I’m walking 60 miles over 3 days to help raise money for breast cancer research and patient support. Can you help me reach my fundraising goal? Click here to learn more.

You’ll be happiest if you save the online marketplaces for items of fairly high value. I listed lots of $10-$15 items and was hating life by the end of the process.

If you have lots of small items, you can list them in lots—an entire collection of women’s clothing in the same size, an assortment of kitchen utensils, or your kid’s embarrassingly large collection of Hot Wheels tracks–packaged together and sold for one price. You can get rid of lots of tiny stuff at once without making the process last until retirement.

Make sure that you do your best to stay safe while selling online. This article from Reader’s Digest has some great ideas to keep in mind.

STEP 6: HAVE A GARAGE SALE

Because our house sold much more quickly than expected, we actually ran out of time for this step. Garage sales provide a great opportunity to get a little bit of money for your bits and bobs, though. I loved reading this guide to hosting a successful one.

STEP 7: DONATE WITH AN OPEN HEART

In the last few days before we vacated the house, we gave stuff away to everybody. Family and friends got many of our most beloved items. (I’m certain my Dad will never return my Instant Pot, even if I do want it back.)

We donated carloads of stuff to charities in our area. When items weren’t selling on the Facebook Marketplace, we edited the listing to make them free. Truthfully, it felt a bit hard to simply give away items we’d invested hard-earned money in, but we were really pleased to be able to help people.

If you’ve got free items you’d like to part with, look for local ‘Buy Nothing’ groups on Facebook and consider joining Freecycle. You’ll also want to visit the Donation Town website, which will connect you with charities in your area that will pick up items from your house for free!

STEP 8: TRASH/RECYCLE WITHOUT GUILT

I’ve got some bad news for you.

At the end of this process, after you’ve worked your butt off to find new homes for everything, you will still have items that you haven’t gotten rid of.

We had pieces of upholstered furniture that couldn’t be donated, old electronics nobody wanted, and bags of hangers that I couldn’t give away even when I offered them for free on my front porch.

Taking these items to the dump/recycling center sucked. I reminded myself that I’d gotten good use out of them, I’d done my best to find a new home for them, and I’d make the best purchasing decisions I could in the future. Remember, you don’t have to hold onto things just because no one else wants them.

So there you go–the eight steps we used to get rid of everything we owned. The process was gut-wrenching, but I wouldn’t trade the feeling of freedom I have now for anything. Even that old baby blanket.

Oh, and because lots of folks have asked what we kept, here’s a list:

Ready To Get Rid Of Everything? Do This Now:

  1. Get rid of your easy stuff: trash, duplicates, stuff you’ve outgrown, etc. If you’d like some help with this, my Declutter Jump Start walks you through decluttering 25 commonly cluttered areas of your home. And you can do it all 10-minutes-at-a-time while playing Bingo!
  2. Choose where your stuff will go. Spend a few minutes locating a charity you’d like to support. Some will even come to your door to pick up your items! Begin researching Facebook groups and niche websites and stores you can utilize to get some of your valuable specialty items to the right people. Also join your local Buy Nothing, Nextdoor, and Facebook Marketplace groups. 
  3. Make it easy on yourself. If you’re truly planning to clear out EVERYTHING to move into an RV, become a digital nomad, or downsize to a much smaller home, do yourself a favor and grab The Radical Declutterer’s Guide to Getting Rid of Everything. I created this ebook/workbook combo as a step-by-step framework to walk you through the process. It’s the guide I wish I’d had.

Comments

  1. Alex Sutton says

    This is exactly what I needed to find! I followed all of your tips of how to get rid of most of our stuff. I’m so glad that we were able to find homes for it. I really wanted to give away most of our belongings to people who needed them, but we still had stuff that I didn’t feel was in good enough condition to give away. My husband and I ended up renting a dumpster for a day because we knew if we didn’t just get rid of it, we might not be able to part with it, especially anything remotely sentimental. My house has never felt so clean and organized! Thanks so much for sharing!

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