I've been going through boxes in the garage to decide what is and is not going to Texas with us on the PCS. For the most part, I'm not having trouble deciding what stays or goes. I mean, we will definitely not be needing a full set of martini glasses or a multi-purpose cake plate, and since they're fragile, they probably wouldn't make the trip anyway. My biggest problem is what to do after I decide to get rid of things I no longer have a use for.
There are three main categories for these items: Trash, Sell, Donate.
Trash: This one is pretty easy. Either something is broken, dirty, or otherwise unusable. (Don't forget that some "trash" can be recycled!) No-brainer there.
The next two get tricky. How do you decide something is worth selling? Where do you plan to sell it? Is it worth the trouble? If not, and you decide to donate it, where will you take it? Are you worried about the likelihood of it actually being used?
Sell: This requires more work on your part than making a donation. You have some options, but try to keep it simple.
You can have a yard sale, but be realistic. Will you really get up at 6AM on Saturday and Sunday to set up your items? Are you willing to haggle with people and accept the fact that you probably won't sell much? If you think a yard sale is a possibility, make sure you sufficiently advertise and see if any of your neighbors would like to get involved. (I'll talk more about yard sales in a later post.)
If you don't want to give up your sleep-in days, consider listing items for sale online. You can list most items on Craigslist (for free!) or eBay. If you have books, video games, or DVDs, you can list them on half.com or the Amazon marketplace. ***Be sure to check each site's policies and listing fees.*** The pros here are that you don't have to physically haul your stuff in and out of your garage or worry about severe weather. Cons? It still takes time, and you have to be accurate with your descriptions. Either way, this stuff is still taking up your space until it's sold.
The best solution I've come up with here is narrowing down your options and forming a plan for the stuff that doesn't sell.
I decide to have a yard sale. I advertise on Facebook, in the newspaper, and on Craigslist for a week. I make between $100-$500. Whatever is left over gets donated to the Salvation Army. Whatever they don't take goes in the trash or gets recycled. Done!
I have a lot of books and DVDs to sell, so I post them on half.com. (I also advertise these listings on Facebook and any relevant online forums/communities.) If they don't sell by Christmas, they get donated. The end!
If you're more worried about recouping your space than your money, I'd say donating everything is the way to go!