“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” ~ Matthew 6:19-21
In a recent article entitled “5 Reasons to Ditch the American Dream and Own Less”, I highlighted five spiritual reasons why Christians should abandon their pursuit of more and should live more contentedly with less. (Read this article HERE). Today, I want to re-address this issue. It’s the same subject matter but with a different topic. Instead of looking at the spiritual side of owning less, I want to look at the financial benefits of owning less. Specifically, let’s talk about how the one practice of purging items you already have on hand can help to expand your bottom line.
1) The most obvious way that purging expands your bottom line is that the items you get rid of can provide actual financial compensation. There are a number of ways you can do this. You can have an old fashioned yard/garage sale, which is a good plan for general household items (like cookware, clothing, used vaccuums, etc). For more collectible items, you could list the item on an online auction site. I have done this with vintage dolls, celebrity fan items, etc. For clothing and high end furniture, visit your local consignment shop. Many will give you a percentage of cash or a higher yielding percentage of profits for store credit. Used books, movies, electronics, and music can be taken to a used bookstore or video game and sold.
2) Should you decide that selling your items is too difficult or time consuming, you have the option of donating your items to a 501c3 non-profit. Donations qualify for tax breaks. If you give a working, usable item to a non-profit, the government allows you to deduct the cash equivalent from your income taxes.
3) Purging your collections helps you to stop wasting money. Have you ever bought something only to realize when you got home that you already had one (or more) of the item? What about buying a replacement something only to find the original lost item a few weeks later? When you purge, you have a greater understanding of what you have. This understanding leads to less duplication and ultimately more CASH in hand.
4) Household purging helps you to improve organization and save both time and money. When you become more organized, you are less likely to lose bills, which can save you a ton of money. Lost bills result in non-payments which result in late fees and the discontinuance of services. Reconnecting to utility service providers usually comes with a hefty up-front deposit. How does improved organization save you time? You don’t waste time searching for lost items. In my life, time is money because if I had more time, I could write more articles, sell more items on eBay or prepare for an upcoming yard sale.
5) Purging can lead to the greatest financial gain in the property resale department. To get the highest dollar for your home, you need it to show well. A home that is covered in things looks smaller and darker than it actually is. It can also make a space seem choppy or poorly planned. Real estate experts and professional home stagers say that one of the fastest ways to sell a house and to appear to increase the property value is to declutter and purge.
What are some additional financial benefits to purging or decluttering?