Why I Donate Instead of Sell

I’m reading The More of Less by Joshua Becker right now and I think it’s really good. He hits on so many great points of minimalism. More importantly, he highlights things little known and things easily forgot about minimalism that are so important and make minimalism so much more wonderful.

One of the things he writes about is how to get rid of unwanted items.

So many resources recommend selling unused or unwanted things. And it sounds really great. I’ll get money back! Sweet. Because I feel like I deserve that money. I put money out for it, why shouldn’t I get some back? And when I say “some” I mean “a lot”. I mean, I want most of it back. When I think of the money attached to an item, it is so easy for my mind to gloss over the value I’ve already gotten from the item — the actual value for which the item was intended.

Joshua, on the other hand, recommends just giving them away.

He writes about his experiences with yard sales and online selling and how they usually end up being more trouble than they’re worth. I’ve tried yard sales — lugging out all of that stuff and spending my whole day waiting for someone to give me a few bucks is defo not worth it to me.

It’s hard for me to figure out the best way to sell online, too. I don’t like taking pictures of things (how is it that none of the photos I take are the least bit flattering or accurate of the object?). I don’t like filling out all the needed information. I don’t like monitoring the items selling process. I don’t like re-listing it if it doesn’t sell. I do like packing it up to take it to the Post Office, but I don’t like having a time constraint in which to do it. And, again, I rarely get the price I really want for it. The price that would make all the trouble worth it.

Giving things away relieves a bunch of those hassles. There are some things that just need to be done, like the sorting, boxing, and sometimes delivering of unwanted stuff. But every time I do a load, I’m reminded of why I shouldn’t buy so many things in the first place.

Joshua also writes about how donating benefits those on the receiving end and it makes you feel good to have helped someone in need. Those things are great. But they are really just side-benefits for me. I donate instead of sell because it’s just easier. Any money I have made by selling has been eaten up by frustration, strength, and time. Donating enables me to feel the lightness and freedom of owning less straight away.

So the next time you feel the need to sell something to get a “return” on your “investment”, consider just letting it go. Unless it’s a really big ticket item and really worth it or necessary to you (do you want to sell it, or do you need to sell it?), I recommend giving it away. Then you, too, will be able to feel the lightness and freedom of owning less… without the hassle.

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