Re: Lightening the load before a move (book recommendation)

--- Patrick Salsbury <salsbury at sculptors dot com> wrote:
> I'm a collector as well, and my piles are somewhat scary. :-)

shameful secret: i have 3 years' worth of Pottery Barn catalogs  
("too nice to throw away", "lots of ideas in there!")  all
conveniently stored in file holders, and requiring no feeding or
maintenance...  but... i keep getting a new one every 2 months;  
by the year 2015, i will need a new house.)

> Good candidates for the Calgon Box are book/tapes/CDs/videos 

i'd sell the music CD's, videos, videogames, and DVD's on Ebay 
(if you have time); they're easy to list and you often don't 
need to post a photo of them.  same for any small computer-
related thingies (TV cards, soundcards, whatever.) works for the 
more expensive/rare books as well (you could make auction lots 
of the cheaper/common books & CDs.) just make sure your asking 
price is in line with Amazon's used book & video prices.

in the Bay Area an excellent way to sell your stuff (esp. the 
more expensive stuff that many people want) is
(which appears to be widely read); post a free ad, and maybe a
link to a web site with a photo of your stuff (i had 7 people
interested in my double stroller in 3 days...)  there are 
"community web sites" like that in many urban areas, but often 
the community has no idea they exist...

> If you have an office that's moving, or even a home office 
> with lots of office supplies, envelopes, pens, folders, etc., 
> consider donating these to a local school. 

...or the Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT) in the Bay Area.

for donations to charities or schools, you can ask for a tax 
receipt, but it is only useful if you itemize deductions on 
your 1040 form (renters usually don't.)  don't bother with 
receipts if you don't itemize deductions (but then it also 
makes it less worthwile to donate things -- from a strictly 
financial point of view; you are better off selling whatever 
you can.)

and don't forget the good old-fashioned garage sale! if you live 
in an apartment building, get a few neighbors to join in; you 
will need: stickers to label everybody's stuff, a "cashier", and 
a cash box, which is a pain.  but the more people participate, 
the more successful the sale (in the Bay Area, craigslist takes
garage sale ads too.)  checklists for "how to hold a successful 
garage sale" are everywhere on the internet.

i know the impulse to "just get rid of the stuff" is strong 
when you feel like you want to just "up and go"... but sometimes, 
especially when you're feeling less than affluent, it's worth 
taking some time to dispose of your posessions in the most 
cost-efficient manner (after all, you probably paid good money 
for the stuff; why not get some of that money back? ...and make
some room for your new Pottery Barn catalogs?)


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