pack rat



Also called trade rat, wood rat. a large, bushy-tailed rodent,Neotoma cinerea,  of North America, noted for carrying off smallarticles to store in its nest.

Informal. a person who saves things that are not needed or used, but that may have personal or other value.

Ahh, I was hoping I did not fit this definition. I think perhaps compared to most Americans, I am not that bad. I don’t have a storage unit of unused items, but I have held on to items longer than necessary. Be it clothes; an evening gown I adore, but haven’t been to a black tie event in well over 5 years. Or horse riding gear; I have equipment I haven’t used since 2006, but I’m sentimental about. Or camping items that are just not fit for my life now with a toddler and husband. I.e., I do not see myself packing in to camp, so my extra lightweight gear sits collecting dust.

I’ve set out to face a challenge each month, and this one is to weed out the things I don’t use, haven’t used in one year and pass them on to folks who will! This sounds easier than it is. I’m sure we all try the seasonal closet clean out, right? I’ve done several trips to our local donation center with clothes I haven’t worn in several years. I kept thinking, “oh, I’ll wear this one day.” But the truth is, it’s out of fashion for me, even if it does fit. So I piled everything thing up, biked it to the donation center and I feel much better with a closet that isn’t cluttered!

The more expensive gear, I sell on eBay. Everything from tea sets from my Grandmother I’ve just never used, to my cross country safety vest and riding boots. I am amazed at what sells. One set of porcelain cup and saucer went for over $20, and other sets (that I didn’t think were as horridly ugly) didn’t even get a bid. Those I’m passing on to donation. Also, fancy jeans and jackets, they sold on eBay too!

One of my hardest items to part with was my cross country vest. It was custom made in my riding colors and it’s been through many awesome courses, saved my life a handful of times and every time I looked at it, it brought back memories. But I don’t plan on riding cross country any time soon. And if I do, I’ll be the one looking to buy one on eBay, instead of sell.hurricane eventing 001b

And I’m happy to say I know where my money is going– it pays for current passions: flying! My vest bought me two hours with my flight instructor. This thought pattern makes it all worth it. Same with my riding boots. They’re beautiful, but they’re not earning their rent. Now they’re sold and on the way to someone who will wear them, and I get another hour in N269DD to work towards my solo 🙂

So far the rewards of this challenge are well worth it, and it makes me look at my possessions differently. If I don’t use it, could I live without it? Could I sell it and get something more valuable currently to me? It’s to the point now, that I question whether we need two cars in our family. We’ve moved somewhere we can bike everywhere. My 1999 BMW is beautiful, my pride and joy, but it’s coming up for some expensive work. Do I sell it or fix it? I’m challenging myself to sell it. It is a relatively idle asset. If I need to drive, I take the truck more often as it fits the baby seat better. And I understand what I could do with the cash– pretty much finish my private pilots license.

Selling Idle Assets, or SIA and we’ll refer to it, is a state of mind and a challenge I’ll  need to return to often, as life changes.

What idle treasure do you have sitting around? If you passed it on (either sell or donate), what could you do with the cash and/or less clutter?

One comment on “Challenge #1: Sell Idle Assets

  • I just reorganized our garage. The main driving factor was getting both of our cars in it along with all the stuff. That required a lot of shelf building and filling a “Bagster” to the brim. I need to do the same thing in my office…

    One trick I’ve learned: marry someone who abhors clutter. I’d say the only SIA Asha clings too is the backpack that accompanied her on the Appalachian Trail 16 years ago. Oh… and that red Ford Pickup with 223K miles on it (it was her first car, she bought it new, it needs a new transmission).

    And, unfortunately, the little red Miata has gobbled up my flying budget probably for the next year… But I needed a car. And it had to be small enough to squeeze into the garage!

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