This is it. You’re finally decluttering that one space that’s been bugging you for months (or maybe years!). You’re going through everything, deciding what to keep or let go of, and you run across an item that stops you in your tracks.

Oh man, you think to yourself. I never used this thing, I’m not sure I even like it anymore, but I spent so much money on it. It’s got to be valuable. I can’t just give it away, can I? Shouldn’t I get some of that money back? Shouldn’t I…try to sell it?

Hey, we’ve all been there. Decluttering is tough, letting go of things is tough, especially if we feel those things have real monetary value.

So, the big question looms:

Should you try to sell, or should you just donate it?

Let’s break it down.

the reality of sunk cost

The first thing to accept when you’re decluttering is the reality of sunk cost.

You’ve already bought your stuff, so whatever money you spent is gone. You won’t get your money back by keeping an item, and you’re not likely to recoup the full value by selling it.

It’s also important to keep in mind that your stuff is almost always worth more to you than it is to other people because it’s yours.

when is selling your stuff a good option?

That being said, selling or consigning could be a good option for you if you have:

  • Designer clothing or handbags in good condition
  • Quality furniture in good condition
  • High-end jewelry
  • In-demand collectibles

When deciding whether or not to sell an item, the biggest question to consider is:

Is the money I might recoup worth the time and resources it will take to sell this item?

If you strongly wish to sell, a good first step is to bring your items to a consignment shop or appraiser to determine how much they’re worth and how likely they are to sell. You can also search sites like Ebay for similar items to get an idea of how much other people are listing them for (keep in mind they may not actually be selling at those prices).

should you have a garage sale?

Ah, the garage sale. Everybody thinks it’s a good idea, but it’s not something we typically recommend.

Organizing garage or yard sales is a lot of work and often won’t yield much return. People are bargain hunting at garage sales and aren’t expecting or willing to pay top dollar.

But, if setting up garage sales is something you really enjoy and would do for fun, then go for it! Just be sure to give yourself a solid deadline for your garage sale and stick to it. Otherwise, you may find yourself right back where you started – storing a bunch of stuff you don’t want!

selling or donating: the verdict

Every person and situation is different, and ultimately it’s up to you to decide whether or not it’s worth trying to sell your items.

However, in most cases, we’re of the opinion that donating is a better option than selling. It’s far less time consuming, you’ll help someone in need, and you’ll feel the immediate relief of getting unwanted clutter out of your home!