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What to Do Before You Donate or Sell Items

Many people mentioned that they are exactly like me when it comes to lost items so I thought I’d put this on your to-do list since I’m in the middle of doing this right now.

Before you donate an item or give it away to a friend or sell an item at a yard sale, take a photograph of the item.  Yes, even the ridiculous stuff that you insist that you will remember you gave away like that bag of onesies you couldn’t care less about.  Photograph all of it.

And drop all of those photos in a folder called Stuff That Left the House.  If it’s only lent to someone else and will one day return, place the photo in a different folder called Stuff Lent.  But once that item is returned, move that photo out of the folder.

The reason being that before you drive yourself crazy, tearing apart the house to find said bag of onesies to give to your pregnant neighbour because you’re absolutely certain that it’s still in the storage room, check the Stuff That Left the House folder and look at the images.  If it’s not in there, then it IS still in your house and keep looking.  But if the picture is in there, you can be certain that it left the house and you’re mis-remembering keeping said item.

Does it take more time?  Yes.  But it will save you time on the back-end when you’re wondering why you can’t find a toy that you are certain has to be somewhere in the house or a sweater that you remember seeing in the closet but is now missing.  When you see those photos in the folder, you’ll remember that you got rid of those items.

Just a tip from a fellow anxious-when-I-can’t-find-something person.


1 Valery { 05.12.15 at 8:17 am }

Good Idea! I would need two more folders: Stuff Borrowed and Stuff returned. Isn’t there an App for that? it might even help with buying stuff that matches the (constantly changing) child wardrobe.

2 andy { 05.12.15 at 8:55 am }

that is brilliant!

3 Jenn { 05.12.15 at 9:30 am }

I like that idea, but I totally would suck at it. I couldn’t even keep track of who I lent books out to and have lost some really good ones because of it.

4 Working mom of 2 { 05.12.15 at 10:17 am }

I took pics of toys we donated, just to remember what the kids played with, in case they weren’t in any pics with the kids.

5 SuzannaCatherine { 05.12.15 at 11:06 am }

Love this idea! I will start implementing it at once. I’m one of the world’s worst at putting things “away” for safekeeping and then forgetting where the “Safe” spot is.

At the moment I am tearing apart TWO houses looking for a pair of diamond stud earrings. Pretty sure they weren’t lent out, but they seem to have evaporated. Been in stomach churning mode for a week. Wish me luck, please.

Thanks for the tip!

6 SRB { 05.12.15 at 11:19 am }

That’s a great tip. I think it is also useful for items that you are not sure if you want to let go of, or feel you should keep “because it was a gift”. This way, you can keep and revisit the thought but let go of the item.

7 Tara { 05.12.15 at 11:41 am }

This is a GREAT idea!!

8 Noemi { 05.12.15 at 5:07 pm }

I suppose I’m lucky because I have a small house and very little storage (we don’t even really have closets–thank you old SF houses!) so there are only about three places that the things we don’t use every day can even go. It takes me about five minutes to determine if something is still in my house. It saves me a lot of time. 😉

9 a { 05.12.15 at 5:14 pm }

Valery Valentina has the next money making idea – an app that tracks your stuff. Get the Wolvog to program that up!

10 Kasey { 05.12.15 at 5:38 pm }

This is the most brilliant piece of advice I’ve read today. Doing this.

11 Queenie { 05.12.15 at 9:02 pm }

That is a GREAT idea. If only you had posted this before my giant pre-move clean out!

12 a { 05.13.15 at 8:15 am }

I thought of an app for the Chickienob (or maybe this is one for the Wolvog and the Where’s My Stuff app is for the Chickienob) to create too – something like Shazam, except instead of music, you upload a photo of a bug and it identifies it. I am always seeing weird bugs and want to know what they are!

13 Tiara { 05.13.15 at 12:59 pm }

Absolutely brilliant idea!!

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