• Heather E. Schwartz

Decluttering My Brain

I can’t be the only one who thinks of selling stuff when my back is against the wall financially.* I look around my house and see So. Much. Stuff. Even the hidden spaces – the closets, the attic, the closed drawers, the entire garage – are packed full of… what? Junk? Not exactly. Some. But also usable items that are not getting used at all. Not by me. So the immediate thought is: Maybe someone else could use them. And maybe someone else would pay me money for these things.

Seeking help and guidance to maximize my ability to collect cash, I Googled phrases like the clunky “sell my stuff for money” and the more alliterative “cash for clutter.” This led me almost immediately to Denise Duffield-Thomas, of LuckyBitch.com, who has not only figured out how to maximize search engines, she’s also nailed the whole money thing. I read this post about how decluttering and money are connected and felt really inspired. Clutter was symbolic of my chaotic relationship with money? Well, then, I was ready to declutter!

Finding stuff to sell wasn’t difficult. When you have kids, you have clothes and toys they’ve outgrown. A neat pile of sellable items soon accumulated. That was certainly gratifying and promising, but it wasn’t the most interesting part of the process.

The moment that struck me hardest was facing down a CD player I’ve kept in my life since 1998. There it sat, prominently displayed in the room where I eat dinner each night with my family. It followed me through life to two apartments of my own, the first house I bought with my husband, and the house where we live now with our two sons.

That CD player was the last gift I gave to my ex. A gift I took back almost immediately because a) it was expensive, and b) I discovered he’d been lying and cheating throughout our entire relationship (which ended on the day of the big reveal).

Why have I been hanging onto this object for 20 years? What the hell does that symbolize?

My excuse for keeping it around was always that it still worked. But clearly this reasoning has been highly dysfunctional. Do I really need a tangible reminder of the worst time of my life?

At last a question with a clear and definitive answer. No! I don’t!

I left it at the Salvation Army, where someone else can take it and use it (it still works!) without any toxic memories attached. I’m free of it, and while I didn’t turn it into cash, I feel like somehow this will make a difference.

Random audio. Did you really think I'd preserve my toxic memory by capturing it in a photo?

* Just to be clear here, I put my own back up against the wall with my decision to commit to getting debt free. I wasn't about to lose my house or anything.

#decluttering #cluttertocash #sellyourstuff #financialfreedom #mentalfreedom

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