Thursday, June 9, 2011

Simple Solution: The Donation Box

You may recall my recent rummage sale event. I love going; I hate selling. And now that I've done more than I care to do in this lifetime, I've finally learned a few things...

1. You only make money on the really big items, the really nice items, and the collecter items that are currently hot.

2. Time is money and you're better off donating things like used clothes, kitchen gadgets, and other odds and ends. 

Photo Credit

3. It's better to sell something for less than you had hoped and move it along rather than holding out for top dollar.

4. If at all possible, do not let your children see what you're selling.

5. Have a firm rule that your children can not buy anything at the rummage sale.  

6. Have an even firmer rule with your spouse that he or she can not buy anything unless you both agree on the purchase.

7. Do not bother pricing anything. If you're only selling the big stuff, you're going to haggle anyway. Know your starting dollar and your bottom price. (Be sure your spouse knows!)

8. Get to the sale long before it opens. It always, always opens earlier than stated.

9. Have a runner; someone who'll fetch you coffee, food, extra cash, a marker, scissors, etc.

10. Have a plan with what is left over so you do NOT bring it home with you.

Okay, so that's a bit tongue-and-cheek, but it's also true! My point for today isn't to write an exhaustive post on how to do a successful rummage sale (or garage sale), but rather how to avoid one altogether. Yes, indeed!

Now that I've hauled off several small truck loads of clothing, old games, odds and ends, etc., I'm going back through the house and purging again. Seriously. I'm amazed at how fast this stuff multiplies! Who's bringing all this junk into the house? It's like guppies in a small tank or rabbits in the hutch! Babies are being born every minute!

Time to create a Donation Box. I've read about this on a couple of organizing websites and I think it's a grand idea. Rather than letting items pile up throughout the house for months on end, when you come across an item that is worthy for donation (instead of the trash), you'll have an immediate home for it until it goes to the thrift store.

Photo Credit

Creating A Donation Box

1. Select a large sturdy box to receive items.

2. Place the box in an out-of-the-way location, but still easy enough to access. Be sure it's some place that is clean and where the family pets won't use it as a sleeping spot.

Photo Credit

3. Label the box clearly so everyone knows what it's for. (Okay, if you have small kids, you may not want them to know everything in there is leaving the house for good).

4. Each day, try to find at least one item to go into the box. Two items, it's a good day! Three... you'll earn the "Super Organizer" award for sure!

5. Either once a month or when the box is full, bag it all up and make a trip to the thrift store. Be sure to call in advance so you know the hours they receive items. You don't want to be hauling everything around in your car for two weeks (I've been known to do that more than once!).

6. Start filling the box again.

It's that easy. So much less painful than a big 'ol 6 a.m. rummage sale with no breakfast and two days of work ahead of time. Of course, that means you'll need to be purging your drawers and closets regularly.

Uhhh... you will be purging, right?


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