Thursday, March 10, 2011

On eBay and Being a Good Steward

For the past couple of weeks, I have reentered the world of eBay.  Brian has outgrown the shirts I bought for him a few months I logged on and listed them.  I figured that I'll clear about $30 for the trouble of doing so...and that's enough to pay the Victoria's Secret bill that will inevitably be coming my way because I just got my "birthday coupon" for $10 off. and around here...we don't let that coupon go unspent.  Never mind that I've not been able to buy anything for myself in that store since 1989...if it was even in existence then.  Jill swoops in and takes all of the coupons for the "free panty" and any other privileges that my "Angel card" allows including my "birthday coupon" and "free ruched back panty" (although I have no clue what a "ruched back" is.)

I've also listed children's books that a friend was about to sacrifice to the gods of Goodwill because she couldn't stand them being in her house for another moment.  We were standing in her front yard winding up a yard sale last Fall.  The items were from "the upstairs" - a graveyard of accumulated artifacts of her life over the past twenty years that was enhanced by the addition of "stuff" from her mother-in-law's house that was cleaned out a few years ago.  You know...things that are too good to throw away but that she had no immediate use for at the time...or possibly ever.  Things that turned into boxloads of items that she didn't really have time to go through...but planned to "someday."  Well, "someday" came last summer as she and I trudged through her attic and cleared out a ridiculous amount of stuff.  Yeah, she called me...the  "terminator" of junk...because she was that desperate. 

I love the world of eBay because people in this day and age are tired of paying full price for items that aren't going to be useful forever.  Why scrimp and save to purchase Ralph Lauren polo shirts for your son in the middle of his growth spurt?  Go to eBay and buy someone else's for a third of the cost.  Wear them a few times...and then list them and get your money back out of them. 

Back in the day, most of us received hand-me-downs from someone and were remarkably happy to have them.  We traded dresses and clothes in college.  We rent tuxedos.  It's not that much different, if you think about it.  I realize that most of us prefer to buy "new" and that "retail therapy" is wonderful and all...but so is the thrill of getting a really great deal.

I've found that most of us feel more comfortable sending our items directly to the church's clothes closet or Goodwill than someone to donate to directly.  We think that someone will assume that we think that they are "needy" if we offer them clothes that no longer fit us...or that we've never enjoyed.  Oh, please.  Because of the generosity of two someones who had lost a lot of weight...I had clothes to wear last year.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciated the fact that I was the receipient of those items.  I also learned that I love different styles and more color than I normally purchased for myself.  It was an education of sorts.

Right now, there are four listings for Brian's clothes on there...and three of them have bids.  I'm pretty sure that there will be a little mini bidding war...which really makes it fun for me.  I have four people who are "watching" the items...which means that someone might get all into the thrill of winning...and I might benefit by getting a few dollars more than my listing price.  Rock on.

Oh please, they are getting a bargain with these shirts...he only stayed this size for a few months...and primarily wore them to church.  Granted, I bought them all on sale...but what I'm probably going to get is still only about a third of what I actually paid for them.

I don't know what is in your closet, attic, or storage building today as I read this.  Perhaps you are waiting for something to be able to fit you again, you have too much on your plate to add "spring cleaning" to it, or you just cannot face the agony of dealing with box after box of stuff.  Just remember that everything that is in your possession is something that God has made you a steward of for its management.  Those heinous curtains that you hung in 1987 and won't dispose of because they are still good...need to move along.  So do books that sit on shelves unread.  Donate them to a library or give them to a friend with a beach house so that guests to the house will have something to read while they are on vacation.

Clear your space.  Uncomplicate your life.

Take the clothes out of your closet that don't fit you, flatter you, or make you feel like your best "you."  Put them on eBay, give them to a friend, or bag them up and move them on.  I believe that most of us hold on to things a lot longer than we should because we think that we will one day have the time to sort through everything and move it all to its final destination in some grand purge.  Yeah, right.  That "grand purge" will be done by the people cleaning out your house when you are gone...and they will be muttering, "Can you believe all of this stuff?  What are we going to do with THIS?"

Been there.  Done that. Earned the merit badge.

My stepfather, Ralph, insists that he wants to get rid of so much of his stuff that when we come home from his funeral...all we have to do is drop a paper bag with his worldly possessions into the nearest trashcan.  After all, he got a "twofer" in that he was a part of two back to back grand purges. 


If that doesn't frighten you...the thought that someone might have to sort out your junk...think about this: holding onto things means that you have a closed fist around those items.  Not letting them go when they are no longer of use to you means that your hands are otherwise occupied.  Do you really want to get to heaven someday and have God tell you that He had so much to put in your hands had they been open? 

I don't know about you...but I want my palms outstretched for whatever blessings He has for me.  That means that I have to be a good steward of the things I already have.  And that means that I am responsible for either utilizing something...or moving it on.

The weekend is coming.  Take some time and empty a box, a closet, or a junk drawer.  Get it done.  I'm still in the process...but I'm pretty hooked on the way a space feels when there is no excess "junk" lying all about just waiting for me to suck it up and make a decision.  I'm also pretty pumped about the people duking it out for Brian's old Polo shirts right now. 

Wonder what else I can eBay around here...

1 comment:

  1. well, I"m glad i came back...i left a comment this morning requesting you do an ebay how to post...including the best way to ship! boy do i have some things to ebay out of here!