Repeat After Me — Crap out of the House, Money In

by Katy on July 25, 2012 · 7 comments

The following is a repeat of a previously published post. Enjoy!

I have been slowly, but steadily working to declutter my house, and as always, if I can combine an activity with income revenue, all the better.

I had sold a few big tickets on Craigslist (snowboard equipment, dress ups and a twin bed) over the past few weeks, which brought in $240. I’d also taken two laundry baskets full of kid books to Powell’s bookstore, which earned $10 for each of my sons. (They bought about a third of them.)

So today, I drank an extra shot of liquid courage, (Red Rose tea) and attacked the boys’ closets. My 14-year-old son has a huge closet in his room, which means that it doesn’t need to be gleaned all that often. This also means it can fill up with clothes he would not wear in a million years, which makes it hard for him to find the clothes he actually likes.

I pulled everything out from the closet and laid it across the bed. This included all the empty toddler size hangers as well as the hand me downs my son would rather die than be caught wearing, (Land’s End wide wale courduroy elastic waisted pants with extra fabric across the knees.) I decided which color hanger we had the most of (dark green) and set aside all the rest. I then ruthlessly culled the clothes that, while perfectly good, and often in like-new condition, would never get worn. This was at least 75% of the content of his closet.

I chatted with my Seattle sister while decluttering, and she begged and pleaded with me to set all the pants aside, (her ten-year-old son is not picky about clothes) but my goal here was to get this stuff out of the house. Out. Out! Not set aside — Out!

I then pulled all the clothes from my 11-year-old son’s closet and went through the same routine, (he got the blue hangers!)

I organized the clothes into bins for the consignment shop and Goodwill and even grabbed a few extra items like child size Harry Potter sleeping bags, the toddler size hangers, some toys from cleaning out my younger son’s room and the laundry basket of kid books that Powell’s had rejected.

I am excited (and frankly, surprised) to announce that the children’s consignment shop took almost all the clothes, all the hangers, about half of the books as well as the sleeping bags! I won’t realize any profit until the stuff sells, but I’m in no hurry.

And really, I have met my goal of Crap out of the house, money in!

And not to toot my own horn, but I batched a few errands since I was driving across town, and bought tons of yummy food at the Grocery Outlet, (including beautifully packaged salmon and organic chai chocolate bars for the Japanese host families) and hormone free milk at Trader Joe’s. I hung two loads of laundry to dry, and will be taking my older son to pick up his glasses, which are finally ready.

I will sleep well tonight.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Lili@creativesavv July 25, 2012 at 5:58 am

Thanks for the motivation to do something in this area. I’ve been piling up stuff in a closet in the spare room all year, and now need to just get it out and make a bit of cash. It’ll be so nice to have that closet free, to be organized for stuff we really still want to use.

My two teen daughters are old enough that they have control of their closet and I can’t just help myself to cleaning it out. But I did put the idea into their heads that if they wanted to contribute to the garage sale pile, they’d get to keep any money earned on their stuff. And they are interested in earning some money to buy some new clothes.


Susan July 25, 2012 at 9:12 am

I have plans to declutter as well. In the meantime, as a reward to myself, I’m teaching myself how to crochet and make two pillowcases for the master bedroom. Yes, I know I promised pictures of the recently decorated bedroom but it isn’t complete yet. Sorry Katy. I promise I will soon. Take care!


astrid July 25, 2012 at 10:03 am

Even though my sister’s girls are 4 plus years younger than my daughter, we keep any of my daughter’s “Cool” and/or expensive clothes for her girls, like North Face Jackets, Ugh boots, Doc Martins, and the like. I also pick up items that I can not resist for her girls- last week it was a cute North Face Pullover fleece for $2.99. Usually the clothes and shoes sit in bags until I see her about twice a year. My sister would be completely incensed if I told her we were cleaning out/purging/reorganizing etc, and that we were not setting the clothes aside for her. It could even turn into one of those “issues” that linger on for way too long between sisters. How do the two of you resolve this, and/or did you resolve this without hard feelings?


Anna July 25, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Love the post! Thanks to you and Kristen over at – I am slowly becoming a Salvation Army/Goodwill shopper and frugal-without-fear! 🙂 Thanks to both of you! Just today I picked up a like new shirt for $1 for my son at Salvation Army and snagged a pair of EUC jeans on ebay for $4.99. 🙂


Kimberly July 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Sounds like an awesomely productive day!

I should dig through the boys’ closets. Bet I could find some stuff to get rid of…and I need to sell a gazillion DVDs and Xbox games on Ebay.


Vivienne July 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm

That ‘s how I feel when I’m in “get it out” mode.
But, oh dear, I still feel bad for your sister, setting aside some things might jave been an acceptable compromise perhaps? As it would also benefit your sister to aspire towrd the same goals you have acheived. (not buying anything new, using it up and/or wearing it out)


Katy July 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm

My sister already had too much stuff for her kids. She just couldn’t stand that I was getting rid of perfectly good stuff.



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