Every time I move house my mother has some empatic instructions to do with getting rid of ‘stuff’. ‘Stuff’ is associated with a certain amount of horror. It’s only by the thinnest of threads that she avoids coming here in the middle of the night and binning things at random.
I have found on many moves that the effort of sorting through ‘stuff’, identifying the source of the horror and disposing of it thoughtfully exceeds that of just carrying it to the new place. So I’ve tended to do that.
But I had more lead time on this move so I did what I could. Here’s a quick review of methods of getting rid of stuff:
- Positives: simple, effective. Negatives: I’m bad at bins. I look at all the stuff that’s still useful or working, or which at least could be useful or working, or which, at a pinch could leak heavy metals into the soil and deform my great-grandchildren, and it doesn’t get thrown out.
- Positives: people actually give you money for stuff. In the whole two eBay transactions I’ve made, it’s been more money than I’ve expected by three times or so. Negatives: you have to photograph the stuff, describe its condition accurately, communicate with your buyer, arrange payment and shipping or pick-up. Good for the odd thing that actually appears worth something.
- Positives: people come and take your stuff away! And thank you for it! And bring you big lemons! Negatives: it’s still time consuming, although you don’t have to feel like you’re in a fight with the Trade Practices Act. And you don’t get any money. And they suck at nominating a time. (“Any time! When are you home?” “There’s someone there nearly all the time! Now pick one!”) Good for the bulk of my junk: too valuable for the bin, sale price not worth the effort.
- Book Crossing
- Sort of a nice idea, pretty worthless for giving away books. It’s not set up to facilitate that; they get much more excited when you just leave them on a park bench than they do when you re-home them. So their entire system is devoted to tracking the park benches you left books on, rather than on facilitating finding loving homes for bad Rob Grant novels.