There’s a difference between nostalgia and crap. Nostalgia brings back good memories. Crap sells on eBay.
Take it from someone with two boxes of vintage Star Wars toys sitting in his garage: It’s hard to get rid of old stuff. We drape inanimate objects in an invisible layer of importance. Ragged concert t-shirts and novelty coffee mugs are tokens of achievements unlocked. Stacks of books on shelves symbolize how well-read we are, and repairing the old rocking chair is that “project” we’ll get to when things, you know, slow down.
There’s nothing wrong with having a hobby or visual reminders of what we’ve done. Yet, there comes a point when we wonder how much we really need. This moment usually comes when everything is being packed into boxes and you realize you need a huge Mayflower van rather than the $20 a day U-Haul.
January’s a good time as any to start getting rid of that cutter. It’s quite possible you’ve looked around your home or apartment and realized there’s stuff you just don’t need anymore but didn’t know what to do with it... or who would want it.
The good news is that there are places around Austin willing to take it off your hands in return for cold, hard cash. Also, it’s easier than ever to sell stuff online. As they say, one man’s trash is another’s treasure. Vintage will always be “in”, so it’s likely that there’s a consignment or other kind of store around town that will be a good home for your past treasures.
This list isn’t inclusive, but it’s a good start to knowing where your most common clutter can be exchanged for cash.
Austin’s biggest name in book resellers is Half Price Books. Bring in that unused copy of 50 Shades of Grey, along with any other kind of media (CD, DVD) and they’ll make you a cash offer.
If you frequent the Austin Public Library, then consider donating old books and other media to Recycled Reads. Every purchase at this used book store, directly benefits the APL. You’re not making any money, but there’s great value on good karma.
For extra chairs, bookcases or other fine fixtures, Austin has a good assortment of consignment places for all styles of furniture. A good place to start would be Austin’s Consignment Depot, which buys and sells a large range of furnishings.
If your upscale furniture is in good shape, then It’s New To Me Austin is a nice choice. If your decor is more 50’s fun, then look up Room Service Vintage. As antiques go, Off The Wall on South Congress is good first stop. The owner is always helpful in giving you ideas in case it’s not something they’re interested in.
If anyone is well accustomed to getting rid of stuff, its parents. With growing kids, clothes, strollers, high chairs and toys all have a short shelf life in our homes. For this reason, children’s consignment shops are popular palaces to sell and shop.
Pumpkin Patch Children’s Store has two locations, and buys and sells practically everything. If your taste in baby clothes is more upscale, you may have good luck at SparkleKids Resale. Lil Green Beans is an eco-friendly baby store with a good track record of great deals as well.
It’s not likely that CDs will make a vinyl record-like resurgence. Unless you really love showing off your racks of disks to friends, it might me time to back up your collection onto a hard drive and sell off your CDs. The iconic Waterloo Records purchases used disks, as does Half Price Books.
Still have a PS2 or NES? Look up Gamerz Austin or Game Over Video Games. For online outlets, Zumu takes CDs, Video games, and DVDs for cash. Amazon has trade-in option where you can sell items and get an Amazon gift card in return.
With a few exceptions (hello, Circle C) Austin is more thrift-chic than Nordstroms. Entire wardrobes are created at the dozens of vintage stores around town. These spots are the best places to sell your old clothes and clean out space for new stuff. The "corporate" place to cash in your threads is Buffalo Exchange. Men’s suits, tuxedos and dressy wear can get a second life at Second Looks Austin. Second Time Around offers fine designer labels for women.
If you’re patient, selling stuff online will bring in better cash. Craigslist is the simplest, yet most frustrating way of making a quick online sale. Creating an ad and posting pictures is easy, and they don’t take a cut of the selling price. However, the constant price negotiating and people-never-showing-up syndrome is prevalent.
There’s always the worldwide garage sale that is eBay to consider as well. It takes more of a time investment than Craigslist, but your buyers are global. There’s almost always a market for rare collectibles or other trinkets.
However, Austin is full of other deserving charities that could use your items as well. Places like SafePlace, East Side Community Connection and The Arc of Texas gladly accepts gently used items. Your decision to turn over a new leaf may very well help someone live a better life.
The odd thing about getting rid of stuff is that you don’t really miss it. Whatever that old drinking glass or Disney ceramic statue represented stays with you. Experiences and memories are worth way more than what ever you’re getting rid of. Plus, using the money you made can help you try out new things. You can’t take it with you, so why let it clutter up the house any longer?
Except vintage Star Wars figures. Hold onto those for the rest of your life.