Stop Trying to Make Money Off Your Old Stuff & Just Let It Go

I began purging my home of unused and unwanted items roughly three years ago. At first, it was easy for me to make separate piles for keeping, selling, and donating. I enthusiastically added items to the donate pile, and I listed newer or high-value items on eBay and Facebook garage sale groups. I sold quite a few items this way and it felt good to make a little extra cash.

Even four years into minimalism and decluttering, I do a total house purge about twice a year. Granted, the purges are much smaller now, but I find a periodic purge is a good way to fight back against the clutter creep. The clutter creep is what I call that (inevitable?) accumulation of stuff, such as kids party favors, broken toys, unused nail polish, or socks with no pair.

I’m still in the middle of my spring purge, but I’m surprised by how many things I’m still pulling out. Frankly, I don’t understand how some of these items made it through previous purges.

Here are some items I’ve finally accepted to part with this time around:

  • My wedding dress
  • Antique dinnerware
  • Baby toys
  • Diaper pail
  • 2 large backpacks
  • Drafting table
  • Unused desk
  • 2 unused night stands
  • Old stereo
  • Old nail polish

Besides the baby related items, every other item on this list has not been used in years. YEARS! Why did it take me four years of purging to finally let these items go?

Some of these items are pricier pieces and I decided to list them on eBay and Facebook garage sale groups to try and make a few bucks. Unlike my previous attempts to make a little cash with unwanted items, this time around nobody wants my old stuff. I keep reposting and updating the listings, hoping to entice someone to purchase my stuff. I’ve literally spent hours on it.

Then last night, as I was checking my phone for the billionth time to see if I’d sold anything, I had an epiphany. I’d been convinced that someone would give me money for these items because I had spent a lot of money on them. But the truth is, most people don’t want old stuff. They don’t want a stereo with a 5-disc CD changer, just like I don’t. They don’t want 2 nightstands with water rings on the top, just like I don’t. I can’t even find someone to buy my wedding dress for $30.

For me, one of the hardest parts of decluttering is realizing all of the money I spent on items that ultimately had little long-term value for me. Sure, I wore my wedding dress on my wedding day for a few hours and it looks great in the pictures, but honestly looking back, even spending $1,000 on my dress was too much.

Moving Forward & Letting Go

I’ve decided to focus my energy on the much-needed next part of my minimalism journey – accepting and understanding that I’ve made purchasing mistakes in the past, and just letting it go. I can’t change the past, but moving forward I can commit to bringing fewer items into my home. I need to be more open to giving items away, instead of always trying to make a “quick” buck.

5 thoughts on “Stop Trying to Make Money Off Your Old Stuff & Just Let It Go

  1. I did my spring purge with our most recent move and I had a similar issue. I tried to sell 3 bar stools that I ended up just donating. For me it was more of a hassle to keep following up on a potential sale than just using it as a tax write off by donating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, exactly! You have to choose a point when the amount of time you’ve spent trying to sell an item makes it no longer worth the money. Your time is worth something too.


  2. This post really resonates with me. I have tons of stuff I think I’m going to sell, that I can’t part with because of the cost of acquiring it in the first place. Now I’m thinking of all the energy in keeping it around. Great post.


  3. I say true, except if you have anything you KNOW right off hand is worth alot of value. When I cleared house for clothes, I took band shirts and brand name items and sold those items, but anything else I donated/gave away that I knew I couldn’t make a “quick buck” off of. It wasn’t worth the time really.


  4. What an epiphany. It’s so simple, but so hard to accept – why would someone want what I have when I don’t even want it? I really resonate with the wedding dress situation too. I held on to it thinking “oh my future daughter would want this” but two boys later I’m still holding on to it. It’s time to let go. Thanks for the motivation!


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