Day 2: Holiday compilation albums
Day 3: This is a relatively new tradition, but one which I’m glad we started.
Last year, the Perfect Storm of moving and having no money forced us to find a way to pay for Christmas presents any way possible, just short of selling our bodies for food (though we do have a mutually agreed-upon Sugar Daddy Master Plan, to be discussed in a later post). Given that we’re both 1) lazy; and 2) cheap, we started looking at things around the house that we could sell off to literally lighten the moving load while also putting some cash in our pockets.
Hence, the unofficial, annual Great Christmas Purge was born!
We accumulate a lot of STUFF this time of year, from presents to great sales that we “can’t pass up,” and suddenly we have such a tall stack of STUFF that we don’t have nearly enough time to get to it all, or we watch/read/play it once and then it goes back on a shelf or in a drawer never to be considered again. I have such a backlog of STUFF to get to (books, movies, video games) or STUFF that I haven’t addressed in such a long time that sometimes I feel overwhelmed by it all.
The holidays are a great time to assess your material possessions before you bring more stuff into your life. Do I really need to own a copy of the cinematic masterpiece Elektra? Or am I ever going to re-read Joseph Campbell’s Myths to Live By? And what about all those Gamecube games, when I have a stack of 15+ Wii games I either haven’t beaten or ::shame:: haven’t even started? This purging process allows you to pare down your STUFF a little and makes you really evaluate what you actually “need” (this post is loaded with #firstworldproblems. Oy.) If you’re like me, you’ll spend some time reminiscing on a particular item, and you may think about keeping that copy of Starsky & Hutch on DVD because the night you saw it was also the first time you went to a party in college, but then you have to ask yourself, “When am I actually going to want to watch this again? It’s got Snoop Dogg in it, for chrissake.”
Once you decide what you can let go, shop around for the best “trade in” value to get some money for these items instead of just throwing them away. Amazon is my retailer of choice, as they seem to offer the best trade-in price for your stuff as well as free shipping for you to send your stuff to their facility. Best Buy and Target run their own trade-in programs in-store and via their website, but Amazon accepts a larger variety of items. As far as I know, most of these places only offer to pay you in store credit (FYE and, I think, Gamestop will also offer cash, though at a lower amount to encourage you to take the credit and shop at their store).
Last year, I traded in a lot of DVDs and old books to Amazon around the holidays and walked away with almost $400 in store credit, which I in turn used for gifts. This year, Lance is selling off shelf-fulls of old candles and body lotions to crazy old ladies on eBay, and has made enough money to pay for that shiny new iPad he charged on my Target credit card on Black Friday for the 5% off. (When are you going to give me that money, by the way, darlin’?)
What kind of STUFF do you have lying around that could be recycled into shiny new Amazon store credit (which, let’s be honest, is basically like cash)?