Disposing of Clutter: Pt 1 (Online Selling)

Disposing of Clutter: Pt 1 (Online Selling)

I decided to go through and declutter some toys I’ve kept for a long time. I kept them for a variety of reasons, but those reasons don’t matter now, because I’ve decided I don’t need to keep them anymore.

I had a duffle bag with Barbies and her friends, her clothes, her accessories.

First, I took pictures of everything – for two reasons.

1) I will keep some photos for memory’s sake.
2) SELLING!

I took the highest quality pictures I could. I even dressed an re-dressed a single Barbie with every dress or complete outfit. My husband thought this was a little crazy, but I didn’t have THAT many. 😉

I put every doll in the clothes she came in, and photographed every doll as well.

I made collages. There were far too many photos for anyone to really care about. So I used PicMonkey, a FREE photo editing service that is online (you don’t even have to download it!) I’ve only recently discovered PicMonkey and I’m so glad, because you can make collages: just what I needed.

I organized the outfits by category and put each category in a collage. For some, I had to make 2 collages and then make a collage of the 2 collages.

1clothes Barbie casual

2 collages into a single collage

I made captions. I also used PicMonkey to add words to some photos so I wouldn’t have to caption each individual picture everywhere it was posted.

1Dolls Stacie friends Kelly

Pre-captioned collage

I posted in several Facebook buy/sell/trade groups in my area: some general, and some relevant to the item (a toys group, a kids’ items group.)

I also posted on CraigsList in my area (the Barbies fit into the Toys category. I felt since they were used and loved, they wouldn’t fit into Collectibles.)

I decided on fair pricing. Since I am selling the toys individually OR as a set, I figured out how much I would charge for each item – within reason. I chose to sell all clothing, accessories, and pets as a set. Still, I put them in separate labeled bags.

DSCN0220

Categorized bags

The dolls are just in a large boot box for now, as well as the larger accessories.

I asked a second opinion on prices. My mother-in-law frequents thrift stores, and told me that $5 a doll was a little hefty as they retail for $1 at thrift stores. She suggested I compromise, and I did.

I have one item for just a dollar, so I made another item worth $4, and it evened out to a nice, round number. I don’t want a buyer to have to carry around four $1 bills, nor do I want to carry change.

I decided where I would meet. For sales like this I always meet in a public place, like a gas station parking lot (they have cameras out there!) or the mall parking lot, because everyone knows how to get to the mall, even if they are from outside of town.

I did NOT post my phone number or email address. On Facebook, anyone can privately message me, and CraigsList automatically allows for emails to reach you without exposing your e-address. The only thing I posted was the town I am in, because I am not willing to travel.

Patience is key. I know I may not get any responses to the Barbie posts right away. Sometimes I have lucked out; I sold some Legos recently where three people were interested very early on. This does not always happen. I am willing to live with the clutter – organized into bags and boxes – for a little while before I just donate it all. I’d love to make some money on my childhood memories.

Have you sold your clutter online? One person’s trash is another person’s treasure! Do you have any tips for selling? 

Advertisements

Tip for organizing/decluttering drawers

This post is specifically about your sock and/or underwear drawer(s). 

When it comes to socks and underwear, I used to think it was impossible to have “too many” socks or underwear. But there IS such a thing as too much! I have a policy.

  • Anything torn or stained
  • Anything that doesn’t fit right
  • Anything that you just don’t wear

GET RID OF THEM!

I have donated socks that are in good condition, but I tend to throw away underwear that has ever been worn. I think the only underwear I’ve ever donated were ones specifically purchased to donate.

Ladies’ bras may be donate-able but I’d be careful about the condition. Would you wear a secondhand bra that was stretched out, stained, or with exposed underwire?

There is nothing wrong with going through items like this – it gives you room in your dresser drawers!Image07272013101737

My sock drawer is huge… I roll all the socks into pairs and the drawer is then organized into boxes.

Left: Fluffy winter socks that I tend to wear only at home when it gets real cold here in Missouri.

In the middle: ankle socks. I don’t have as many of these because I like to wear sandals in the summer. Also, they are smaller socks.

Right: crew socks for winter as well as dress socks for work toward the front.

I will keep a single, mate-less sock for a little while as their mates do tend to show up. I hold true to my policy of if it is torn or stained, it’s gone. I have a lot of older crew socks, many of which have held up. If I’m left with an odd number after throwing away torn/holey socks, I’m confident that soon another will tear or get a hole, and I’ll pair up the two mateless ones together. (This obviously doesn’t work if the sock is somehow unique.)

It’s always nice to keep your dresser drawers organized so you can find what you need!

Jewelry display and organization

So, you have a lot of jewelry that you
a) don’t wear all of and maybe even forgot you had some pieces?
b) have stored away in a place where it gets tangled?
c) want to show off on your body and in your home?

I fit all of the above.

I had multiple jewelry boxes and storage centers for various items. A small tin full of bracelets and a pretty box full of tangled necklaces were on display. I also stored a few jewelry boxes full of sentimental or jewelry from my adolescence when everyone gave me necklaces. (I’m the only niece/only granddaughter on my mom’s side.) A lot of these were sold on consignment, due to no longer fitting my neck or just the fact that I just didn’t love them anymore. A few were real gold or silver and I sold those at a jewelry store. I had a TON tested – it was pretty embarrassing, I had a lot of other metals that the jewelry lady didn’t care about; but she handled it very nicely.

My earring collection was ridiculous. I have 5 piercings in my ears and I love to accessorize with earrings – however, my ears are extremely sensitive. I had a few earring trees over the years, but they weren’t great at holding stud earrings.

I saw a lot of ideas for jewelry organization on Pinterest. But I don’t own an old rake an couldn’t really install a towel rod to hang necklaces. (I wish I had links.) I do not, and did not want, enough jewelry for a GIANT jewelry box, as pretty as those are. (Some good DIY ideas: HERE )

What I did have, and had forgotten about: a GIANT cork bulletin board. It used to hold photos, notes, and postcards which had been attached with tape, so it was a mess!

I thought about paper, but I thought it would be too tacky-looking to have bright pink computer paper stapled onto my jewelry board. So I found some wrapping paper in our wrapping paper bin: shiny gold with stars. Why not? Stapled it on and began hanging necklaces and bracelets. VOILA:

necklace board

It hangs on the bedroom wall above my dresser. Perfect! Now I never have an excuse to forget to wear that gorgeous necklace that matches my outfit perfectly. Or, you know, whatever. AND I can display my work of art to anyone who comes in our bedroom. (Okay, that’s not many people.)

AS FOR EARRINGS – I did a major overhaul of these, too. I justified keeping many, many pairs for a very long time because “If I just wear them for a few hours, my ears only itch a little.” Not anymore!

Rather than selling these on consignment, I threw them away. Most were small studs. Also, a lot of the metal was peeling off

I still have some that I can wear for a day or a night out and then remove them – if it ever gets to be a shorter amount of time or I don’t love them anymore, they’ll go.

For this I created an earring book. I bought way too much pink felt, cut it into squares, and stitched the “pages” together like a book! The earrings go right through, and are organized in such a way that it’s easy for me to find what I need.

earringbook2

Note the large amount of holiday earrings – a gift one year, and I’ve kept most as I work in an elementary school!

As you can see, the stitching is far from perfect. As you cannot see, the pages aren’t perfectly aligned or even exactly the same size. But it certainly does the job. I keep spare single earrings on the cover because I do have that one hole in my cartilage (a helix piercing.)

This was so helpful that I’ve bought more jewelry items since making this – and wear them – OR I pass up buying jewelry that I don’t think I’ll REALLY wear. 

Cork boards can be pretty inexpensive and easy to hang. Felt was easy to find and buy (pretty sure I found that felt at Walmart) and I hand-stitched the edge.

How do you organize your jewelry?

Gift closet organization

It started when I was going through some old stuff I accidentally found. I found some treasures – pom poms, customize-able bracelets, etc. I was going to stuff it all into our Gift Closet but when I opened the door, it was a mess!

The Gift Closet is actually the closet in J’s mancave. It contains some of his stuff, but a lot of holiday items too: our small (but only) Christmas tree, ornaments for when we get a bigger tree, wrapping paper and gift bags, and any gifts I’m waiting for a birthday or holiday to distribute. I used to keep all gifts in a big gift bag …but then I used the gift bag for, well, giving a gift. And there are too many now.

I have 9 nieces and nephews, and 2 other kids that will be in my family “officially” when my BIL and his fiance get married. I already consider them family. That’s a lot of birthdays. 

Right now, there are 5 kids age 6+. I collect gifts for 3 of those kids all the time, because they are easy to shop for. As others’ birthdays approach, I get gifts for those kids too. I don’t have a bag for everyone because the little ones are easier to find things for, and harder to collect unique items for.

SO. I began with this:

DSCN0036

This is what was in the closet already. I had more (like the pom poms) that had just been found which are not picured.

It would be nice, I thought, to have a bag for each kid, or even for each family. One per family would have been ideal, but there are 7 kids in one family unit alone, so that couldn’t have worked. Also, I’m down to only 3 big paper sacks and only a few medium-sized gift bags. (Lots of small gift bags, how un-useful.)

So I whipped out the big zipper-seal bags, and organized.

On the zipper-seal bags I wrote the child’s name and birthday. I plan on reusing these bags, and making more for the rest of the kids as the time comes.

DSCN0042 DSCN0041

There were 2 kids whose gifts would not fit into even my biggest ziplock bags, due to size or quantity of gifts. For these I attached sticky notes to label the child/birthday, but the sticky notes are easily removable.

DSCN0043 DSCN0040

DSCN0044

I also have a few gifts that I might give someone at some point, like a handmade journal, fairy wands, and a beautiful little green bag which I could put other gifts in. These went in the MISC zipper bag.

Also, presents for all the kids will go in here – like that bag of Valentine-y heart erasers that I plan on handing out once there are no babies in at least one home.

DSCN0038

These are the bags I’ve collected so far. They will increase as more birthdays come up (a few have just passed, for example.)

The santa bag on the right side of this picture is for miscellaneous Christmas presents for adults. Right now there’s only one item in the bag, but as we tend to do secret santa and white elephant, we’ll see what gets added!

DSCN0049

The brown bag in the back is holiday-related but not gifts.

This is the shelf of the closet now. I moved the sticky note labels to the sides of the bags so I could easily view them.

Not so bad! It’s certainly better than it was – I had an almost-avalanche trying to get to the presents, and they were not sorted by child at all.

I’ll end this post with the customize-able bracelets I made for a niece’s birthday in September:

DSCN0032

She’s getting the rest of the kit too so she can change out the letters as she pleases

 

Do any of you have a closet or another area set aside for gifts/holiday items? In my big family, it’s a plus to think ahead.

Card organization and storage

Card organization and storage

I used to collect cards. Every one I got. Before I moved a couple of years ago, I looked through those cards (and notes!) and throw most away, as well as organize them by category – birthday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, congratulations, prayers/good luck, etc. Each category was wrapped in a rubber band with a post-it on top saying what event it was. I stored them in this cookie tin:

DSCN0003
I decided to go through them again recently. I’m trying to declutter and let’s be honest, there is a whole spare bedroom closet FULL of my “memories”.

So I threw away a lot of cards, but I kept some too.

Organized birthday by sender – parents, brothers, or friends. Then organized by date.

Kept some Valentines, a couple Christmas, some congrats and some prayers/encouragement. IMPORTANTLY, I did not always keep the whole card. I generally only care about what my family member or friend wrote. I didn’t have a huge problem with chopping the covers of many cards, so I did.

Also didn’t have a problem putting a couple of holes in each card and sticking them in a 3-ring binder for super-easy access to lots of reminders I am loved.

I alternated where the cards went in the binder – since many were small enough for only two holes, I put some in the top two holes and the next category in the bottom two holes, etc.

DSCN0011

Birthday cards from parents

DSCN0012

Christmas cards in bottom 2 holes, encouragement in top 2 holes

DSCN0013

Even could include my favorite paper plate card from my brother when I turned 19

With some of the cards or the covers that I didn’t feel the urge to keep any longer, I chose a few to cut up (some more) and keep pieces for when I make my own cards, which I do.

DSCN0004

I kept these intact.

DSCN0005

These, I trimmed, or cut out the fun stuff.

DSCN0006

Fun stuff

DSCN0008

A bunch of “fun stuff” from only 2 cards, binder clipped together

DSCN0010

This is my card organizer. The first half are blank note cards with my initial or something similar on the front, which I tend to use instead of stationary. I have a TON of thank-you cards (I do use them a lot.) I bought a bunch of “Just because” cards for my nieces that can read. I have a birthday card slot, and a slot for cards of every season. Christmas has its own section. The last two sections have the stuff I cut out today.

In each seasonal holiday I have a pink sticky note listing the holidays in that season (per month) that I tend to send out cards for.

DSCN0014WINTER: December (Christmas), January (New Year), February (Valentine’s Day)

SPRING: March (St. Patrick’s Day), April/May (Easter, Mother’s Day), June (Father’s Day)

SUMMER: June (above), July (Independence Day), August

FALL: September, October (Halloween), November (Thanksgiving)

 

 

 

DSCN0023

Update – 7/20/13,

Cut apart some file folders that I was not going to use since I’ve switched to a binder and accordion folder system, slapped some cut-up sticky note labels on them, and now I’ve got dividers!

Comment and let me know if you are a card hoarder – or just used to be one, like me!

Next I’ll tackle the cards my husband has given me over the past 4+ years…

Towel/rag storage revamp

The thing about us/me is that we basically use a few towels and wash them often. As far as rags, I use them often and sometimes many on one day. I wash my towels 1-2 times a week, all together – bath towels, hand towels, kitchen towels, place mats, rags, cloth napkins…

I kept our rags and kitchen towels in a laundry basket on top of the dryer for a long time.

Image

But as you can see, it was a big laundry basket taking up a lot of horizontal space, when it wasn’t even full! (Not to mention, it got pretty disorganized.)

Image

We have a few categories. Rags (the green and white, as well as two old t-shirts), and microfiber towels (right)

Image Image

I use different towels for drying clean dishes (L) than for drying potentially dirty hands (R) in the kitchen. I just keep them separate so I know what to put out. Kind of an OCD thing… O-well!

Image Image

Also, placemats and cloth napkins (a collection I plan to expand)

Image

Now, I also had a big rubbermaid tub filled with sheets. I wash sheets once a week and put them back on before bedtime. It’s rare that I actually use a different set of sheets. And we only have two sets. I found a few sheets in here from my old twin bed which I no longer even have!

Image

I kept all the showering towels and rag towels in the bathroom, practically on display, for lack of somewhere else to put them. I wash the towels so fast that we really only use a body towel for each of us and switch out between two hand towels. Yet… all the towels.

Image

Also had some washcloths and extra hand towels in a basket with my hair dryer, etc. ?Image

THE REVAMP!

I moved the thing with the towels on it to the laundry room, between the washer and dryer.

Image

Top rack is kitchen towels (for hands and drying dishes!) and placemats, which we use often.

Image

Middle shelf includes the rags and microfiber cloths, which I also use pretty frequently – especially the rags.

Image

Bottom shelf is 4 rag towels. We use these for emergencies, like when our washing machine was leaking water.

Image

I’m going to do something different with the washcloths and spare hand towels, but for now they are in the blue basket…

Image

And all those extra towels that we rarely use? In the Rubbermaid container for guests or us, should we need them.

Image

Leave a comment if you have done something similar… or need to! 🙂

Cleaning schedule

I have had many variations of this cleaning schedule since I began to make them. In fact, the newest variation, pictured below, was only made at the end of June.

I use MS Excel to create a spreadsheet and as the weekends happen and I do my cleaning, I put X’s in the boxes.

Cleaning List

First, the dates.

Image

I put the whole week, starting Friday and ending the following Thursday, but truthfully I do most of the cleaning on the weekends (hence starting on Fridays!)

Image

The categories on the left are the rooms in the house. I don’t necessarily start at the top and work down, but I do often clean a room at a time.

July cleaning ss 7all

In “WKD ALL” – All rooms, all must be on weekend (because I put the trash out on Sunday night) – I have more code. L B O M get individual x’s because I don’t always use the carpet rake/vacuum on every room at once. Living room, Bedroom, Office, Mancave. Those are our rooms with carpet. (The hall is small and I include with the living room.) For sweeping, I have Kitchen and Bathroom.

Image

The little asterisks (*) are to indicate that a rag would be necessary. I like to make sure I’ve done all the chores that result in a dirty rag BEFORE I launder the rags.

Image

The shaded items are bi-weekly, and the shading changes based on the month and the last time I completed the task. (Example: if I cleaned my makeup brushes the fifth week, the following month I would shade the second and fourth weeks so I’m still skipping a week.)

Image

Monthly chores are also shaded, based on when the task was last completed. For example: This month I was “supposed to” mop the floors the first week, but I will mop them this week (the third week). So in August, I will shade the third week, because by then, a month will have passed.

Image

Finally, the bottom of the chart:

Some things I do less frequently than once a month. (Notice I have blanks at the bottom if I think of other things.) In this newly-added section I list things I want to do, when I intend to do them, and when I last did.

  • I try to clear the bathtub drain and clean the dish rack every two months.
  • I attempt to disinfect, clean the vacuum filter, dust, replace my toothbrush, clean the class, change the Brita filter, and freshen the mattress every 3 months.

I changed my toothbrush early because I was sick. I always change the Brita filter on time because that takes so little effort.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been keeping up with all of those, and they are piling up as “need to be done”! I would LOVE to stagger these so they aren’t all needing to be done at the same time!

My newest plan is to use that 5th week I’m planning on building in every month to catch up on these things.

If you want this and would like to customize it for yourself, I uploaded the spreadsheet to GoogleDocs:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Anp5kuuVreyxdGFLVWFvX2hkWndWRjNwMzhCd1oteGc&output=html\\

LASTLY…

I print this out monthly, and on the other side of the cleaning list I print this:

This is just so I don’t forget to wash, or throw away, anything. I used to have it under a sheet protector and dry-erase, but I like the weekly squares better.

Thanks for reading – leave a comment and let me know what you think!