Like ladybugs clearing a leaf of aphids, my declutter bug took hold in August when we decided we would sell the house and move. We started with a yard sale we pulled together in 2 days and banked $170 on just STUFF. A few pieces of furniture like a wooden rocker and a jelly cabinet, otherwise it was old vinyl records we had inherited but just collected dust, DVDs, knick knacks, kitchen items, some clothes, etc… And BOOKS! Lots of books. At one point in my early 30’s I had a serious book buying habit. So many books, that after hauling them through 3 different moves from 3 different residences, I HAD to do something. In 2012, I opened an Amazon store and sold 40-50 books. I made close to $1,000 – seriously! I sold a book on tape, yes! an actual book on tape for $15.
Yet, five years later I somehow managed to amass another cluster of books. My shelves were 2 books deep. The only difference was that I had actually made tremendous effort to read most of them. Why buy a book and never read it? I don’t know, but that is a sure sign that someone has a book buying problem (ME!). I have worked hard to curb this over the years. Once I got the buying under control (I switched to used or free books only and loving the hell out of my library), I had to get real and figure out why I KEPT them all. This was the hardest part. I LOVE books. They represent knowledge to me, an art, wisdom, humor…power. I had to face the truth that reading a book (or merely owning a book) will not fundamentally change WHO I am…only I can do that. I also had to let go of ideals and move on from the person I “thought” I would be or “become” or was. Taking that step helped me give my books new homes. Like the vintage crochet book I bought 6 years ago with the intent to start crocheting again. But it was now SIX YEARS LATER and I have not even bought a crochet hook. SO…..I messaged my friend who I know does actually crochet and they were happy to take it off my hands. Over a few weeks I dropped some books off at the Free Little Library in our neighborhood, stuck a giant box in the yard sale and then ultimately let the rest go to recycling.
And THAT my friends was the start of my declutter story. It has been evolving ever since (consignment sales, asking for no gifts at our children’s birthday parties, etc). And even our yard sale, we sold nothing fancy and we STILL made some money and got rid of the first wave of STUFF, bringing us closer to selling the house, packing up, and moving. I will continue to share my decluttering story here and how I have made money getting rid of my stuff. I will share what has worked, and what hasn’t. In the meantime, I have read many books on decluttering, tidying-up, and letting stuff go. If you need some inspiration take a look at my GoodReads bookshelf for some great titles.
Peace & declutter bugs,
Mrs. Mother Dirt