antique and thrifting tips for eBay, Facbook Marketplace, offerup and Chairish

My decluttering journey and major changes I want to make!

How’s your new year going so far? I have been decluttering like many of us. I used to think oh January would be the best time to thrift, and it probably is, but I’m not going to thrift! The house has probably lost about 300 lbs so far.

I’m part of The Makerista‘s Thrift Club, I believe I pay $35 a year to follow her Instagram for Thrift Club and be in the Facebook group. I don’t get a ton out of it other than inspiration and I enjoy seeing her thrifting stories, but this year, Gwen is doing something very unique. This week we are organizing and purging. Next week is sell or donate. In my case there will be all donation because I have no time to sell for dollars.

One of the biggest reasons I am decluttering is because of the amount of items that have recently come in which has made me upgrade a few items in my life to make room for these items, but also realizing I don’t need to hold onto some items I no longer use for work (like photography items).

I thought I’d share a few key takeaways that stood out to me while I’ve been decluttering:

  1. There’s a reason silver plated things end up at the thrift. It’s annoying. I only kept gorgeous trays I could and will use. The casserole dish holders, no thanks.
  2. No more vases! I have so many beautiful ones already.
  3. I had an entire box for USA, as in 4th of July. Banners, flags. It is 105-115 in July. I will no longer be climbing a ladder and hanging anything on my house (or take it down later) or go outside if I am here. Donating the entire box!
  4. Other than Christmas (and maybe Easter) if placemats or napkins are for one occasion, I have to let it go. It is not worth the space for 11 months out of the year.
  5. Photography has taken a backseat right now. Some of my items should move to tubs instead of drawers. 
  6. Some items don’t need to be in the entire box. If I remove it out of the container it takes less room.
  7. If I haven’t used it in a year or more, really let it go.
  8. 20 rule – I came across this rule. If you can buy it again under $20 and get it within 20 minutes, donate it. This made me get rid of so many Dollar Tree items!

I see a pile of things to donate and it makes me a bit sick. This is all money I’ve chosen to spent. It’s done, the money has been spent but it’s awakened me to realize I need to stop buying. 

Can I tell you something else I realized and will be avoiding? I participated in an online LIVE auction on Instagram and I spent maybe $70 on two things that came from Europe. When I picked them up I realized how dumb buying these items were, no offense to the sellers, I just didn’t need them. I was more about the rush of winning than the actual item and just because it came from Paris means NOTHING. I already gave the items away! Let this be a lesson when you participate in those live auctions, sometimes it’s just the thrill of the win.

What I’ve been doing with my things

I was just going to donate it and not deal with who wants what and scheduling pickup. But, there really are items that are valuable and cost me a bit that I just know some friends would enjoy. So I sent a few text messages and I have a few packages to deliver and it makes me feel good.

The rest of the items I had a friend come by and pick it up THAT NIGHT which I need because I want it immediately gone! And then there are moments you are purging and you need to drop it off to Goodwill because they are open on Sunday until 9 pm so you do that! :) 

My New Year goals after decluttering:

  • Stop popping into thrift stores just to pop in unless I am looking for something specific. No longer will I pass time away.
  • Exercise more self-control when shopping. Unless I need it, don’t buy it.
  • Stop visiting antique stores unless I need something.
  •  Stop buying designer books, I have enough I love and I can go back and look at the photos over and over again.
  • Anything I am no longer proud of using/displaying or doesn’t get me excited, needs to be given away.
  • I have brand loyalty to a few shops, to name them Lilly Pulitzer and MacKenzie-Childs are my favorite. When they have sales, I go crazy and I fill up my shopping cart. I need to slow down and realize when I have enough instead of just wanting to buy it because it’s on sale.
  • If I go to an estate sale, it will probably be 50% off day because I don’t need anything. I will be more cautious about what I purchase.
I need breathing room in my spaces. I need negative space and I also need to not feel like my items are piled on each other. I’m a maximalist, but now I’m debating if that’s really me anymore haha! I love to layer but I can’t deal with clutter. 

Maybe this has happened because of all the Christmas items that were out? 

For my profession I also get a lot of items for free when I work on campaigns or collaborations. This includes brand materials and gifted items, clothing, home, etc. I am grateful but I am also under no obligation to keep it just because of the value even if that was part or all of my payment in exchange for work. 

Well, that’s my update on what I’ve been doing lately. It feels great, and this is humbling me to realize ugh, I need to stop holding onto everything! Are any of you in the same boat? I’m feeling so much better with every box GONE! 

Happy New Year! 


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Diana Elizabeth Steffen setting the table for her annual garden party


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Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next creative themed party. She continues to blog weekly.


  • deborah watson

    Thank you for the encouraging thoughts on how/what you decluttered and your New Year goals. It is frustrating to waste time looking for something that you own but cannot find because of too much jammed into multiple closets. I appreciate the comment about negative space. I have found that too much clutter can make me it hard for me to relax. It is time for me to organize some things and give away what I don’t need. Happy New Year!

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Hi Deborah! I could not agree, more, or even not using it because you don’t see it (because of the other things in front of it!) I love so many pretty things and appreciate it, but now I must choose my favorite things that I reach for over and over again. Good luck with your decluttering! :) Thank you for your comment! Happy New Year!!


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