Keep or sell? How to decide in 5 simple steps

by Carter Toni

Unless you’re a true minimalist, your home is probably full of stuff. Over time, people accumulate stuff that they don’t really need. Problem is, this creates clutter, which creates stress. To declutter your home, you need to decide whether to keep or sell. This article will show you how.

Has it been used in the last 12 months?

If you haven’t used an item in the last 12 months, it’s probably just taking up space. Except for specific items and tools that only get used every couple of years, most things around the house will get regular use. If you don’t need it, it’s time to sell. 

Does it have sentimental value? 

Sentimental value is not very quantifiable. Does the item bring you joy when you use it? Is it something that has been handed down to you from family or a trusted friend? If so, you should keep it. On the other hand, just because an item holds sentimental value doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to keep it.

If you’re unsure about whether to keep or sell an item, hold a garage sale and see what happens. If your stand mixer has been sitting at the back of the pantry for 6 years, even if it was once a gift from Grandma, it might be time to part with it.

Does it have monetary value?

If you can make money off of an item, sell it. Sell collectibles like vintage comic books, baseball cards, and CDs if you’re not just holding on to them for nostalgia. If your old car is a high-mileage piece of junk that doesn’t get much use anymore, it might be time to sell or trade it in for a newer model.

Will it appreciate or depreciate in value?

As the saying goes, “buy low, sell high.” If you buy a kitchen table that falls out of fashion in 10 years, it’ll be worth less than if you had paid $100 for it. The same applies to technology and cars. A laptop that costs $1,000 today may only be worth $100 in 5 years. Some cars appreciate value over time, but it’s hard to predict. It might be better to sell my Ferrari and invest in a classic car.

Does it add value to your life?

Some people believe that experiences are more valuable than possessions. The idea is that you can’t get attached to an experience, but it should enrich your life in some way. If you decide to keep something for an extended period of time, it should be because it makes your life better or fuller in some way. Are you hoarding clothes that don’t fit you anymore? If they are still in good condition and you haven’t worn them in 6 months, sell them. Are there old books that you’ve already read on your shelf? It’s time to donate, sell, or throw them away in a roll off dumpster if they are taking up a lot of space.

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