For the last few months, I’ve been on a mission to downsize and purge from my house things I do not need. My latest project has been my CD collection which is huge. From a collection of many hundreds, I selected about 80 CDs that I haven’t listened to in years and probably will never listen to again. I brought them to the local used record store that buys used LPs, CDs and DVDs. I was hoping to get about $1 per disc. But as I browsed the store while the clerk reviewed my collection, I realized I wouldn’t be getting that much. Most older, common CDs were selling for $1.99. They wouldn’t be able to pay me $1 and sell for $1.99 and make enough of profit. Sure enough, the clerk called me over and said my total was $34.00. I was slightly disappointed, but only for a bit. Making money wasn’t the point of this exercise. My goal was to declutter my house and create space, which I did. If I wanted to get more money for my CDs, I could have tried selling them on my own on eBay or Half.com. But that would take months if not years to sell them all, plus the added effort of packaging and shipping out each sale. Tossing them in the trash was never an option, as they still have value. Selling them in bulk was the best option.
The point of this story is that the value of our stuff can be determined in many ways. It’s a matter of how you look at your stuff. I saw my CDs as something I once enjoyed and got use of, but are now just taking up space. I also saw the value of the space I’d gain by purging. Others may see the original purchase price of $12 or $15 each, which would make purging much more difficult. When I work with clients, I coach them on how to look at their possessions. Think about what value the item currently brings you instead of the original cost. Or how much value have you gotten from the item over the years compared to how much you paid for it. You will start to see things differently.