Sell, Toss or Store: How to Decide What to Do with Your Unwanted Items

25 November 2014 by

If you have made the decision to remove items from your house, you’re usually faced with three options: sell, toss (either by throwing away or donating) or store. Even though you could choose any of these options for virtually all of the items in question, it’s worth exploring the reason why you would pick one of these paths.

Before you put everything in a black trash bag and drop it off somewhere, properly pick how you will discard all of your items.

When to Sell

As appealing as it may sound to get money for all your unwanted trinkets, selling isn’t always the best option. Before you put everything on Craigslist, decide if what you have is worth buying and determine the proper way to sell it.

Online Sales

If you have large, expensive items you’re getting rid of like furniture or electronics, it may be worthwhile to explore selling these items online. These are highly searched for goods and will make the, sometimes drawn out, process of selling your items online a worthy endeavor.

Garage Sales

The above-mentioned appliances can be sold at garage sales as well, but may not sell for as much. For garage sales, make sure you have enough items to warrant having a sale in the first place and feature the items that are still in good condition, but don’t have nearly as much lasting value like lamps, dishes and inexpensive sporting goods.

When to Store

Deciding what to store can be incredibly difficult. If the product is something you need it’s understandable that you may want it in the house. If it’s something you don’t use, it may make more sense to just get rid of it.

When it comes to storing you have to see long-term value in the items in question, but little short-term value. The type of things that would fall into this category can be:

  • Out-of-date, but handy equipment (baby furniture that may be useful in the future)
  • Seasonal gear (lawn mowers out of use in the winter)
  • Nostalgic, but unusable items (a wedding dress)

When to Toss

This may be the easiest category to determine. If you don’t have any interest in an item and can’t imagine why someone else would, it may be toss-worthy. Things that are expired in usefulness (cassette tapes) or damaged should be properly recycled.

If you have things like clothing that have simply become useless in your home, but may have value elsewhere, make the decision to donate them.

Now that you know what items constitute a particular path for removal from your house, it’s important to make plans for your stuff as you organize. Ramsey Johansson, an organizer and designer, recommends a pre-planning strategy for reorganizing.

“Staging areas for sorting are important. Set up areas for ‘keep,’ ‘toss,’ ‘sell’ and ‘donate.’ Determine ahead of time where donated items will go, and if you’re selling items, how they are to be sold. Plan to remove as much as possible at the end of the organizing session in the trash bin, or by dropping it off for donation or consignment,” says Johansson. “It is very rewarding to see the empty space left after the clutter is cleared.”

Know your options before you start clearing out your home. The more prepared you are going in, the better the results will be.