Saturday, March 8, 2008

Disposal Dilemna

Today, I ferreted out all the extinct video cassettes languishing in the basement. This inspired the kids to find and get rid of a few more on the living room shelves upstairs. Hooray.

Our video player is very nearly kaput. It won't rewind (well, ok, in all truthfulness, it does rewind but you have to sit there and keep pressing the button, or, you can watch it in reverse). The remote has never worked.

But now what?
Who takes videos?
Can I sell them?
Would that be too much bother? (Not only to track down who might take them, but the whole process. It's work, I tell you; loading up the kids and the dog, finding parking, taking the kids and the box into the store, having some store clerk say "come back later" or picking them over (I hate that) and then rounding up the kids and schleping the box (with the rejects) back to car, wash, rinse, repeat.)

This agony is the reason the videos have been taking up space in the basement for years. And it applies to books, to clothes, to almost everything that could be of any value. I hate the fact that I really might be too lazy to make a few bucks by going through the whole rigmarole. I don't know what, exactly, to do. If I just stuff them in a bag and drop them off for charity, I'm admitting I'm a lazy, no-good spendthrift.

Of course, one could argue that with the price of gas these days, it makes more sense to have a garage sale. Um. No. Three reasons:
1) I'm lazy.
2) Remember that bit where I said I hate watching the store clerk pick things over? Well, I cannot possibly tolerate an entire weekend of it. I just can't. (I've tried).
3) It wouldn't get rid of the stuff NOW, which is, after all, the point.

Nonetheless, as the husband is home on Mondays (thus making the car available as well as himself to look after the kids and the dog), it is my designated day to do the rounds. I have a day to decide whether I am going to a charity drop-off or the second hand stores.


scb said...

I hereby declare myself a lazy, no-good, spendthrift. When I got rid of umpteen bazillion videocassettes, I gave 'em to charity. A lot of them went to the Public Library's book sale, and the Symphony's book sale, because those were the easiest. The religious-type ones went to a shelter/kitchen run by religious folk. Some others went in the garage sale here at our apartment building (there's a rummage table that people can donate to, and they don't have to sit and sell their own stuff.) Some, that I'd recorded off TV, I just ripped out of the cases and threw out (not good for the environment, but I was stuck for "what to do"...)

My old VCR got to the point where it wouldn't rewind (not even if I stood there and held the button, and the remote was long since lost). I bought a rewinder. Big mistake. It wrecked the couple of tapes I tried in it.

Good luck!

Alana in Canada said...

I am in excellent company, then. We have a rewinder, actually, I forgot, but it too has given up. Didn't eat anything though. (Maybe it got hungry?).

It's, somehow, really really hard to just let these go. All the Veggie Tales will be going to our Church library, but still...

oh--just a clarification for our fellow Americans: Canadians do not get a tax donation receipt, or whatever it is you call it, when we drop off stuff to charity. We're just supposed to be "good at heart" that way.

scb said...

Good thing you clarified that part about the tax receipt (or rather, the lack thereof). I always get so envious when I'm reading about decluttering and see the words "You can get a tax receipt for your donation". Oh, if only it were true!

Mella DP said...

A spendthrift? For not expending enormous amounts of time, as well as both physical and mental energy, to reclaim your 25 cents per video tape (which is what they go for at yard sales - and then you'd still have to toss or give away the 2/3 of the stock that nobody wanted to buy)? It sounds as though you've already expended more in mental anguish over the stuff than you'd ever get for it.

So much of what you do - day-to-day and in special projects - is so amazing. So give yourself permission to do what makes sense.

(p.s. - charitable donations in the U.S. are an income tax deduction, but in most cases it would take a *lot* of commonplace thrift store donations to net more than a few bucks at return time. I think most of us kind of roll our eyes when the decluttering gurus carry on about that as if it ought to be some sort of substantial motivator for people with ordinary amounts of clutter.)

lorijo said...

I would vote to give them away. That said- you are talking to the queen of the yard sales. I have 2 per year- HUGE sales- I have tents, flags, the street gets blocked (I live on a dead end) - thousands of dollars are made. I only like the planning of them though . I will spend about a month planning it, then setting it up takes about 3 days- but I hate working them. I have my entire family do that- shoppers tend to irritate me too!

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