Here’s What to Do With the Stuff You Decluttered (And Maybe Make Some Money)

Here’s What to Do With the Stuff You Decluttered (And Maybe Make Some Money)

Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for: After two weeks of decluttering it’s time to sign on the dotted line, make this clean sweep official, and get everything out of your home.

How you do this can be as quick and simple as a drop-off at a charity shop, or as detailed and fruitful as making for-sale listings for all of your stuff in good shape.

It’s up to you how to handle it, but here are some options…

Day 14: Sell or donate the things you decluttered.

Grab those “sell” and “donate” boxes and make a plan to get it all out of your home.

For the things you want to donate:

Your donation pile is likely a mixed bag of goodies. If you’re craving some instant gratification for getting these things out of the house, take the whole box to a place like Goodwill and let them sort it out. Or if you have a lot of clothes, specifically, you can opt to mail them to For Days, a recycled-material clothing company, in a Take Back Bag. The bag costs $6, but you can fill it to the brim with your clean, used clothes and For Days will make sure they don’t end up in a landfill.

You can also donate your stuff to individuals in your community, by just posting them as free items on Facebook MarketplaceNextdoorFreecycle, or other local neighborhood groups. It can be really time consuming to coordinate meeting several people, so if you feel comfortable and the weather is cooperating, just leave your “free to a good home!” stuff outside your residence. Make a post detailing what’s out there, how much it costs (all free!), and how long you’ll leave the items outside (until sundown?). And don’t forget to take your posting down when the stuff is gone or you pull it back inside.

The things you want to sell:

For all of the things that you know have some value and it’s worth your time to sell them, you have a few options.

If there’s not much in the box, or if a few things stand out to you, you can post individual listings on sites like PoshmarkApartment Therapy BazaarCraigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or OfferUp to connect with individual buyers directly. If you’re willing to do the photography and listing yourself, Poshmark is a great platform, and they make it safe and easy with protection guarantees and easy shipping options. You can sell clothes there as well as home goods.

My go-to is actually a Facebook group that was set up as a buy-and-sell platform for my specific neighborhood; I like that buyers are people in my community and I find that it’s fast and easy to coordinate pick-up when the buyer lives close by. If that interests you, you can ask your neighbors about it, or search your neighborhood’s name on Facebook.

Local consignment and thrift stores are great for when you have a lot of one type of thing to sell. If you have a box of clothes in good shape, for instance, you can search online for a local consignment clothing boutique that might buy much of it off your hands, or sell it on your behalf (Plato’s Closet and Buffalo Exchange are a couple of American clothing store chains that will buy some of your used clothes.)

If you have a lot of clothes to sell, try ThredUp. You mail them a big bag of clothes and accessories (ThredUp’s “Clean Out Kit”) and they inspect, photograph, list, and ship your items for you. Anything that doesn’t sell can be returned to you for a small fee, or recycled by them.

That’s it for the Decluttering Cure! As always, you can come find me and DM me on Instagram if you have any lingering questions about your decluttering journey. Thanks so much for joining us, and we hope to see you again next year! Taryn

More Ways to Participate in the Decluttering Cure:

Taryn Williford

Lifestyle Director

Taryn is a homebody from Atlanta. She writes about cleaning and living well as the Lifestyle Director at Apartment Therapy. She might have helped you declutter your apartment through the magic of a well-paced email newsletter. Or maybe you know her from The Pickle Factory Loft on Instagram.

Follow Taryn
One Way You Can Trick Your Brain To Make Decluttering Easier

One Way You Can Trick Your Brain To Make Decluttering Easier

Along any decluttering journey, including this one, you have to rely on your brain to make good choices. But brains can’t be trusted. Your brain is going to try to convince you that you need things you don’t need. And for that reason, you’re going to have to trick your brain if you want to put the final touch on your new tidier, more streamlined home.

If you’ve been following along with the Decluttering Cure, we are officially done going through drawers and cabinets and closets. (Except for the “black hole” project you’re keeping up.) All that’s left to do now is handle those three boxes.

Today, we’ll start with the “maybes” box, then handle the other two tomorrow.

The Box and Banish Method | Taryn Cleans It All

Day 13: Practice the “box and banish” method.

Remember those three boxes we set up on day one? We’ll deal with the sell and donate boxes tomorrow. But today, grab that box of “maybes” and… close it up. Yep, close it, and put it somewhere out of the way, like the back of a closet. Then set a reminder on your phone or in your calendar for a date about six weeks from now.

In the meantime, in the course of regular life, if you remember something you put in this box that you wish you had back in your life, go grab it.

But when that reminder pops up a few weeks later, here’s what you do: You get rid of everything inside the box. The reasoning behind the clean sweep is this: If you lived without these objects for this long — even when you knew they were an arm’s reach away — you don’t need them. Say goodbye and send them off to a donation center.

This is the power of the “box and banish” method — you get to practice living with less and see how many of those “maybes” you didn’t really need after all.

More Ways to Participate in the Decluttering Cure:

Taryn Williford

Lifestyle Director

Taryn is a homebody from Atlanta. She writes about cleaning and living well as the Lifestyle Director at Apartment Therapy. She might have helped you declutter your apartment through the magic of a well-paced email newsletter. Or maybe you know her from The Pickle Factory Loft on Instagram.

Follow Taryn
This 20-Minute Bathroom Decluttering Checklist Makes All Your Mornings Better

This 20-Minute Bathroom Decluttering Checklist Makes All Your Mornings Better

Whatever time you have to dedicate to decluttering, there might not be a better target with a higher return on investment than the bathroom.

Any amount of time you can dedicate to streamlining your bathroom storage will pay you back times ten when it comes to making it easier to get ready in the morning, and to tuck yourself in before bed. It’s about making sure you don’t have to dig through a container full of lipstick to find the one shade you love to wear, and that you never slather your entire face with sunscreen before realizing it’s expired.

Today, we’ll do a quick 20-minute sweep of the bathroom to see exactly how a very small investment of time now can pay off handsomely in the days and nights to come.

Day 12: Declutter the bathroom for 20 minutes.

Set a timer for 20 minutes and use that time to clear as much clutter out of your bathroom as possible. Take a laundry basket or another similar container with you to quickly collect anything that’s out of place.

If you have more than one bathroom, focus on the one you use the most often.

When your timer runs out, take all of the things you collected and either sort them into the trash or recycling, or set them into your boxes to be donated, given away or sold.

More Ways to Participate in the Decluttering Cure:

Taryn Williford

Lifestyle Director

Taryn is a homebody from Atlanta. She writes about cleaning and living well as the Lifestyle Director at Apartment Therapy. She might have helped you declutter your apartment through the magic of a well-paced email newsletter. Or maybe you know her from The Pickle Factory Loft on Instagram.

Follow Taryn
There’s Only One Way to Declutter Your Home’s “Black Hole” of Storage

There’s Only One Way to Declutter Your Home’s “Black Hole” of Storage

Small tidying sessions go a long way towards keeping your home in a state of clutter-free calm. But decluttering is about more than knick-knacks and old t-shirts: Almost everyone has a “black hole” of storage at home that’s absolutely stuffed full of possessions you’re unconsciously hanging on to.

I can’t tell you what that space is in your home, but it should be somewhat obvious. It might be a closet, or your attic, or the basement, or a space under your bed. If nothing is obvious, try the gadget box test: Say you opened up a brand new gadget — like a new pair of headphones — and wanted to store the box it came in (just in case you needed to return it or something): Where would you put it? That spot is your black hole.

And today, we’ll make a plan to reclaim this space…

Day 11: Identify a problem area.

Identify your “black hole” problem storage area at home, then make a plan to attack it.

No, I don’t want you to declutter the whole thing today. In my experience, the best way to tackle big messes like this is doing it a little at a time. So today, remove three things from the space. Just three!

Wasn’t that fairly painless? You can take just three things away and feel like you’re making progress. It’s like chipping away at marble to reveal a statue.

With that confidence and clarity, set an alarm or reminder on your phone to do this same thing — clearing out three things — every day for a month. Or once a week until it’s finished. You get to decide what plan is right for you; all I need from you today is the dedication.

More Ways to Participate in the Decluttering Cure:

Taryn Williford

Lifestyle Director

Taryn is a homebody from Atlanta. She writes about cleaning and living well as the Lifestyle Director at Apartment Therapy. She might have helped you declutter your apartment through the magic of a well-paced email newsletter. Or maybe you know her from The Pickle Factory Loft on Instagram.

Follow Taryn
There Are Only 5 Types of Sentimental Clutter Worth Keeping

There Are Only 5 Types of Sentimental Clutter Worth Keeping

By far the hardest thing to declutter is the sentimental stuff. I mean… there are a lot of feelings attached when you’re considering whether or not to let go of a cold-press juicer, so of course those emotions come out ten-fold when we’re talking about a treasured hand-me-down or an old gift from a good friend.

That said, not all sentimental clutter is worth hanging on to. For one thing, you can only really appreciate this stuff when you’re reminded about it, so your grandmother’s earrings aren’t jogging any of those good memories of her when they’re wrapped in tissue at the bottom of a storage box. And then there are things that might bring up unwelcome thoughts — like if you’re feeling distressed or remorseful about the things you’ve decided to hang on to, or the manner in which they were being stored.

Today, approach your sentimental clutter — wherever you have it stored — and try to make some decisions that start with the good stuff…

Day 10: Streamline your sentimental clutter.

Today, your mission is to sort through some (or all) of your sentimental clutter, and decide what you want to keep. Open up the closets, drag out the boxes, and find your most feelings-rich stuff. Sentimental clutter is anything you’re hanging onto not for its usefulness or even its beauty, but just because of what it represents to you.

Unlike when we’re rifling through the kitchen looking for cookie cutters from Christmas ’09, I don’t want you to approach your sentimental clutter searching for things to eliminate. I want you to consider the things you’re storing, and make value-rich decisions on the things that mean the most to you.

Here’s what’s worth keeping, in my opinion:

Once you’ve picked through a decent share of your mementos and found many things you love, step back for a moment. If you only kept those things, how would that feel? Could you let the rest go? More importantly: How do you feel? Was sorting through the things a touching trip down memory lane? If you’ve got space to store it, keep some or all of it and don’t apologize. Then send the rest of it on to another home.

More Ways to Participate in the Decluttering Cure:

Taryn Williford

Lifestyle Director

Taryn is a homebody from Atlanta. She writes about cleaning and living well as the Lifestyle Director at Apartment Therapy. She might have helped you declutter your apartment through the magic of a well-paced email newsletter. Or maybe you know her from The Pickle Factory Loft on Instagram.

Follow Taryn