Sunday, March 27, 2016

Downsizing For a Move - An eBay Seller's Perspective

We all have lots of stuff, despite the fact that right now it's very IN to be minimalist. I am not against stuff, but I am against "junk" and "junky stuff." My favorite minimalist gurus advocate purpose and joy. Do the items you own serve a purpose and bring you joy?

Downsizing for a move will make you take a good hard look at all the stuff you have and forces you to ask these questions. There are two types of people: those who can easily part with stuff, and those who can't. We all know which category we fall into. My husband and I are opposites in this regard. I can get rid of stuff all day long but he always thinks we might "need" it later.

Regardless of which type you are, if your move is necessitating a downsize you'll just have to do it.

Traditionally there are three piles for those who are downsizing. KEEP, DONATE, TRASH.
Us eBayers though, I find, will have a voice nagging us when we go to donate something;
"You could sell that you know, it's worth probably $30 on eBay."

If you plan ahead enough, and don't feel incredibly stressed out - definitely sell some of your higher dollar items that you are downsizing.

I do feel incredibly stressed out though, and the idea of listing a bunch of my "junk" on eBay makes my stomach turn. (I much prefer to buy someone else's junk and sell that - yes I understand this is counterintuitive but if you're a fellow reseller I'm sure you're with me on this.)

So I've alleviated the guilt of the "you could get $10-$30 for that on eBay" items by donating them directly to organizations that will get the BEST use of them. Here are some examples:

Old Blankets, towels, sheets - Animal Shelter
Nicer Blankets, towels, sheets - Women's shelter/Homeless Shelter
Toys, books - and organization like Samaritan House which helps to put women and children into stable environments.
Clothing - the trickiest of all, can sometimes be donated directly to shelters, Winter items are often collected by churches, and of course pass clothes on to friends and family with children slightly younger than yours
Baby stuff - to your pregnant friends, or friends who have pregnant daughters, or pregnancy crisis organizations
Tools/Garage items - Habitat for Humanity
Pantry items that cannot be moved - A Local Food Pantry

And of course donating to thrift stores is fine too (and much easier).

What I've done is started a yard sale box in the garage, Animal Shelter box, friends/family box (items I want to return or give to family, like the dress you borrowed from your sister last year, or that special heirloom baby bonnet) etc. Then, if you know you're going to be driving by the food pantry that day, you can grab the box and drop it off.

How do you manage donations (even if you're not moving)? Do you have a hard time getting rid of "stuff"? What are your tips for a big downsize?
 What other organizations have the most direct need for household items?


  1. The best thing to do is have a really big, well organized yard sale. Mark everything cheap so it will sell because:
    A. You will get rid of all your stuff without having to haul it to a shelter or thrift store.
    B. You will get money for your stuff and even if it's not what you'd get on ebay, it's still something.
    C. If you advertise on CL and do some separate listings for the big items, buyers can come and see it at your sale and you won't have to set up any appointments or meeting places.
    This is THE BEST time of year to have a sale. Buyers are chomping at the bit to get to yard sales after winter. Price everything, have good signage and advertise on CL and FB so you get a good turnout. I did this before my move and I sold a lot of stuff.

    1. You're right that a yard sale is a great way to get rid of a lot at once if you live in a suburban area. If not it may be possible to go to a flea market. It all depends on the amount of stress you feel and the urgency of the move.

      Thank you for reminding me, I've been meaning to write an "effective yard sale sign" post for a while. Look for it soon!

  2. Well, if you are like me, I would wait until the last week before I had to move, pack my suitcase and take a big shovel, scoop up everything left and donate everything that had no senimental value. Special items would be given to family members for "safe keeping". I admire that you are planning so far ahead for your move. Something I could never do.I bet you will be ready to go in record time.

    1. The last time I moved I was in the middle of morning sickness, and definitely used the shovel method you mentioned. It was horrible. It didn't make for a great start to the pregnancy. I am determined not experience that level of stress again. Of course, last time we only had 5 weeks notice, this time we have more like 9 months!

  3. Your hubby is like mine. He feels that way about everything. :)