We Have Too Much Stuff

We’ve decided we are going to RV full time. That means everything we own has to fit in forty feet, be stored somewhere, or sold. I say again, if it’s going with us, it’s all about the size and the weight. Before we decided to move to a motor home, we agreed it was time to downsize. You will quickly ask yourself, how did we get all this stuff? And do I really need it?

When we had to clean out both sets of parents homes after their passing, we found fifty years of never, ever, throwing anything away. How many times growing up did you hear, “You might need it some day.” In their defense, they lived closer to the depression than we did and understood what going without REALLY means. To our generation it just means we have to go to the store or order more online. After our parental housecleaning experiences we vowed we would never put this on our children. Our house has to be downsized by us and before . . .

How to do this? We started with the children and siblings. I have Mom’s this, or Dad’s that. Do you want it or would your children want to keep it in the family? You’ve always admired my (your precious possession goes here.) Would you like to have it? You will quickly learn, sentimental value is a thing of the past. Your children don’t want your china. They probably don’t ever use the dining room.

You will also quickly realize, there is a reason you kept this “stuff” for all these years. Family photos come to mind first. Maybe it was a special gift from someone you love. Maybe it was an award or memento from your career. Or perhaps it is something you worked long and hard to obtain and just can’t say goodbye. That’s OK. Rent a storage unit. You’ve had it this long, what’s a little more time, because once it’s gone, won’t you feel silly trying to buy another just like it, if that is even possible?

So, you’ve made the decision of what you will keep “forever” (or until the next downsizing) and what is to go. Now what? It doesn’t matter what you paid for it, it only matters what someone will pay you for it. If you remember that, the process gets easier. Case in point, we had umpteen CD’s and DVD’s. There is no market for these. We did find however, http://www.declutter.com. They buy both. Well sort of. You put in the bar code number and they will tell you no, or we’ll pay X for it! The range for our CD/DVD’s was as little as twelve cents and as much as two dollars plus. And they pay the shipping! It’s not about the money, it’s all about decluttering.

We went on e-bay but you’d better figure your shipping correctly. One purchaser was from New Zealand and the cost to ship was way more than the item itself. Fortunately, he was honest and told me that before I accepted the offer. I listed a large framed photograph. The actual cost to ship was $96.00! Yikes. So know your shipping cost, figure in how much e-bay’s cut will be, and how much Pay Pal’s cut will be. Again, it’s not about the money, it’s about decluttering. If you loose money on every deal, you can’t make it up with volume.

The best way to sell your stuff seems to be Facebook Marketplace or your local neighborhood community website. The viewers are close, can come see it in person, there is no shipping, and they come to you. We found the response time to be very fast. We sold all three Christmas trees within hours. When I listed Kathryn’s car after that bas_ _ _ d, I mean neighbor hung us out to dry, we had 119 requests for more information and photos within twenty four hours. And it’s free to list!

UPDATE: We just went thru our closets. Why did I have twelve pairs of pants again? I was able to reduce this to only seven pairs, but guess what? These along with the reduced amount of shirts, shorts, shoes, sweaters, coats, and underwear are not going to fit in the amount of closet space in a motor home? Reduce again? Put some in the storage and next year have an updated wardrobe? Stay tuned!


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