Too Much Stuff? What to Do?

Suzanne’s Cottage is chock full of cool and interesting stuff. My style will never be called “Minimalist”. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Layers of color and texture, combined with seasonal changes, can make for a lot of “stuff”.

I know. I have bins of spring, summer, fall and winter items, that come out throughout the year. And of course I am constantly adding more to the mix. A newly found treasure becomes the anchor for a new vignette in the living room, and the old anchor is relegated to the basement.

At some point, you have more stuff than you know what to do with. Perhaps your style has evolved and a piece no longer appeals to you. But the piece is still a cool relic of days gone by, and you do not want to see it trashed.

So what can you do with this  good old stuff that is no longer relevant to you?  Well here are some tips.

This hand-painted folk-art dresser was too nice to leave abandoned by the side of the road. But it no longer suits my decor. What can I do with it?

Give it Away

This one sounds easy, and it is.

  1. I’ll bet you have a lady friend who might love this item. Call her, or drop her a message to see if she wants it.
  2. Put it on the street. Just  place it by the curb, with a large sign that screams “FREE!” at passersby.
  3. Look for a swap table. Our local Transfer Station (old timers still call it the dump) has a swap shed, where people drop off serviceable items for anyone to claim. I give and I get.
  4. Third, donate to charity. I have a church bin a half mile from my house. Or donate to the Salvation Army.

Sell it

  1. Have a yard sale.
  2. Rent space at a Flea Market
  3. Put the item in a shop on Consignment.
  4. Rent shop space in a Group Shop.

If you’re like me, you are sentimental about cool old treasures, even if you have no need for them. You want these things to find a good home, where they will be appreciated and given a new lease on life.

How much Time do You have?

Curb Side giveaway is quick and easy. When Charles and I moved years ago, we had tons of stuff, we had lived there for 30+ years. We sorted our stuff and placed it by the side of the road. We grabbed a cup of coffee and stood in the front window and watched the fun.

Within 15 minutes a few kids with a couple pickup trucks took away every item we had set out, from an old couch, to tables, to large stereo speakers. We made some kid’s day by furnishing his apartment in a single stop.

Personal giveaways can be quick, but it is essential to set a time frame to pick up. You will be amazed how many people will say they want something, then you will have to bug them for weeks to pick it up. The whole point is to get it OUT of your house. “Mary, if you want the love seat, you have to get it out of here, no later than Saturday, or it’s going to the dump.” (yeah, it’s tough love. If you’re not comfortable with this, blame it on your husband, that’s what I do.).

Charity is also easy, but you have to be able to haul much of it away. Drop off at bins is quick and easy. For large items, you may be able to schedule pick-up with Salvation Army, or St. Vincent de Paul Society, etc.

All three of these “giveaway” options are simple, because they are free. In an upcoming blog post, I’ll write about the nuances of selling stuff. It gets a bit complicated. It’s not overwhelming, but you need to be prepared to work.

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