laid off and learning to love it… my journey from corporate sprinter to life marathoner

sahm: the purge 06/12/2009

Filed under: Saving Money — ccatet @ 3:04 pm

i started using the term PURGE in grad school… i was constantly advocating the purge. not one to encourage an eating disorder of any kind, the use of this term refers to the world around me. i am focused on trying to stay lean in terms of my possessions.

this outlook was and is probably the result of being raised by a mother who tends to hang on to things just a tad too long (as in 15 years too long!) I LOVE YOU, MOM!

having kids and all of the necessities that came along with them was really overwhelming to me at first (and still is from time to time!) how could one little person need so many things??? knowing we hoped to have two children, i took many deep breaths and stored all baby #1 items until hopefully baby #2 came along.

now that #2 is fast approaching her first birthday, a new phase of purge is in full swing! sure, it helps make a little extra money, but it also helps keep the house reasonably lean.

this week on facebook, there was an exchange between a few former classmates about yard sales vs craigslist vs ebay, etc.  i have done yard sales in the past with moderate success, but IMO it’s way too much work. the ROI (when compared to your time) is really not worth it.

i believe that here in columbus, for anything >$10, craigslist is totally the way to go. just be safe and smart about your posts and meeting up with people (i.e. do the exchange in a public place, cash only, don’t disclose too much personal info in the ad, etc).

we didn’t use the service much until we moved in early 2008  and found our basement full of furniture that was not working in the new house. i posted a few lamps, a dresser, a coat tree – and all were snatched up within days. when summer came and our garage called for more space, we posted a bike, a bike rack and a playset that were not being used. all items sold within a 1-2 weeks. by june, i had earned enough proceeds to pay for a new pottery barn dresser and nightstand for my son’s big boy room (albeit from the pb outlet store – you didn’t think i’d actually pay full price, did you???)

this winter we actually sold a car on craigslist. it was a 2003 volvo — and it sold (cashier’s check in hand) exactly 9 days from the time of post. both my husband and i were floored at the power of craigslist.

if you have a bunch of stuff in good condition that you think might be treasure to someone else, take a moment and see if similar items are posted on craigslist and check out the prices being asked.  if you’re concerned about time investment, listen here: it takes 5 minutes to take a few pics, download and save them, a few more minutes to write an informative ad and submit. if i take all pics at once and crank through the posts, i can knock out an ad in 7-10 minutes or less. and yeah, if it doesn’t sell, pass along to a friend, check out http://www.freecycle.org/ or consider donation (tax write-offs are also nice).

when my daughter was born, my selling days were on hold. as expected, she needed all of those baby things i held onto. then this winter, around the time i got laid off, she started phasing out of them too! being a plump little turkey, she grew out of the baby bjorn, threw herself out of the bumbo chair and crawled right off the playmat (and never looked back). if you haven’t already caught on, she is a pistol!

so, here i am again… selling on craigslist. i was a madwoman at first, selling all of my maternity clothes and tons of baby toys and gadgets with the goal of building a fund for my daughter’s big girl furniture. at the rate that she is outgrowing things, this could be sooner as opposed to later!

i have since slowed down with only 3 current postings (single snap n go stroller, bouncer or car seat cover anyone?) i look around and can’t find much to sell now. it’s sort of a relief as i think we are (for the time being) as lean as we can be.

while we bought most things ourselves, several items have been gifts or hand-me-downs. i sometimes wonder whether gift givers would be upset that we sold their gift. the more i think about it, the more i hope they would appreciate that we are repurposing their gifts as the children outgrow them.

i can also say that (deep breath here) i do plan to keep a handful of special items and hold them for little visitors or perhaps my own grand-children one day. hopefully this is a LONG time from now.

until then, i will enjoy our current lean state.  when the next phase of baby/kid items are no longer being used, i will kick back into purge mode and hit craigslist with a frenzy. my husband just asks that i don’t sell him in all of the excitement.


2 Responses to “sahm: the purge”

  1. Cate's Mom Says:

    You’ll be proud and happy to know that I sold a camera on craigslist this morning…less than an hour after i posted it!… and before your blog even came out!

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