To sell or to donate
There are a number of articles about people selling their things and making money. The articles almost seem to mock people like me who just get rid of the stuff. However, there are several good reasons why donating was better for me.
First and foremost, I paid very little for the things I donated. My estimate is that I originally paid around $1500-2000 for that whole 1350 pounds of stuff. Most of that cost was clothes. The rest was accumulated in the form of gifts, roadside finds, and nickels and dimes at yard sales, for the most part.
Yard sales in my area don’t profit much. People just don’t go to them, and if they do, they don’t buy much. For a day’s work, an average seller might make $100-200. That would almost keep pace with the tax write-off I’ll get. Considering how labor intensive a yard sale is, that’s not worth it. Add to that the thought of spending a whole day saying goodbye to things I’ll forget about if I just shove them in a box and donate them, the fact that if someone else wants my stuff it’s harder for me to let go of it, and the knowledge that if I do happen to make money off a yard sale, I’ll be tempted to stock up and have another, and a yard sale becomes a cocktail for disaster. The same is true of Craigslist and ebay. Both are extended yard sales, with even more chance of disaster in my life. The furniture may go online. The rest is better off donated or recycled.
I do plan to return some things I bought and never used or opened. But a yard sale hasn’t been a realistic solution for me.