Small House Big World


Getting Rid of Things

Anna Edgren • February 7, 2015

I have heard before that throwing things away can help you clean up not only your physical space but your mental space as well. I have absolutely found this to be true. I didn’t realize that all my old t-shirts and ill-fitting jeans were on my mind in any capacity until they were gone. You don’t realize the little dance you are doing of avoiding the things you don’t use until they are no longer there.  Below I will talk a little bit about what we have done to get rid of the excess and recommend some resources that have helped us downsize. 



I think I have probably gotten rid of 10 bags of clothing so far. I have no idea how I was even storing it all in this 1 bedroom apartment. It’s pretty mind blowing. When I cleared out clothes from my closet, I realized that I had hidden gems I forgot I even owned hiding in the back behind a bunch of crap I didn’t ever wear. Hello! By throwing the old things away, it is easier to find things I actually want to wear. Now my drawers all shut nicely, and the phrase “digging through my closet” no longer applies. Now I can “reach into my closet.” Like a lady. 

Resources for getting rid of clothes: 

We generally stay away from trying to sell clothes on eBay or other websites, but I know a LOT of people do this successfully. If you have nicer clothing and think you can make money on it, check out some other clothing-specific websites and see if any fit your bill.  The reasons we haven’t done much of this: 1) Neither of us have many fancy or designer clothing. No one wants my old gray t-shirt with pit stains. 2) When selling clothing you have a higher chance of having to deal with returns. Things don’t fit people properly through no fault of the buyer or seller, and you may get more customer complaints than you would with non-wearable goods. 


Kitchen Stuff

Kitchen stuff is the kind of thing that builds up over time easily. It is mostly hidden away in drawers and cabinets and you don’t ever really want to throw any of it away because it usually cost a fair amount of money and you figure what’s the harm in having another sauce pan? And there IS no harm, it’s mostly just that you start looking around and realize you haven’t used any of this crap in years, so what’s the point? 

I discovered I’ve had a lot of the same kitchen stuff since college. Which is wonderful – some of the items are good quality and I am happy to call them mine. Others are things like errant lids that can’t fit any pot or pan I’ve had in recent memory. All of this is stuff I have been dragging with me from place to place for the last 10+ years.

So I had a moment of “getting real” with myself and put probably 50 – 60% into a big cardboard box to sell at a garage sale. I only kept pots and pans that had lids and I got rid of lids that went to the mystery pot I lost 5 years ago. I got rid of a bunch of bowls that had little chips in them. I chose just ONE large pasta strainer to keep, instead of 3. I weened out the silverware that didn’t match and discovered I actually DID have a matching set of silverware buried in among the nonsense – exciting! 

The payoff: Cooking in my kitchen has become so much easier already. No more digging through a pile of pots and pans to find the one I need. Everything is right there where it should be, and ready to use. 

Resources for getting rid of kitchen stuff:

If you have your life blissfully together, and have a fantastic collection of vintage pyrex or nice kitchen appliances that you want to get rid of, you can probably sell it on eBay or Pinterest for a chunk of change. If, on the other hand, you are like me, and the stuff you have is essentially just garbage that has been hiding in your home – either donate it or throw it away, depending on level of garbage-ness. Garage sale is a good option for these things too. 



Jewelry was a great place for me to look for things to get rid of because not only do I have quite a collection of (cheap) jewelry, I also very rarely wear it. I spent about 2 hours untangling the mess that was my jewelry box, and found a whole bunch of fun stuff that I can continue to not wear! (I actually have been making an effort to add a piece of jewelry to my outfit before I go out, because heck, I might as well.) I think I’ve ultimately decided I am going to try to sell some of it online. Thanks to my lovely friend Carrie I also discovered that although I don’t like wearing a ton of jewelry, I really like making it. It is especially fun to put together pieces of different necklaces, add beads, and design whatever you want into something pretty. I may re-create some of my old jewelry and turn it into new jewelry to sell. Depends on how much extra time I have on my hands. 

Resources for getting rid of Jewelry:

If you have nice jewelry made of high quality metals or precious stones, you can absolutely sell it online for money. Ebay works here, or another good resource is: TrueFacet, a company that specializes in reselling jewelry.


Old Electronics

These are great to sell online. Throw them up on Ebay and see what happens. We found we essentially have $10-20 bills sitting around in various drawers in the house in the form of old cameras and cell phones. Money is money! Better to have the cash than trash! (sorry, couldn’t help myself). 

Resources for getting rid of old electronics:

We really like eBay for this. Honestly, it is nice to have everything in the same place online where you are familiar with how the system works and know what you are getting. Unless we have some type of specialty item, eBay it is.  If you are looking for alternatives to eBay, there are a few websites that specialize in electronics like Nextworth and Gazelle, which I have heard positive things about, but have not personally tried. 



Kelly took the reins on selling some of our books, as we collectively had quite a few. We made about $60 selling books in an afternoon – a lot of the books we had were not worth trying to sell for a couple of bucks so we just donated them. A handful were worth more and we took them to a used book store and turned them into cash. Magic! 

Resources for getting rid of old electronics:

Using the Amazon app you can scan the book’s bar code and immediately see if it is worth selling or should just be donated. This is extremely helpful and quick to use. 


Anna Edgren • February 7, 2015

Previous Post

Next Post


  1. Live from Chicago! | Small House, Big World
  2. Finding the Right Job | Small House Big World

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published / Required fields are marked *