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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Decluttering: Tradesy and Buffalo Exchange Report

I am reading a new-to-me blog: An Exacting Life. This woman is impressive; she keeps track of EVERYTHING.  I just stagger along in my un-exact way. 

Miss Em--back from Serbia--will be making a return trip  from October to February . While I have the only exacting member of my family of 4 around, I am shamelessly using her.  To declutter. What else is new?

It's a win-win. She needs some money and I need to get rid of stuff. She is in charge of picking stuff out for the Buffalo Exchange and selling the more desirable items on Tradesy (she photographs, writes descriptions with a bit of help from yours truly). She gets all the proceeds.

So far: 

Miss Em took a trip to Tuscaloosa AL (where she went to college) to speak at an event. That town has an outstanding resale shop, Twice as Nice. We left some items there before she graduated and she returned from her trip with a few items and $35.

3 trips to the Buffalo Exchange. We always stop by when we visit Frugal Son, since he lives just a few blocks away. This is always fun. The people who work there are so great. Three trips netted $200 in cash and Miss Em used some credit to buy a few items. I really think going to the Buf keeps me from getting too stodgy--kind of like teaching. It's hard to be 60 among the young, but it's worth it.

Tradesy: This is like the world's biggest yard sale. Most people sell their stuff for WAY TOO MUCH. We price low. Miss Em has picked up about $400 from that venue and we've listed lots of things. Every now and then something sells. 

Miss Em also instituted a rule, which I am abiding by voluntarily: we must donate 15 items to "earn" a trip to Goodwill. So far I've earned a few trips.

Miss Em has netted about $600, which I find rather astonishing. While I know how much cash we've taken in, I have no idea what the numbers are as far as items. Miss Em has brought home perhaps 10 items (all second hand) since her return from Serbia. I've only bought 3 items since June. We've gotten rid of a lot more than that. But my question remains: why do I still have too much stuff??

the new orleans store

the new orleans store


The Frugal Shrink said...

I'm pretty sure Stuff multiplies when we're not looking. Or at least that's what I tell myself. ;) Way to go, Miss Em! $600 is an impressive number.

Miser Mom said...

My dad used to say, "Stuff expands to fill all available space." I'm glad you had help de-expanding things.

Every time I spend a day carting things away from the house, I think to myself, "When did I ever bring this all in???" I know I must have, but it seems so effortless to get stuff, and so difficult to get rid of it!

Gam Kau said...

Miss. Em is a handy young woman to have around! She should consider opening a business. There are many people who list things on ebay for others and take a cut, but Miss. Em can expand the concept to other venues.

Duchesse said...

I'm sure you know the "one thing in=one thing out rule; it works!

We buy too much stuff, for so many reasons! Once you decide to change that, you will not need to spend your limited time (or hers) running around and posting on sites to sell it. Or maybe you find that fun!

You made a bit of cash, but how much did you initially spend on all that stuff?

Atlantic said...

In reply to Duchesse:

My guess is that they spent way less than $600 on all they sold...and had some fun acquiring it. Some good old mother daughter bonding and chatting time. Some zen destressing at Goodwill (more harmless than many other people's coping mechanisms). That too is worth something even if hard to quantify! Result = too much stuff. yes. But not the end of the world. And if a bout of minimalism hits it can all be loaded into the car and hauled to Goodwill...they have a great return policy.

Duchesse said...

Atlntic: Yes, shopping (at any kind of store) can be fun and bonding. However, I am responding to Frugal Scholar's last question, "Why do I still have too much stuff"?

A "bout of minimalism" is an novel way of describing the determination to live with (pretty much) only what one needs.

Sometimes you can sell a used item and make a profit, but it's not the usual outcome.

Frugal Scholar said...

@FS--It's all those $1-$3 items--I know you understand!
@MM--So true, sister. At least you ahve a large family of worthy recipients.
@GK-She has many talents, it is true. It would be a good way to make some money while she's trying to enter the art world.
@Duchesse--i definitely lack your discipline. And it is kind of fun. For me.
@Atlantic--We may well ahve made a bit of money--not really sure. Plus, we sent a lot of nice things BACK to the thrift shops for re-resale. These are all excuses, I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, FS! I tried to comment last week but got scuttled. I don't really track everything but I like to give that impression :)
Here are two posts about tracking things:
All the Potential Things to Track:
Things I Actually Track (I have long since given up tracking food and exercise):
So far I haven't committed to making any money from clutter because of the time it takes, but your stuff has paid off (versus donating it).