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What About the Stuff I Can Sell?

A problem most people encounter when they start to embrace minimalism is holding onto items for the wrong reasons. A lot of times we can't get rid of stuff because we feel that the item has a monetary value. The key here is to remember that the best time to get rid of something (with monetary value or not) is right now - and getting some extra cash for it is the exception and not necessarily the rule.


“Someone's going to want this DVD player and I paid a lot for it when I bought it 15 years ago.” So we hold on to it with the intention of selling it on Facebook, at a summer yard sale, or consignment shop. It remains clutter and maybe we’ll eventually get around to taking the time to post it or schlep it across town to consign. When it sits around we start to think the price we’ve set it at might have been wishful thinking. And if we do get a few bites for it, there’s the meet up, the exchange, and the time spent on the whole deal.


We’re not saying it isn’t worth trying to sell items that have monetary value, we just have to decide if it’s worth the time and trouble of selling it just to make a couple bucks.


Let’s face it, almost everything in our home did have appropriate monetary value at one point. But 100% of the items we have are not worth what they were when we bought them.


Last week while moving a piece of furniture out of the living room, Tim knocked over a plant and the soon-to-bud Orchid blossoms broke along with the porcelain pot it was planted in. He was really disappointed that he’d been so clumsy and knew I was really excited about coaxing the orchid to bud again. In the midst of his remorse, I reminded him that it truly didn’t bother me. It was an accident and there was nothing that could be done about it now. After all, it was just a pot and a stem. Not a bleeding arm or a chipped tooth.


My point is that even if they do hold value to us, some things are JUST things. No one gets to their deathbed and says “I really wish I’d collected more phone cases for your inheritance, son.” What matters is that things are replaceable and trying to sell a bunch of stuff is a time-consuming way to make a small amount of money. We just have to decide for ourselves whether our time is more valuable than our things and remember that a home is meant for living, not storing.

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