I've just had a crash course on how to get rid of stuff because I'm in the middle of moving to, wow, three separate locations in Connecticut, New York City, and Orient Point on The North Fork of Long Island.
That's what led me to a consignment expert, and a de-cluttering expert, who we lined up for today's show in case you face your own "transition situation."
I was instructed not to use the word "downsizing" because "it freaks people out." But I think listeners and online readers, like you, are smart; we downsize for personal and professional reasons of all types, some happy, some sad. Luckily, I'm beyond excited about my moves, but whatever your reason might be, it's now clear to me that the head-spinning process is easier with guidance.
Listen this hour for answers to:
- How do you know whether to go the consignment route, have an estate or tag sale, or list your items yourself at online sites?
- In the midst of getting rid of things for any reason, is it generosity that inspires you to give that item to your niece, or are you so desperate you've forgotten her Crate & Barrel® taste, or that she might feel guilty for turning down your faux leather Barcalounger®?
- How do you know what your things are worth, to begin with, and how do you find a trustworthy person to set the prices? Once set, how much do you lower the price as offers come in?
- If you're into de-cluttering because you're eager to feel less burdened by things you don't need, how do you decide when to keep something because of its attachment to your history, and when to let go? (I have carted from residence to residence a carton of t-shirts with various slogans on them because they represent what I've cared about. Now that I write this I think maybe they need to go, except for the shirt that says, "Leave Chelsea Alone," from the time she was an 11-year-old First Daughter and Rush Limbaugh said awful things about her looks on his radio show.)
- I once read that you keep only things that create within you "a spark of joy." That still seems wonderful as a concept, except for intruding thoughts about whether to keep an extra freezer in case I buy a whole pig again from Craig Floyd at Footsteps Farm in Stonington.
- Don't forget to calculate the cost of people with trucks who must be paid for delivering all your stuff to a variety of places, from consignment and auction sites to non-profit shops with clients in need.
- Books! Enough said? And so much more.
(Special thanks to Amy Gross for her editorial advice on this and so many other subjects.)
- Andrew Mellen – organizing columnist, Real Simple magazine
- Patti Todd – Consign & Design Shoreline
- “Gne Gne,” Montefiori Cocktail
- “My Lost Last Step,” Lymbyc Systym