Becoming a Minimalist Step 1 – Letting Go (duh)

Last year, I was able to sell about $2k-3k worth of stuff I owned (half went to my debt, the other half I used to buy more stuff since I don’t learn from my mistakes) which mostly fell under these categories:

1) Camping gear – GPS with altimeter, watch with barometer, ultra light accessories and clothing, etc.

2) Clothes – some with tags, some gently used that I’ve outgrown

3) Duplicate furniture or items I didn’t need when I moved in with B – desk, computer monitor, TV, dining table set, some appliances, etc.

For the most part, I was okay with selling the items above.  I bought the gear to go on camping trips with my super hardcore of a hiker/camper ex-boyfriend right before B – I love hiking, but didn’t particularly like these adventures since we would go over a week without a shower, we would fight a lot since he would always go way ahead without me (and we’re in the middle of nowhere), and I mostly did it so we can hang since he was always away for a month-long excursion.  Though these adventure pics were awesome, once we broke up, it was easy to part with these items since I know I’m mostly just sticking with basic camping or hiking on well-defined trails, and it in a way brought closure to our break-up.

Clothes were also a no-brainer – I was super idiotic in my addiction to flash sale sites last year, and a lot of the clothes that I thought would look awesome definitely did not.  But, I didn’t want to pay for return shipping (nor ship it for free so I would get store credit, which would mean feeding that addiction some more), so I would sell them on Ebay for either the same price or way less than what I paid (dumb!).  I also didn’t have a problem with selling gently used items that I knew I wouldn’t wear anymore since long are the days I’ll ever be a size 0 again, and I also managed to sell pricey gowns and bridesmaid dresses (because no matter how much brides insist you can wear it to other events, 1) they still totally look like bridesmaid dresses and 2) they’ll always be bridesmaid dresses to you).

The furniture I had no problem selling since I didn’t want to move them, nor pay storage in order to keep them.

Since I had some luck with selling items I no longer needed (and felt pretty good about since owning less stuff made me feel lighter in a sense), and being influenced with GMD’s recent post about selling stuff, I figured I would take inventory of my current stuff and sell more items, i.e., the things I haven’t used in a year or more.  And while I have plenty of these, for some reason I have some emotional attachments to some (like “Hoarders” light), which I’m working on letting go so I can sell them.  I don’t know where this stems from, really, other than feeling like I need them “just in case” (which I never do) or “I might go back into that hobby” (which I never have).

1) Rock climbing gear – I don’t have a lot, chalk bag, a couple of shoes, and harness.  I think my biggest hesitation about this is the liability aspect – the harness is in great condition, but “what if” something happens and the buyer ends up blaming me (since a good rule of thumb is to never trust a used harness, so much so that I heard REI usually shreds up any returned harnesses).  It’s still in great condition, though, so I’d hate to just throw it away, which then leads to me keeping all items because if I keep the harness then I might as well keep everything else just in case I go back into climbing.  The conversation becomes cyclical in my head.

2) Shoes – I’m not the type to spend $200 or more on shoes, but I do have some fairly nice and rarely used ones by Enzo Angiolini, Bagdley Mischka, Guess, Franco Sarto, etc.  I love the aesthetics of these shoes, but the practicality is definitely something else since my Fred Flintstone feet hate them and gravitate towards the Nine West, Athena Alexander, and Kenneth Cole varieties (read: comfortable, flat, lots of cushion).  I know it’s best for me to try and sell them because they’re just sitting boxed up and taking room in my closet and perhaps someone else might be able to enjoy them, but the slight girly-girl in me has a really hard time letting go of these since it would make my shoe collection drab, neutral, and practical.

3) Clothes that I bought because I’m a label wh0re – hey, I’m being honest.  Sometimes, I like things because of the brand names (nothing crazy, but I do like BCBG, Guess, True Religion, Hudson, etc.), and just like #2, the girly-girl in me doesn’t want to part with these items since they add ‘the pretty’ in my collection.

Rationally and logically, I know it’s silly to have emotional ties to things and I will let go and sell them eventually (like, it will be this weekend’s project).  Without getting into too much navel gazing (um, too late), I know it probably stems from my mom’s shopaholic ways that I’ve learned, and because I’m fairly emotional in nature.  But I’m more motivated in getting rid of the debt, so I figure I just have to let this motivation rule more than my silly emotions that ties me to these things.  I’d love to hear any strategies from anyone that might of had to deal with this (though I know it’s really “just do it.”)

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16 thoughts on “Becoming a Minimalist Step 1 – Letting Go (duh)

  1. Do a sort immediately on instinct. The minute you waver on whether to keep it or not, it goes into the sell pile.

    Then hide the sell pile underneath your bed in a box, and in 3 months, pull it out and just give it all to consignment to be sold, or donate it.

    Works like a charm each time.

    • Glad I am not alone! I’ve definitely become less of a hoarder with all the moving around I did over the past decade, but I figured if I haven’t needed it for a year, it’s time to let go (and there’s a lot of that).

    • It’s a lot of work to sell stuff (taking pics, advertising, etc.), but I think it’s worth it if you get some money back. If I don’t sell within a few months, or if I feel bad selling something since it’s fairly worn out but could still be usable, then I’ll donate to AmVets. Hope you are able to sell some things!

  2. Nice job on making that much back. I had to laugh about the camping stuff because that’s what your ex was into. My thing was cycling gear. I was never that into it really, but if I wanted to spend time with the bf at the time, I sort of adopted the hobby. After we broke up I sold most of my stuff and now I just have a beach cruiser.:)

    • Unfortunately I probably paid double that originally, but it was nice to get some of it back! Ha, the things we do to try to spend time with bf’s… luckily B just watches football. I don’t love it, but the constant flow of beer makes it manageable! 😉

    • Ebay’s a funny thing sometimes – I’ll have something up for months with no bids, and then all of a sudden there’s multiple people bidding on it. I guess the more people that show interest, then the more it shows up on other people’s feed. It’s nice to get some money back from things just laying around the house, though, good luck with the Ebay sales!

  3. Does an ebay seller have liability for selling a faulty harness? Can’t you just put “not liable for the quality of this harness” in the post – although I’m no lawyer?
    Also, do you have an RSS feed? I tried to find it in google reader but I didn’t see yours.

    • How weird, this went into my spam folder for some reason… my lawyer friend actually wrote up a liability form, but I haven’t figured out whether I can do this on Ebay. I guess I’m mildly paranoid about safety things since REI is so prudent with their policy. I admit I’m not sure what an RSS feed is… let me see if it’s an option I can do.

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS

        RSS is how I read most blogs. It sends the text of the article to my Google Reader, or other RSS reader account. It’s that little orange symbol you see in the right hand corner of most blogs. Anyway, I searched in my google reader account and I found your blog’s RSS feed, so never fear, I’ll be following you. But it’s a good way to build traffic if you feel compelled to add an RSS button to your site. If you do, look into feedburner.

  4. Thanks for the link love Anna 🙂 I’m just like you, I have emotional ties to some of my stuff but I have to let go. I want to pay of this debt more than keeping something “just because.” We can support each other in letting go of our hoarding, errrr I mean collecting behavior 😉

    • Haha, a Collectors Anonymous Support Group sounds good to me! I agree about the “just because” aspect when letting things go… I made a pretty good dent with my clothes yesterday, so I think it’ll good for the both of us to just keep an eye on the prize (of being debt-free!).

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