Finally it feels like spring has arrived, and with it comes the task of packing away winter gear and decluttering our homes. Everytime I turn around, my kids are growing out of something: clothes, bikes, toys and sports equipment. It all depends on what size and age they are, but it seems like things don’t get worn or used for long and then it's too small or not age appropriate anymore.
What do you do with all the stuff when they are done? Donate it? Sell it? Recycle it? Or just save it for your sister or a friend who might still be a year or two away from having their first child or a second one. Unless you own a personal storage unit or like living with boxes of stuff (that's a whole other story), the best thing to do is try to do what is best for your sanity - get rid it. Declutter your space and find your zen.
We at KB know what all this feels like as we have been purging, selling and donating for years now. Here are some great ways to declutter your home and potentially earn a few bucks for your family along the way.
CAN YOU SAY "CONSIGNMENT"!
It's a great way to make a little extra money towards the new items that kids will want or need and you don't have to worry about doing all the work. Find a consignment shop in town that can do the work for you. Granted you won't receive 100% of the sale, but it will take a lot of the work off your plate and move the unwanted items out of your house. Here is a list of some of our great Consignment stores here in Regina. There are also some second hand, gently used sales around the city throughout the year that are organized by community associations or church groups. With these types of sales, you have the opportunity to rent a table or small space to sell your items. To defer some of the cost of the table and to have some help selling, buddy up with a friend who may also need to sell some items. The orgnaizations are the ones who promote and advertise the events and you simply put in your time and a small fee. Here is a list of Second hand sales in our KinderBuzz Business Directory.
SELL ONLINE WITH KIJIJI, USED REGINA & VARAGESALE
With the internet and social media avenues so accessible today, selling used items online couldn't be easier or a more convenient way to make some money and clean out your house. Simply register with one or all of the advertising websites and post your items.
Some tips on how to sell items faster:
- Do a little research before you advertise - Whether you will sell an item can depend on how many similar items are on the website you choose and how popular the brand of the item you are selling. Just simply do a quick search of the item: "Thomas the Tank train set" and see what results come back. If there are 99 of those same items available from other sellers, you may have a problem selling it at all. Items that are popular are big items like strollers, bounce houses, wagons.
- PICTURES - Make sure you clean up items first and then take some great simple photos. Most potential buyers want to see the item before considering it.
- How much do you price items out for? The rule of thumb is 50% less then what you originally paid for it, if it is in great shape. For example, if you have a boys dirt bike that you want to sell, and the original price was $100, you could price the bike out for $50 if the bike is in gently-used condition and looks good.
- ALWAYS THINK SAFETY FIRST - It is ALWAYS advisable when selling anything online to meet in a open and public place with many people around. Never meet at your house or place of business. Most people will understand if you tell them you are not comfortable with meeting in a private place. And if they don't, then maybe that is a red flag to find another buyer.
- CASH ONLY PLEASE - AND ALWAYS accept cash only...no personal cheques. If you are purchasing items, please be considerate to bring exact cash for the seller.
Always consider donating to a charity or organization in need. There are many great organizations who will gladly accept your gently-used clothes, toys and books. Many of these organizations host a used sale to earn money for their charity. Also, many community schools need used clothing donations to help out with children in need at their schools. Before you decide to donate, simply call the organization first to inquire if they accept donations and what they need. Many places do not accept stuffed animals.
One organization that you can donate to is the CLOTHESLINE by the Canadian Diabetes Association. They accept donations and have a pick-up in most Regina neighborhoods once a month. They accept clothing of all kinds as well as reusable household items such as: toys, small furniture, knick-knacks, linen, shoes, towels, toys blenders, mircowaves, food processors. They also accept electronic items such as cell phones, digital cameras, ipods, mp3 players, ink, toner and laser cartridges. They also have clothing donation bins set up around the city to drop off your items. In order to schedule a free pick-up or find a box near you, call 1 (800) 505-5525 or visit www.diabetes.ca.
ORGANIZE A NEIGHBOURHOOD GARAGE/BLOCK SALE
Pick a date in the summer that gives you enough time to organize and purge items you are ready to get rid of in your house. Create a poster in Microsoft Word to deliver to neighbors so you can organize who will participate on your block. Then take out a free ad on one of websites Kijiji, LeaderPost, UsedRegina and VARAGESALE to make sure you get the word out about your block sale. Also, you can create a facebook event so you can let all your friends and family know and they too can share your big sale. By using social media like Facebook, you can actually post photos of items that will be at the sale and add pictures ahead of time so people can get a good idea of what is available. You wouldn't believe how much stuff will go before the day of the event.
CLOTHING SWAP PARTY
Organizing a party night with some friends at a home is a great way to get social and visit with friends, but it's also a fun way to swap baby equipment to friends who may be expecting a new baby or if you have kids at different ages and different stages, you may get some nice second hand clothes. This works great for your clothes, accessories, handbags, shoes and sports equipment too!
Here is how to organize:
- Pick a date and send out invitations to your friends, work collegues or neighbours. You can send out an e-vite or create an event through Facebook.
- Ask each guest to bring a snack/light appetizers and/or drinks or a bottle of wine.
- Every guest brings a bag of gently used items they would like to get rid of: baby equipment, clothes, toys, games & puzzles. Depeding on who is coming maternity clothes can even be an option.
- The host will set the guidelines as to what is going to be swapped. When guests arrive, you allow for about ½ an hour to draw numbers on who gets to showcase their stuff first. When the first person starts to showcase their items, whoever is interested raises their hand. Items go to first person who raises their hand. At the end of the swap, anything that is not wanted is donated to the charity of choice by the host.
Do you have a tip for recycling, selling or donating gently used items? Share, email, facebook or contact us at editorial ‘at’ kinderbuzzcom. We would love to hear from you.