I keep a small note pad, the kind you find in hotels, seemingly always with but a few pages left in them, and as it had precisely 13 pages available, it seemed pre-destined to track the ins and outs of items coming or leaving my life, in this year of reducing.
This was the first month I ended up writing on the opposite side of the page.
June clocked in at 34 items acquired and that deluge, forced me to resort to going into my secret stash, something I was planning on using for “drier” months: the attic and my stash of empty boxes.
I had to discard a lot of boxes, and a good amount of other things, but the former reminded me of what a pack-rat I am, preserving boxes of all things I ever purchased under the guise of preserving them for the purpose of selling them later, which also never happened.
A lot of these boxes are saved by default, without any consideration and that what led to an accumulation from large, TV-sized boxes, to the smallest of them.
What this has taught me is to evaluate the items I’m buying with a more critical eye towards reselling it. Realistically, if it’s not a collectible item or it’s an item whose value drastically decreases over time (a 5-year old iPad probably doesn’t need a box anymore).
For the future, every time I’m putting a box in the attic, I’m considering putting a post-it note on it with the month it went in, and then periodically re-evaluate the items: for most, if 3 months have passed and the item is seeing good use, there’s no point in keeping the box.
On the business front, I have tried dipping into an topic I have a bit of knowledge: fountain pens. In particular, looking for good deals online and then try to re-sell those items for more typical selling prices.
That is what contributed, by large to the number of items acquired. I have debated not including them, because these items are by their nature transient, however I wanted to keep honest and also allow this influx to inform and shine a better light on the exercise of ridding of things. I don’t know if I had been able to attack the boxes in the attic with such determination had it not been stemming from the panic of not meeting my 10 items a month goal.
Back to the business angle, it did show me that it would not be a sustainable business. On the high-side, the profit was as much as $50; on the low, I barely made $1 and I might even be losing money on some items as PayPal and shipping fees eat into the costs.
It was a nice diversion and I should be getting back to the business I know better, or at least can execute on better: software.