Gamify Decluttering

In our last piece, we talked about gamifying your retirement. We earned zero points last week saving for retirement. 😦 Too many holiday bills had to be paid. This week, we aim to have positive retirement points. One other way we have used points is to gamify decluttering our house, with excellent results.

Not exactly a mess, but our house was close

We assigned 80 points for 60 minutes of decluttering work. 80 points is redeemable for $20 in cash at the end of the week. If I had to change things, I would make it 120 points for 60 minutes of work, to make the math easier. The $20 per hour is above minimum wage and the same for everyone.

How did it work out?

To date, and our house was highly cluttered and disorganized, we organized the following:

  • Kitchen, all kitchen drawers, and pantry
  • Office room, including shredding and going through baskets full of mail, and cleaning up our bookshelves
  • Garage, where we built a shoe rack, populated it with shoes to keep, discarded beat up shoes, donated the rest we don’t want, and throwing out broken small appliances
  • Plus many other areas

Our stress levels have gone down, the kids are involved and actively getting points, and the usability of our house has dramatically increased.

Places that take your old stuff

  • Gamestop – Gamestop will happily buy back your old video games and recent video game consoles. This was our first stop to declutter. Video games and video game consoles depreciate rapidly. It made us think twice about buying new games and enjoying what we have.
  • H&M – In the US, H&M will take your old, worn out clothes and upcycle, recycle or reuse them. For your trouble, you get a 15% coupon, good through the end of the month. Bring a paper bag to drop off all the stuff you don’t want or fit into.
  • Movie Trading Company – Movie Trading Company will buy back your old consoles, old video games, Blu-rays, DVD’s, music CD’s, records, and gift cards. We sold a lot of Blu-ray movies here.
  • Salvation Army – One of the best organizations we have found to donate clothes in good condition, shoes, cutlery, towels, blankets, and toys. In a world of plenty, too many don’t have enough. Every bit helps.
  • Half Price Books – Half Price Books will gladly take your old books, and they’ll make sure every book is off your hands. The location near us is friendly, neat, diverse and large. Our kids are excited to visit tomorrow.

We didn’t make a lot of money selling back items. We have spent a bit bribing the kids to better performance. The reduction in stress levels, finding hidden things easily, working together as a family, and neater house are worth the cost.

The less items we need, the less that need to be transported, fewer items produced, less fossil fuel energy consumed, and a small contribution to lowering our carbon dioxide usage. We are coming around to the view the obsession with stuff is harming our quality of life. Experiences are better for enjoying life.

How have you decluttered? What worked well and not so well for you? Please share in the comments below.

Happy decluttering!

Sincerely yours,


Published by smilingdad

My story is one of tragedy and redemption. We've made many mistakes along the way regarding our money. Our goal here is to show you how to take care of your money life long, and as much as we can, help the Earth along the way. I call it sustainable personal finance and ethical capitalism. Currently, I am a part time writer for Cleantechnica and part-time licensed financial professional, along with being a full-time dad.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: