The Purge Continues (Endlessly)

Somehow I am STILL purging unwanted items from our house, but now I am managing to make some pretty good money off of it.  I switched up my selling game from strictly Craigslist and local Facebook buy/sell/trade groups, with a fall-back plan of consignment, and tried my hand at eBay.  Let me just say that I am still very much an eBay novice, but I have sold things for way more than I could have gotten from any of the other ways I’ve tried.

I probably would have gotten maybe 10 bucks for these boots at Plato’s Closet or around $20 or so selling on Craigslist or Facebook.

2014-09-14 20.01.31


But I sold them on eBay for $60!!!!!!!!  That’s double what I paid when I bought them new.  Turns out that Naughty Monkey leather boots are not in high demand in FoCo, but are everywhere else.

My other big eBay win is selling this Carhartt vest.  2014-12-09 17.18.03 CGCHWV001_-00_carhartt-brown_front_Womens-Carhartt-Sandstone-Mock-Neck-Vest-Sherpa-Lined_23

I bought this in Steamboat for around $20 about 7 years ago because I guess I felt like I needed some workwear???  Who knows…  I wore it approximately twice for things like riding in a car and sitting in a chair (hard work).  I went straight to eBay with this when I noticed it still hanging in the closet (not sure how it survived so many purges).  While my favorite discount gear store had it for sale in pink and purple for $37.50, the MSRP is $79.99, and Carhartt Brown is almost impossible to come by in women’s vests…except on eBay.  In under a day, I sold it for $60.

I am certainly not just selling things like crazy on eBay.  It all comes down to pictures, keywords, and timing.  It took me two listings to sell a silk J. Crew dress that I wore to my first black tie optional event while working for CSU Events, and I think I ended up selling it for $15 (half of what I paid, so I got my money’s worth).  I am also trying to unload a pair of Steve Madden boots and a couple of Moosejaw jackets, but I haven’t had any bites yet.  I’ve gotten some views, though, so I think I need to take some better pictures.

However, I can’t sell everything on eBay and I lucked out yesterday by leaving a post up in the Fort Collins Trade Swap  group on Facebook.  (Pro-tip: if you are looking to sell things in Fort Collins, this is the place to do it because the 6700 members all get real-time notifications of what’s for sale in their newsfeed).  I have been trying to sell this gem of a bike since this summer:

2014-08-08 13.18.54

This picture does not do the ridiculousness justice…it has huge rearview mirrors, a giant bell, the back tire is super fat, and the seat has a velvet checkerboard pattern.

Lo and behold, my Christmas present came early and a guy found the post from August, offered me $150, and gave me the money before he ever looked at the bike.  It was somehow exactly what he had been looking for all over Northern Colorado.  Goodbye, chopper bike!  I told the boy that we are now a 6-bicycle household, and then it felt like all the purging progress went out the window.

Moral of the story: when you’re selling things you no longer want, figure out where you’re going to get the best deal.  If it’s a brand name and easily shippable, try eBay.  You don’t pay anything until you sell, the listing fees are reasonable, and it’s SO EASY.  You’ll get way more money than if you consign it or take it to a place that buys on the spot.  Definitely read up on selling tips to make sure you’re reaching potential buyers.  If you can’t easily ship it, check out a local facebook buy and sell group.  The Fort Collins group is very active and everything shows up in the newsfeeds of your potential buyers.

When you’ve made some extra cash, sock most of it away in your emergency fund or put it toward paying off a debt, and use some to have a little fun.  I hear there is a new trampoline park that is awesome and on Tuesdays, 2 can jump for the price of 1.  I haven’t been there yet, but it sounds ridiculously fun (and like a broken spine waiting to happen).


The Final Countdown–Final Minimalist Game Update

To FINALLY wrap up the minimalist game from July, Andy and I took a giant load of purged stuff to Arc.  In a fit of desperation of wanting my garage back, we took a bunch of stuff to Arc, a thrift store in town that provides training, jobs, and resources to people with developmental disabilities and their families.  I had some stuff that was slated for sale, but decided I would rather reclaim the garage and donate a lot of it.  I also get the joy of itemizing on my tax return, so it’ll help out when tax time rolls around.

20140815_133815 20140815_133811 20140815_133807Some highlights: a big box of VHS tapes that our friend sneakily abandoned in our living room before he left for the Peach Corps, my alarm clock from college and grad school that tortured me for many mornings, my old climbing shoes, lots of clothes that did not make the Plato’s Closet or consignment cuts during previous purges, a shoe organizer, a wireless router (sneakily abandoned with the VHS tapes), a rug, a toaster, an old pan, and a Fossil purse and matching wallet that I bought at a garage sale.  There were also many giveaway items from conferences, a giant bag of ribbon scraps, and a couple of DVDs that we have duplicates of.

Not absolutely sure of the final count, but I do know for certain that I eliminated way more items than I planned on.  Sadly, I still have two rooms in the house that I didn’t touch.

I am certainly nowhere near being a “minimalist,” but it felt great to get rid of some of the extra crap that’s accumulated and I’m always shocked when I purge at how much we can get rid of and never miss it.  I am currently reading Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things, and I vow not to die from being crushed to death by a mountain of junk.


Minimalist Game Update

And The Purge continues.

Not this purge, though…far less murdery and crime-ridden at our house.

July 12

2014-07-25 17.59.422014-07-21 15.58.162014-07-25 18.14.032014-07-25 18.09.43

Sell: vintage vanity chair that I love but have no room for, K2 rollerblades (new with tags–purchased at a pawn shop.  I’m assuming the previous owner and I both thought, “Rollerblading is such a great workout!  I’ll buy these and never use them because it’s no longer 1995), and a running belt thingy because I now have one I like more.

Recycle: special event magazines from my previous like as someone who cared about flower and catering trends.

Get someone to adopt her: Petal, who I love dearly, but I want her to find her forever home.  Check out A Soft Place to Land for more info on Petal and other adoptable rescue dogs in Fort Collins.  And yes, I’m counting her toward the minimalist game because I can plug her and ASPTL, and she decided she needed to be in the picture.

July 13

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Sell or donate: another Otterbox HTC Evo phone case, a New Belgium shirt, headphones that came with some electronic device, Hello Kitty Chia Pet and seed packet, two tiny dog collars that buckle, three books that help create successful human beings post undergrad, and a running armband and the mp3 player or phone holder that goes with it, and two pairs of underwear with broken and worn out elastic (not pictured for the sake of all of us).

Total number of items purged through July 13: 91!  Not too shabby.

More updates coming soon!  I’ll catch up on posts by the end of the month, I swear.

Minimalist Game Update

I am so behind with posts, but I don’t want to bore you with massive posts on the junk I’m getting rid of.  Starting with a few where I left off earlier…

July 9
Sell: two pairs of nicer brand sunglasses.
Donate: a business card holder and a cheapo pair of sunglasses.
Trash: four expired McDonald’s free sandwich coupons and a losing scratch ticket left on my dresser by Andy (thanks, BTW).

July 8

July 8

 July 10
Sell: The Woman Movement and an Otterbox case for an HTC Evo (provided there is still someone out there with an Evo).
Turn in: three winning scratch tickets totaling $5 in winnings.  Actual thanks this time to Andy for leaving them on my dresser and the coffee table.
Trash: an old, filled up day planner, two basketball tickets from last season that have been sitting on our shelf since before the game, and a pompom that I made and it looks terrible.
Electronics recycling: an old broken phone.

July 10

July 10

July 11
This is the day of getting rid of some big stuff from the garage and cleaning out my office because clutter does not stop at home.

Sell: my bike from middle and high school that I barely rode. It’s still in great condition because it was preserved in the museum quality environment of my parents’ garage for all these years.
Electronics recycling: a giant tube TV that weighs a million lbs (not pictured). Works great, but evidently you can’t even donate these nowadays. I will try to post on Craigslist for free before I have to pay to recycle it. Two printer cartridges that have been sitting my office for a month.
Return: a defective printer cartridge that has been sitting in my office for a month, two keyboard trays that have needed to be returned since November, but the company never sent me return labels.
Recycle: four cardboard boxes.

July 10

July 10

2014-07-21 14.32.10


Minimalist Game Update!

This minimalist game is working out way better than I thought it would.  I have been meaning to clean out and organize my dog stuff since…oh, I don’t know…2010 when I got Banjo.  Dog stuff just multiplies and appears out of nowhere.  But I conquered it.  I also cleaned up my tea cabinet because, yes, I have a tea cabinet.

Here’s an update on the shiz I’ve cleared out so far. If you see anything you want, let me know. 🙂

July 3

July 3

July 3
Donate: State Farm strappy backpack that someone handed me at Taste of Fort Collins that I will never use, a Lisa Frank coloring book (love it but I don’t have anything to color with and some child will appreciate it more than me), and a bazillion little cardboard tubes that each held three flowering tea buds. The tea is now living in jars and my cabinet has wayyyyyyy more space.

July 4

July 4

July 4
Donate: a candle. Smells nice, but I won’t use it.
Sell: three books from various graduate sociology seminars.

July 5

July 5

July 5
To return: Expensive earmuffs I bought for my dad from LL Bean. Then I found the same ones in a better color at TJ Maxx for a third of the price. I have just been too lazy to return these, but LL Bean has a great return policy.
Sell: Dog sweater. Banjo and Prexy just aren’t punk rock enough. But mostly they hate sweaters.
Donate or sell if possible: two Spanish workbooks. I’ve already sold the textbooks that go with them.

July 6

July 6

July 6
Sell: Dog v-neck. Banjo and Prexy just aren’t hipster enough for the deep v.
Donate: Two dog harnesses made entirely of velcro (I have no idea where they came from and I have never used them), a slip collar for a small dog (Banjo’s first collar, aww…), and a lanyard.
Trash: Lint roller handle that doesn’t fit any of our lint roller rolls.

July 7

July 7

July 7
Trash: Two old squeakers from toys that have been murdered.
Donate: Two dog bandanas because my dogs aren’t nerds, two leash clips from leashes that Prexy has chewed through, and another collar.

July 8

July 8

July 8
Trash: a reusable bag with a broken handle and whatever that black thing is. It was in with the dogs stuff. Possibly from a harness…????
Donate: Clean habitat spray for cage animals because I haven’t had a hedgehog in two years, and a pet ID tag.
Sell: Wedding stuff. I have a bazillion battery operated strings of white lights, a bunch of silver bead strands, and some white ribbon. Make it all add up to 8 because there are actually probably 30 items total in this round.

I’m currently working my way through the rest of our terrifying garage.  Stay tuned for a bicycle or two, a backpack, and some other big ticket items I hope to make some legit cash from.

Are you doing the minimalist game?  What have you gotten rid of?  And who wants to take all this junk?

Mulligans and Massages

July 2:

My do-over first day was MUCH more successful than July 1.  Here’s the breakdown…

On the financial front, I did pretty well.  No money was spent on anything that wasn’t necessary to my livelihood and wellbeing.

I had to go to the grocery store because we were out of TP–ABSOLUTE NECESSITY.  I also bought vegetable broth and soup.  All of it was on sale.  All fits the healthy eating bill because I bought the organic, simple ingredients, no preservatives kinds.

I did have to give in and get a massage after having a knot in my shoulder that was pulling a rib out of place.  I assure you, dear readers, that I did everything I could to treat it at home, but it had gotten to the point where I had to call in a professional.  As I mentioned previously, I usually have a massage membership.  My back muscles can be such a hot mess that I get tension headaches, muscle spasms, and this one damn knot that gets so bad it pulls my rib out of place.  The combination of going to the chiropractor regularly and getting bi-weekly massages has worked straight up wizardry on how my body functions.  After having a yearlong membership to the extremely inadequate Massage Envy, I switched to LaVida, where I have truly never had a less than phenomenal experience.  I pay $75/month and get a 90 minute prepaid massage and then member pricing on additional massages.  In May, I decided to try to save a little money for traveling, so I put my membership on hold for 3 months.  When I decided this week that I really did need to give in and get a massage, I shopped around for the best deal and settled on the massage clinic at IBMC.  Because it is a school, the prices are incredibly low to help give the students and grads a chance to perfect their craft and build up clientele.  I was able to get a 90 minute hot stone massage with aromatherapy by a grad for $60 (compare that to $100-120 elsewhere).  Because I booked for a Wednesday, I found a coupon for $5 off that’s only good Monday-Wednesday.  It was incredibly easy to book online, the facility was really nice and had a relaxing atmosphere, and it was substantially less expensive than what I’ve been paying.  It’s located along the MAX line as well, so no driving necessary.  I think I am going to cancel my LaVida membership, though I have loved going there, and utilize this great resource for inexpensive professional massage.

Earlier in the day, I had the single most painful chiropractic adjustment of my life because of the tightness in my back and everything being out of joint.  After that and the massage, though, I slept really well and feel much better today.

Julia had Courtney and me over for dinner and made these delicious enchiladas.  The poblano cashew crema was mind-blowing.

Vegan and gluten-free. Photo from Pinterest

Vegan and gluten-free.
Photo from Pinterest

The stuffing was chard, onions, and olives and a tomatillo salsa.  I had three servings.  It was vegan so it’s like one serving.  Don’t judge me.

For the Minimalism Game, I’m sticking with the month of July so I don’t have to do math by the end.  For July 1, the teddy bear went to the start of the Donate bin.  For July 2, I trashed an old raccoon snowdome missing most of its water and my favorite bra of all time.  It’s the end of an era but it was getting too risky to wear, as one of the straps was literally hanging on by a thread.  There could have been a serious wardrobe malfunction.

July 2

July 2

Do you get regular massages?  Why or why not?


The Month of Financial Recovery and Wellness, part 2: Minimalist Game

July is sneaking up on me!  So now I have to catch up on posts.  In addition to No Spend July, I will spend the month participating in the Minimalism Game from The Minimalists.   Basically, on July 1, I’ll get rid of one item that is cluttering up my life and my house by selling, donating, or trashing it.  On July 2, I’ll get rid of two items, on July 3, three items, and so on.  By July 31, I will have purged 496 things!

Anna from And Then We Saved is doing this challenge now and her household purge inspired me to do this for a month.  Since moving three times in the last two years, I realized that the amount of stuff I own is out of control.  I have done several clothing purges and I still don’t feel like I’m down to a reasonable amount.  I know I tend to shop when I’m lonely or bored, and with Andy working nights I have found myself shopping for the sake of shopping more than a few times in the last year.  The habit looks nothing like it used to–I’m no longer going to TJ Maxx weekly and blowing $300 or buying stacks on stacks on stacks of DVDs at pawn shops–but I still feel way too cluttered.  I have changed the way I shop for clothes and other things, favoring quality and versatility over a “good deal,” while still trying to get a good deal, but there is still So. Much. STUFF.  Look forward to regular updates of the junk that’s leaving my house.  I am looking forward to having my garage back.

For a sneak peak at what kind of shit is cluttering up my house, here is my July 1 item.

Miley, but less naked.

Miley, but less naked.

That damn giant white teddy bear has been residing in our garage for almost a full year since I dressed as Miley Cyrus for Tour de Fat.  It will be gone tomorrow, back to its home at ARC, where hopefully some kid can enjoy it as much as I did and will never know its background.