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Monday, August 11, 2008

Getting rid of STUFF. . . .

As I grapple with the idea of either selling or renting out my house, in order to move into a (probably much smaller) cheaper place that is closer to downtown Portland, I'm often seized with panic when I think of all of my STUFF that sits in my closets and garage. What to do? I'm definitely considering a garage sale in the very near future, to try to get rid of some of this extraneous stuff (I have more tupperware than you can shake a stick at).

Another way to get rid of this stuff, of course, is to donate it---especially furniture and clothing. I've made bi-annual trips to the Goodwill for years, dutifully dropping off my belongings in exchange for a receipt, with which I then reduce my tax bill for the upcoming year. But what about all of that other stuff, that no one would buy at my garage sale, and that Goodwill wouldn't want? Stuff like house paint I no longer want (I have a back door half-painted with Kelly Moore's 'Seattle Red'), half-used boxes of rose fertilizer (no roses in my yard), and a huge, opened jug of Murphy's Oil Soap (I have yet another huge, opened jug under my sink---I often purchased things on a whim, not realizing I already had the exact same thing at home).

Well, what about Freecycle? This is a group of people located all over the country, whose mission it is to pass along perfectly good items to others, to prevent their finding their way into the landfill. MSNBC even has a helpful how-to in Freecycle 'etiquette'. For some reason, I've always thought of this group as somewhere I could get stuff, not somewhere for me to get rid of stuff. And, of course, there's a group dedicated to the Portland area. For example, here's just one post to the Yahoo Group: Freecycle site, from a local resident:

"We cleaned out our garage today and have a HUGE pile out by the curb of housewares, toys, tables, etc. All in good shape! Please email for address as we aren't allowed to post on FREECYCLE. Come make our junk, your new treasure!"

I think I've solved my problem. Now for the hard part. Going through box after box after box of stuff that hasn't been unpacked since I moved to Portland over two years ago. If it's been inaccessible and unnecessary for that long, it seems as if it could easily go to a new home, without any feelings of regret or loss on my part.

Have any of you had a summer yard or garage sale this year? If so, how did you do? What items sold, and which were ignored? Any good tips for me?

1 comment:

marci357 said...

Well, if I lived closer, I'd take the tupperware, the rose fertilizer and the murphy's :)
I have enough paint of my own, thanks!

Freecycle is terrific - I get the emails for the coast group.

Good luck with it all - I've been 'under construction' now for 17 months in this house, and still have more boxes to unpack, go thru, and declutter, so I wish you better luck than I have had with it all :)

If you have a garage sale, put all the stuff you really really want to get rid of the most in the free boxes.... almost guaranteed that they'll sprout legs and disappear :)

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