Wednesday, September 30, 2009

About This Too Much Stuff Business

Yes. I am glad you all agree with me. We have too much stuff. I found myself thinking about my college apartment yesterday. I think my family could totally fit in that apartment. It was 2 bedroom, 2 bath, had built in shelves all down the little hallway....they don't make apartments like that anymore. Of course, even though my family would fit in that apartment, our STUFF would not.

I really hate to even bring this up because I have talked about this SEVERAL times to ya'll. I get on these kicks every year and then they don't last. But I must keep fighting!!!

Seriously, the time I took half our dishes out of the cabinet and stored them? It didn't work. I didn't wash up the one plate each person had used right away every single time and then someone would come over and we would dig out more bowls for ice cream and they would never get put back up. It makes sense in my mind: one bowl, plate, cup, fork, knife, and spoon for each person in this family. Why should we need more?

But it isn't really the kitchen I'm concerned about today. It's the girls' stuff. Clothing, toys, and books.

I had them go through their books several months ago and pull out what they did not want. They did really well and I listed a bunch of them on but I have found that to be a pain. I mean, we did get 10 "free" books out of the deal, but when I get an e-mail that someone wants my book I just wince. It's always on a week I have so much to do and then I have to add going to the post office. (I know you can print postage, but I haven't done that.)

Truly, we need to have a garage sale but I HATE them. Hosting them, that is. It will draw almost zero English speakers and it's very difficult to handle money, watch your stuff, and communicate not in English the whole time. Plus people are really, really dishonest. At least around here.

There's always Craig's List or Freecycle but that's kind of "Hello! Welcome to our home. Come scope us and our belongings out so you can do crimes in the future!" OK--I'm kind of kidding. I've done both but it's not the way I want to go.

I usually end up setting stuff out by the side of the road. It's usually gone in less than 20 minutes. I hear it's not that way in other cities. One time, we had a new preacher and someone warned him not to set things out or they would be gone. He laid his weed-eater down close to the curb one evening to go get more line from the garage and as he was walking away, a car started slowing down! He RAN back to get his weed eater. I'm serious people. It's an easy way to get rid of things.

I also donate things when trucks such as Salvation Army come by. I want to sell our stuff and get money that we could use, but part of me just says, "Bless others and let God bless you." Most of what we have we did not buy anyway. I've heard of giving a "free garage sale" and just blessing others. I would love to do that if I thought it would go to others who need/want our stuff. But it wouldn't. A couple of folks would load all of it up and take it home for their garage sale.

So, how do you get rid of stuff? Is there a great idea I'm missing?


  1. Does your church have a method of distributing food and clothing to those in need? Would your pastor be able to line you up with people that need something you have?
    Or you could have a "free garage sale" and not advertise it as such. Just wave away their money when they come to pay. That way, you don't have to worry about those who are trying to cheat you. ;)

  2. I totally agree with you on the garage sale, craig's list and freecycle! I dislike them all! I am a very quiet person and to have others come in my home to pick up items makes me think they can come back to break in...but it's never happened, yet.

    I get rid of my daughter's stuff my stuffing boxes to the top and then we take it to the Goodwill or Salvation Army to donate b/c it's less of a hassle for us.

  3. In our area there are a few other options besides the Salvation Army and you can call and schedule a pick up. Purple Heart and Paralyzed Veterans are another. If I have time I will participate in the children's consignment sales. If I don't then I put it on the carport and call one of the above to come get it. I used to let the money issue get to me, but began asking myself the question "How much would I pay to have this place clean an organized, if money were not option?" Usually that makes me perfectly willing to donate what we have and "lose" the money. Although, it is a tax write off and we reap what we sow and I just have to concentrate on the money made on those items helping needy causes.

  4. I usually just pack things up and take them to the local Goodwill. I'm too lazy to try to sell or craigslist stuff!

  5. We used to live in the same area that you live in now and believe me I know about setting stuff up on the curb and it disappearing in like a matter of minutes. It even happens where we are now just not so quickly, it's more like a matter of hours. We just set out stuff for heavy trash yesterday that was literally TRASH and it is gone. If you don't know Spanish as a second language where we are located , it is extremely difficult to have a garage sale, so I feel your pain there.

    Here lately we just pack our stuff in trash bags and take it to one of the three thrift stores on the main street close to us. You know which one I'm talking about. It's so much easier and less hassle for everyone involved.

  6. I am of the school that when you give, God gives back. I have given perfectly good and functional things away (even two sets of bunk beds!), and have never wanted for anything. God has always taken care of our needs.

    A cheerful, giving heart cultivates less of a love for things, and more a love for others. I've found it makes my children less materialistic, and therefore we have less *stuff* lying around.

    And as you well know, I am freakishly organized, so that helps too. :0)

  7. We just had a "free garage sale" at church. It went really well. Called the Salvation Army to pick up what was left. Great way to share kindness and stuff at the same time.

    I love consignment shops too. That way you get money and don't have to set up a table in your front yard.

    My kids have a certain number of tubs on their shelves...when something new doesn't fit in the tubs...something old has to go. No new tubs to fit the new stuff.

    Only three gifts for Christmas. This helped out quite a bit. We used to just shower the kids with stuff on holidays. No longer. It is crazy.


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)