As we settle into a new year I cannot help but notice how bloated our home feels. Perhaps it is because the holiday tree is still up. The kids wanted to leave it up all year. Recognizing the psychological boost little ones receive from feeling some degree of control over their life, we negotiated -- if not New Years Day (Mama's preference) then Martin Luther King Jr. Day. They'll be off of school that day, giving us some extra time to pack away, tiddy-up, and decorate with hearts for Valentine's Day.
Anyway, I was saying, the house is full. Too full. Time to purge. And this year I went for the elephant in the room. Actually it was an armoir we'd used to store the TV, DVD, etc. With some swapping and moving a bookcase from a bedroom was brought to the living room and now holds the electronics (which are quite small). My plan had been to list the armoir on Craigslist, but inspiration hit Sunday afternoon. Through Facebook I messaged the owner of Vintage Birch Barn -- might she be interested? Yes, she was. And at 11pm last night, when her husband finished his shift as a Dane County Sheriff Deputy, he pulled into our driveway. Out the armoir went, through the garage and into the hands of a couple that will give it new life and a new home. Into our hands came $50. And no worries about the potential odd-ducks that might have contacted us via Craigslist.
The frugal takeaway -- frugal is not just in the buy, but in the sell as well. What is sitting around your home, taking up space (space is not free, what is your mortgage/rent divided by the square footage of your dwelling), and could be converted to cash? Remember, cash can be added to a rainy day fund or if you carry debt, used to bring down the balance and lower interest payments. Back in 2005 I did a massive purge, selling childhood toys (think Barbie and Sesame Street) raising hundreds of dollars. The profits went towards paying down my student loans. Sure, the toys are gone, but do I really need them? Those frugal moves helped erase $97,000 in student debt. And now, nine years later my frugal ways allow us to build a college fund for both children. Frugal always has an upside -- just look for it!