbor's old sofa cushions; a fire pit in our back yard that another neighbor set out; and I'm going to make a yarn swift from someone's discarded, broken patio umbrella. So supporting the trash-picking cycle is another way to recycle and share the wealth.

craftydabbler said...

Just a word about car seats. After a car seat is 6 years old it shouldn't be used any longer because there is break down due to uv in the straps. The hard plastic shell is recyclable though. You have to remove the straps, cloth and padding, which you could use for other things that aren't responsible for protecting your child's life. Ok, I'm off the soap box now. : )

Anonymous said...

Most of mine was used before we laid hands on it, so I don't feel too bad about it if the thrift store ends up dumpstering it - though I try to keep the quality up so they don't have to pay the dump fee.

It does make you think, though, when you're going through your shirt drawer (I have one drawer for shirts, and 8 inches of closet hanging space for them, so I weed pretty regularly) - if these shirts aren't even good enough for the thrift store, why am I still wearing them? I've gotten so I don't buy some kinds of fabric, even used, because they aren't absorbent enough to use for rags when they wear out, or sturdy enough for crafts.

Robj98168 said...

LOL Slavation Army is doing real well as of late! That is were most of my goodies go. Occasionaly I freecycle things. All because of Chile and her Cut the Crap Challenge. But it is amazing to me how much crap I have and how I always found room to put it in the house. Of course the walls are bulging and there will be an implosion any minute.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Boy do I ever have stuff I need to get rid of, but it all takes time. You're doing great work. Keep it up and congrats.

Anonymous said...

We are still working through all the boxes in our garage. What we do with the excess depends on what it is. We have had some luck with Craigslist and Consignment stores. We didn't have any luck on Ebay, in fact I think we lost money so we don't do that anymore. Most things we Freecycle or take to Goodwill partly because it is just easier.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that I've been thinking about you and your family this week and sending good thoughts your way. Hope Mr. Crunchy is having as easy a time as possible with such a difficult procedure.


Crunchy Chicken said...

Woohoo! I just sold the crib!

Anonymous said...

I hear that! I am enjoying giving things away (or, to be honest, promising that I will get them into the car to give away as soon as I bring the many bags of bottles to the recycling place....) but getting money for them can be even nicer :)