Declutter Step 3: Decluttr

Not only do I have a ton of stuff to sort through, but my poor mother’s house is filled with junk from my childhood. Prom dresses, VHS tapes, dance costumes, boxes of toys. I’ve always felt guilty that it’s all just sitting there, waiting to be remembered. Something has to be done about it eventually.

Since I had some luck dumping my records for $25 and my broken tech devices for $60, I offered to help my mom out with DVDs, CDs, and books from her own collection as that was the next step in mine. I knew she wanted to get rid of some stuff, and on my way to band practice on Sunday I picked up three overflowing boxes of her unwanted media.

I want to shout out that NONE of these services I’m mentioning in this series have sponsored me. This is 100% my own experience trying to dump all my crap on someone else for cash. Are there better services offering more money for your old junk? Maybe, but this was what I found in my research, this is what I used, this is my experience.

I went through my mom’s boxes and picked out things I didn’t have the heart to get rid of myself without allowing myself much. For example – of the 40 or so DVDs, I kept 5. The few I kept were movies hard to find on streaming services, had memories attached, or were collectors editions in genuinely good condition. I also went through the books and chose a few at a similar ratio.

This week, I started with the app Decluttr. I had dreaded how long this would take – but with the ease of the app and the barcode scanner, I had scanned and submitted everything within a half an hour. Out of approximately 200 DVDs/CDs/Books, they were accepting 96 of them. What would have been $0 for donating to Goodwill, I made $30. Could I have made more through eBay? Probably. But the time saved is money to me – I didn’t want to dedicate months to this part of my clean-out project.

Here’s all the stuff they took.

I’ve officially made $115 from all of my junk – what are you doing letting yours lay around?

Declutter Step 2: My Records

Guys, I had accumulated 56 records. In FOUR YEARS.

If you wanted to see what my record collection looked like 3 years ago, click here.

Records do bring me joy. I listen to records maybe once a week.

I COULD listen to a different record every week for 13 months?

But I certainly am not going to. I always reach for the same 3 or so.

So, here’s what I did.

I went through my collection and picked out the ones I literally had not touched in 3 years, the ones I was only “meh” about owning, all of the ones that did not spark joy.

That ended up being half.

And I sold them.

I made an appointment and brought them to Stereo Jack’s, in business since 1982, a mom & pop type shop in Harvard Square. They gave me cash, and I left happy knowing that these records will go to homes that will cherish them and play them frequently and that the shop will make more than I did from them so they can continue their business of bringing joy to others.

Please don’t tell John’s mom.

Declutter Step 1: Broken Stuff

Marie Kondo says start with your closet.

I say, the seasons are changing and I’m only just rediscovering what items in my spring/summer wardrobe get regular use. So, hold off a sec there.

I say, start with what I don’t even goddamn use.

My broken stuff.

My iPad 2, a beloved birthday gift, that one day stopped working altogether.

My iPhone 6, that I dropped in water.

My iPhone 7, that I shattered.

They’ve been just sitting there in one of my closets.

WHY. WHAT USE DO I HAVE FOR THESE THINGS.

I suppose my sustainable self didn’t want to just toss them into a landfill.

I also didn’t want to waste weeks trying to sell them to some specific person online who is searching for an outdated broken iPad. Sure, I’d make some cash, but who knows how much time I’d lose?

TIME IS MONEY, PEOPLE.

Enter BuyBackBoss.

I told them what I had. They told me it would be worth somewhere around $60. They sent me a free shipping label, I shipped my stuff to them. A week later, there was my $60 in Paypal.

10/10, would get rid of useless crap to them again. This process couldn’t have been quicker or easier for me. Could I have made more selling these things for parts? Yeah, maybe. But certainly not as quick.

I’m a MESS

As many of you have likely experienced, I am broke.

Not dead-broke. I have a little in savings, I have a 5 figure limit on my credit card I’m nowhere near, I pay my rent and bills on time. I have friends with cool jobs able to hook me up with cool free things. I’m still over here living. Just…frugally.

So I’ve started looking into downsizing my life.

I know that at the end of my current lease, I have to move out. I don’t want to be house poor any longer, and this one bedroom with rent increasing each year is no longer sustainable for me. I know I’m preparing for a move, just to where has not been decided yet. I look around my apartment, the things I’ve accumulated over the past 3 years, and I feel stressed.

Enter Marie Kondo.

Actually, scratch that.

Re-enter Elle Fowler.

Elle, better known by the moniker AllThatGlitters21, was everything to me when I was 15 years old. Her, and her sister Blair. I religiously watched their Youtube videos when they came out – they taught me the beginnings of most everything I know about makeup, fashion, and home decor. You will find my apartment has HEAVY inspiration from their early room tours – from my IKEA Alex 9 Drawer (Elle had those), to my Office Depot 10 drawer organizer (Blair had those). I still carry around a Lily Pulitzer planner everywhere I go, which they used to sell on their iconic Glitzy Glam shop.

Elle took a bit of a break from social media to do adult things like get married, birth an adorable son, and open her own planner shop. No one can blame her for that. But she’s back, and she’s DECLUTTERING, darling.

I was once the declutter queen in college. I went from holding onto everything my entire childhood because I “might need it again someday” – likely due to some residual feelings unresolved childhood trauma – to the queen of getting rid of absolutely everything in college – likely due to my desire to start anew. I never held onto anything that wasn’t immediately useful to me, or things that didn’t make me feel happy. I also moved frequently – I had 6 dorms/apartments in my 3.5 year time. I didn’t have time to hold onto clutter.

Somehow in staying in the same spot for 3 years, I’ve regressed.

The KonMari method, the same one Elle has been using and tagging in her recent videos, is simple when you break it down. If it doesn’t bring use or spark joy, dump it. I SWEAR I was using this method before she branded it with her name, but I fell off the wagon.

So…let’s start the journey of watching me go from a hoarder den to the capsule wardrobe, perfectly organized queen I was.

I was that girl once – I know I can be her again.