Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

To sale or not to sale. That is the question.

I've been trying to figure out what to do, and I'm having a bit of a rough time figuring it out. The thing is...the pros and cons are really pretty equal to each, so...if you have an idea or input or advice, now's the time to put your two cents in! ;o)

On the plus side, it would be really nice to have cash in hand by having a gigantic garage sale this summer. We're going to have tons and tons of stuff to sell, and we'd potentially make several hundred dollars which we could really use. We'd still be able to get rid of things but see the reward right away. It sounds appealing!

The cons of a garage sale would be that we'd have to find a place to keep everything. That in and of itself is not a small feat. We'd likely have to set it up, work it, and tear it all down in the heat of the summer, and then when we were all done, we'd still have to haul the rest of it off. Plus, there's the possibility that I'd see something during the garage sale and want to keep it. But it's VERY tempting, because we could really use the money.

The pros of donating it one box/bag at a time to ARC or Disabled American Veterans is that it would be gone from the house, and I'd never have to think about it again. We'd get a tax deduction from it, and I wouldn't be tempted to pull something out to keep. The decision would be final.

The cons of donating it all is that we really could use the cash from a garage sale! We'd also have to wait until next year's taxes were finished to see any sort of monetary reward from it. And we'd have to get rid of it a little at a time.

I'm leaning toward Option B. As much as I'd love to have the cash from a garage sale (that we really could use, did I mention that?), I think it is maybe more important for us to see the empty space that the items used to inhabit. We will see physical progress, and that will do more for our journey than cash would. I think we'd feel like a physical weight was lifted from our shoulders to have it gone.

I did fix a notebook up that says 2010 Donations on the front of it. I figured I could list the contents of the boxes and bags that are donated and date them, so I have the information when it comes tax time next year. I'd also be able to just staple the receipt to the page(s) of donations, and I'd be ready to go. I wouldn't have to keep track of receipts in a box. It would be organized. It would be easy.

So my goal is to have at least 2 things -whether they're furniture or boxes/bags of donations ready to be dropped off each week. I've been working mostly on paperwork this week, so I don't have my 2 things right now. By next weekend I will for sure. I may set aside some things that I know I will be able to sell on Craigslist or eBay, but only if they'll bring a decent amount of money and make it worth my while. If they don't sell, they'll be donated.

I feel better having made my decision, but I still wouldn't mind hearing ideas on how you might handle it. Feel free to let me know! :)



  1. We did a yard sale a few years back.
    I spent so much time organizing it, hauling it all outside, sitting out there watching it all and still had to haul assloads of it to the local charity... I said NEVER AGAIN.

    Easier to get it GONE.

  2. Yard sales can be great , or not . Sounds like the motivation you have going right now needs the support of continued effort . Simply seetting it aside till summer ,might just knock the wind out of your sails.Congrats on the good work you have done this far

  3. I say you're making slow but steady progress now, waiting to get rid of stuff until summer might slow you down.
    In reality, summer is what? 5-6 months away? What are the chances that you will have NOTHING left for a yard sale? Chances are good that you'll have plenty of good items to sell.
    Or, try craigslist. Put something on for say, a week. No takers, then off to Goodwill.

    I think you're doing an amazing job, keep it up! Your positive attitude will get you far!

  4. Thank you all for your input. It solidified what I was thinking. It helps not to second guess myself! :)

    And mrs.b - good point! I doubt I'll be done in 6 months, so I can still do a garage sale then! :O)


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