Opening words . . .

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

How to decide what to sell and what to keep

We’ve all been there - that situation or stage in life that requires the sorting and organizing of our belongings, whether we like it or not. It may be in preparation for a move to a new place or just clearing out a space. Decisions around whether to keep items or to sell them can become overwhelming without a strategy for the process.

Determining the value of an item will help bring direction to your decision. The item may have monetary, sentimental or practical value. In preparation for your choices, designate an area where you can put the for-sale items and another space for the items you’ll decide to keep.

$$$ Value

Selling items brings in extra cash, but how do you know how much it is worth? Check out similar or identical products online through buy and sell sites like Kijiji or eBay. Ask friends, family and neighbours when in doubt. Several estimates can give you an idea on the monetary value and the practical side of how much you can actually sell it for in a given venue.

Sentimental Value

It may be the emotional tug that keeps you hanging on to an item. There are creative ways to handle “letting go” of those items for which you are really sacrificing space presently.
Choose a storage container that fits the size of space you can actually spare for storage and keep the space remaining uncluttered.
Be firm, knowing that the process of paring down will bring more contentment than keeping things you really do not need. Remind yourself of the space it will make for the other item you want to use or show.
Take photos of an item and cherish the memory through pictures.
Give the item away to someone else who needs or would really appreciate it. The thought of someone else loving the item can relieve anxiety around giving it up.
Ask a friend to help keep you on track with your overall goal.

Practical Value

Next, let’s consider those items that you’re sure you will use some day, but - haven’t yet. Often items are kept for years, even in original packaging, waiting for the day they will be used. Practice or imagine living without a particular item you are unsure about. Ask yourself some questions:
Did or would you miss or need the item?
Had you forgotten you had the item?
Do you have room for the item now that you are freeing up space?
Could you use the item now that you found it?

Give yourself a timeline. If the item has not been used in the last six months, you know whether you can live happily with or without it. If you can live without it, move it to the sell pile.

For clothing items, it is a well known that saving smaller sizes until weight loss is not as motivating as it seems. It is better to sell or give them away and start with new items as the weight is lost. Without the items hanging in your closet to remind you of failure, it might be the motivating factor that you need. If the item is an expensive item, such as a coat, and you could use the money, sell it and put what you make on it towards one that fits you presently or put the money in savings.

Some items are too valuable to give or sell for whatever the reason. Make the decisions yourself with sound judgement. Don’t let yourself be talked into getting rid of an item if you know you will regret your decision. If you do decide to keep, you can always sell tomorrow!