Renovation & Design

Purging unwanted items can be lucrative

If you're never going to use an item, turn it into cash

Laurie Mustard / Winnipeg Free Press

Anyone want to buy a... what is this thing? If you know, help Laurie out.

I’ve got the urge to purge, and man, does it feel great!

A couple of weeks ago, I took a good look at all the things I’ve collected over the years, and made an executive decision.

I decided to go through absolutely everything I own — I mean everything — and assess what to do with it.

The goal, when all is said and done, is to get rid of anything I don’t need. Out of sight, out of mind. And I’m not talking about throwing it all away. I decided to sell what I can sell, give away stuff that is still good but has no retail value, and discard all that I determine to be garbage.

Yes, I’ve been here before, but only in a half-hearted way. The difference this time being that I have RESOLVE!

No more procrastination, I’m acting on it.

Yes, this is going to take a while. I’ll be happy if, by the time the snow flies, this project is pretty much finished, accomplished. Feels so good to be finally actually doing this!

Yes, motivation matters, so I asked myself, as you can: "What do I have, that has value, perhaps significant value, that I’m not using, won’t use, but could really use the money I’d get from selling it?"

Why let something of value sit and deteriorate, when you could use the equity in it to improve your quality of life now? So many of us wish we had the money to buy a new fridge, or go on a trip, and don’t realize we already have that money, but in a different form.

However, please note, before you sell anything, it is always worth your while to do your homework regarding the value of your sale item(s), because if you take less than it’s worth, you’re just giving away money that should be yours. Don’t do that.

By the same token, don’t overprice stuff that you truly want gone.

My approach: I’m going through targeted areas, bringing whatever I want to sell to my garage, advertising it online, and away she goes. It’s outta here. Once it hits the garage, however it happens, the next step is off the property. Period.

Unused stuff that you can convert to cash doesn’t necessarily have to be something from a shelf in the garage. It might be jewelry you purchased long ago or maybe inherited. Bottom line, though, find some safe way to determine its real worth, so you get the full retail value for it, rather than a token picker price. YOU should be the one to benefit most from the sale of your property. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of. And that jewelry type stuff? Yeah, don’t sell that from your garage...

By the way, equally important to finally committing to part with stuff is committing NOT to replace it. I will be focusing my attention on a few doable projects, while enjoying the uncluttered space I have to do them in. Happy sigh.

I’m pleased to say I’m already making considerable progress. I did not know I had 14 cistern pumps. I now have two, which I’ll keep. Much better. Four lawn chairs and cushions that got stacked in a shed a few years ago — gone. Lots of things moved along already, way more to go. Soon I’ll be selling a dozen or so old wrought iron beds that I "saved" over the years. Do I paint them up and sell them one at a time, or as-is in a bunch? Hopefully they are history by the time you read this.

Bonus: I’m finding stuff I thought was lost forever — also some "mystery" treasures, like the aluminum thing you see above. What IS this thing? I’ll include the answer in next week’s column.

PURGE I tell ya’, it feels FABULOUS!

Comments or feedback, love to hear from you!


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