Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Simple" Decluttering

I recently read a blog post on a simplicity website describing how to declutter and make money doing it. The article went on to discuss yard sales, craigslist, eBay, and claiming donations on your taxes. I have nothing against those activities and have done all of them (except I’m still an eBay virgin. tee hee). In fact, we just had a huge garage sale last Saturday.

Yet, there was something that rubbed me the wrong way about that particular post. It needed a disclaimer. If simplicity is the overarching theme of your blog/book/article/message, I personally believe you should start by at least identifying the most simple path to the goal. Just an acknowledgment will suffice.

It seems to me that the simplest way to get rid of something is to donate it or put it up for free and then walk away. No receipt.

Selling an item means figuring out the item's "worth", setting a price, negotiating a price, and arranging a time and place for conducting the transaction. This complicates matters. Requesting a receipt for a donation means identifying the object’s worth, filing or keep track of the info until it comes time to file your taxes, and then entering the info. The item has now left a little trail for you to follow - its imprint lives on. This complicates matters.

Again, I have nothing against getting money for stuff you don’t want. I do it all the time. But what is the purest form of decluttering? If I’m in a situation where simplicity is my driving motivation - it’s no-receipt donation.

Is it just me, or do we feel a rap coming on in that last sentence??

What do you think? Am I splitting hairs here? For me, it’s a definite mindset difference. It’s one thing to simplify your environment by decluttering. It’s another thing to simplify both your environement and your life while decluttering.

Plus, it’s just plain good practice at letting go.

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