Getting Rid of Expensive Things

How to Get Rid of Expensive Things | the beauty in simple

Every time I opened the cabinet door the dusty wine glasses looked down at me accusingly. I bought them to impress friends. I mean, that’s not exactly what my thought process was when I made the purchase, but essentially that’s the reason. They were used only for entertaining, as I prefer to drink wine from a small tumbler. After awhile I stopped using the crystal glasses because they were too tall and fragile to run through the dishwasher and a terrible hassle to wash by hand. They sat, gathering dust in the cabinet.

A move next year has me taking a critical eye to all my belongings. The wine glasses didn’t make the cut, so I let them go. It was a hard decision, not because of an attachment to them, but because I’ll never recover the money from a poor purchasing decision. I’ve learned though that the wine glasses and other expensive purchases bought for the wrong reasons have only given me a false sense of security and presented a lie of who I really am to the outside world. Ultimately it’s a relief not to have that reminder staring me in the face.

My method for getting rid of things that still hold value is one of three.

  1. I sell on Craigslist or on consignment. If after two attempts the object doesn’t sell, I give it away.
  2. I give to family or friends who will use and appreciate the item.
  3. I donate to charity. (I love a good score at the thrift store, so it makes me happy thinking that someone might feel they’ve hit the jackpot when they happen on my donation.)

I offered my wine glasses to my mother, who owns the same ones, but she declined them. (I’m guessing she feels the same way about her glasses as I did mine.) I then tried two failed attempts to sell on Craigslist, and finally donated them to charity.

Archana wrote a post on decluttering props (objects whose only purpose is “putting on a show for other people”), which gave me a great filter for not only getting rid of things, but for preventing unfortunate purchases in the future. Is the object for impressing other people, or is it something I really love and use?

Do you have expensive items that you’d like to get rid of but struggle to do so?

11 thoughts on “Getting Rid of Expensive Things

  1. Oh the joys of matching wine glasses! We had a big celebration over a year ago; (a version of a second wedding for our son as he had married overseas) and I did not want to buy plastic bubbly glasses so over a few months I gathered a wonderful eclectic collection from different thrift shops.They were all very different and ended up being a great talking point and added to the joyful informality of the afternoon and evening under the gum trees. It was great to be able to then donate them back to the shops . It has shown me that like you expensive items are not necessary and often cannot be enjoyed as much as creative (and cheaper) alternatives.

    1. Sally, I love your story! What a great solution to wasteful plastic glasses, and much more thoughtful than buying new. I did the same recently when I thrifted an outfit for a black tie event. After the party I donated it back to the thrift store. These are great conversation pieces, making life much more interesting.

  2. Our cupboard is full of mismatched wine glasses…some special, some cheap and some crystal. We break them so often that the collection is getting smaller naturally and I could care less that they don’t match. It seems each member of the family has a different preference; stemless, tumbler or stemmed and they gravitate towards their favorite.

    1. I used to like everything to match but I now much more appreciate an eclectic group of things. Whether it be dishes, furniture, or my wardrobe – I love the story of (and the look) that comes with mismatched things. I do love your idea of letting stuff whittle down through wear (or breakage). I think that’s one of the most responsible ways of decluttering.

  3. Very relatable story. I never replaced my glass wine glasses when they broke. I kept telling myself that I move a lot and there is no point. Now, I have two steel goblets and that is it. I cant keep repurchasing the same thing a dozen times over my lifetime. My friends do complain a little about me taking it too far but I really don’t have the energy to upkeep all of this stuff. I think my time is worth so much more.

    Talking about getting rid of expensive things – I am struggling with shoes. I must have paid a few hundreds for a few shoes. And 2 years of aspiring minimalism made me realize I dont need them at all. The resale value is abysmal and I cant seem to decide on what to do. Someday soon, I will make ebay listings and hope for the best.

    1. I bet two steel goblets serves you just fine, and when you are in need of more vessels a mug or drinking glass works just as well for drinking wine from. I didn’t mention expensive clothes in my post, but I can sure relate to your dilemma! There have been many times I’ve made expensive purchases only to find out I hated the shoes or clothing. I’ve tried selling somethings on consignment, but usually the trouble is hardly worth the effort. My tendency now is to give to a friend or to charity. Once I let the item go I no longer have that reminder of money lost. You’d think that might be hard, but I actually find it a relief.

  4. Great post! I tend to just donate to avoid the hassle and the delay in the item being gone unless its worth a decent amount. Then, like you, I give it a chance to sell and donate if it doesn’t. Marie Kondo actually discusses this in her books – think of it as the object having done its job by teaching you what you did and did not need, or no longer need in your life and let it go. I too like to think someone will be thrilled finding a great deal at the thrift store. I know I’ve found my share of amazing deals.

    1. The lessons about what I need (or want) and don’t need come through more clearly when I let things go. I’m trying to listen through these actions and learn to simplify even further.

  5. I have been on a simplify kick. It started with what I call the “tidy” book, Mari Kondo-The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Thinned out my clothes. Just gave it away. Now I can find things in my closet. And I like everything I put my hands on. Then I got into my garage which has years of “baggage”. Got rid of 1/2 of my stuff I was keeping because I would “need” it. Now I have a clean garage and energy for new projects. Basement is next!

    I have put things on Craigslist. What is really great about this is that the people that come over and buy the stuff are really grateful for the opportunity! They are getting really big joy from it and that is making me really happy. The money is not a big deal.

    It is easiest just to donate it and and take a tax write off. I will never get around to having the garage sale! The small money from this will be forgotten. But getting a clean clutter free house is really where the value is.

    Enjoying my home.

    Andy Piper

    1. Sounds like you’re well on your way to a decluttered home and the joy that results! Good luck with the basement. Thanks for sharing your experience in “tidying up”!

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