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Monday, June 8, 2009

To keep or not to keep, that is the question...

OK, so maybe I sound like a Shakespeare play but a major role in simplifying your life is deciding how can I get rid of some of the "junk" that is around this house? I know I have not posted since last week, and there is a good reason for this. I have participated in 2 garage sales. I know some of you are saying, "is she nuts", well maybe. I had one at my home a week ago Saturday and then participated in a neighborhood one for 4 days with 3 of my bunko girls, Gretchen, Melissa and Heather. Mr. Miller refers to the group as the "hens".

Having a garage sale does not have to be a difficult task. It does take time, but if you plan ahead and think of it as re-organizing and simplifying your life it can be pretty inspiring. I pick a room or closet to start with. I label 3 totes or boxes, keep, sale, donate. When you go through the items ask yourself "have I used or worn this in the last year?" and if the answer is no then put it in the sale or donate box. You will be amazed at how much you can get rid of. Once I am done with that area I sit down to price the merchandise for the sale. I prefer to use Avery address labels. They are great, if you go to they have templates for the printing. I put my initials in the corner to print blank ones. I also preprint labels with .50, $1 and $2 on them. I then go through the items and mark accordingly. I usually with my kids clothes post signs saying $1 a piece, you would be surprised at how fast they go. Keep in mind it is a garage sale and not a boutique. People are coming for deals and bargains. Be willing to negotiate on prices. The goal is to get rid of excess junk and if you make some cash while doing it, great.

Once the sale is over do not bring items back in the house. Call your area donation center and see if they are having a pick up in the area. I use Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Gretchen uses Sherwood House which is a home for adults living with Autism. In these tough economic times most of these places will come right away. Ask for a receipt for tax purposes and feel good that you have helped yourself and others.

I am happy with the overall results of this endeavor. It is amazing how much junk we got rid of. My mom and sister in Topeka are having one in the next month, now I am going to clear out our Storage unit. I have room to keep the few items worth keeping, the rest is gone and I will be saving $65/month on the storage unit. I can't wait to be done with that expense.

It is amazing how much one family can accumulate in just 10 years of marriage. I really decided we live in a very glutenous country and society. We are a very instant gratification society, maybe if we asked the question "do I really need this?" before we purchased the item we would not be in the economic situation we are in.

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