March 19

3 Tips to Declutter Government Assets by Municibid, the “Marie Kondo” of Government Surplus.


3 Tips to Declutter Government Assets. By Municibid, the “Marie Kondo” of Government Surplus.

Happy first day of Spring! Springtime is said to be for new beginnings, cherry blossoms, and in our case, a good cleaning! As of late, Marie Kondo, an organizing consultant, has set ablaze somewhat of a decluttering frenzy. Four books later, Marie has not only been teaching folks how to get their homes in order, but applying similar principles and methodologies to ones life itself.

Unlike Marie, we’re not as eloquent or existential, however, amidst our move to our new Municibid Headquarters (just 2 blocks away and more about this later), we’ve found ourselves not only thinking about how we declutter and rejuvenate, but how these principles may help our customers too. Taking a few cues from Marie, here are three lessons we think our sellers can benefit from.

Purging feels good!

There eventually comes a time when items your government uses will be declared surplus. Vehicles, machinery, furniture, IT equipment, etc. are all items you may have  outgrown or no longer have a need for. A good purge finds a home for the old and makes space for the new.

We suggest “Spring cleaning” be a continued effort all year long, especially to recoup the most money for your items when it comes time to sell them. When items are stockpiled for months, or even years, they continue to depreciate. This is especially true for vehicles, heavy equipment, and IT equipment.

With respect to vehicles and heavy equipment, you don’t want these items to rust, have dead batteries, cracked lines, or be dripping oil or other fluids. These types of issues not only significantly reduce the value of the item, but can take a toll on your storage facilities.

As a friendly reminder, Municibid allows you to sell as-needed, as often as you desire, and 24/7 – 365/days a year. If it’s been a while since you last sent an item for auction, remember, we are here to help you get your surplus off your hands, retain its best possible value, and make room for the new. So please, purge often.

Fall in love with your storage.

There is a great feeling of relief, reward, and excitement when items are auctioned off. This is something we hear from sellers quite often. The relief comes from not having to retain, maintain, and use up space storing something you no longer need. The reward is in the valuable dollars you can make and reinvest into the next item or items. Lastly, the excitement comes when watching a crowd of competitive bidders outbid each other in real-time, especially in the closing minutes of the auction. The excitement (and reward) continues when your item sells for far more than what you might expect!

What about storage? As you clean house, we encourage you to take the time to reorganize your facilities. There is a sense of zen that comes with rethinking how your new fleet will be kept and maintained, or how office supplies are arranged and made easier to catalog and find. In her wisdom, Kando tells us not only to get rid of what we don’t need, but streamline and fall in love with how we think of storing what we retain.

Nostalgia is not your friend when it comes time to sell.

Sometimes nostalgia can create barriers, unrealistic expectations, or disappointment when auctioning an item. We see this often with the sale of fire apparatus and certain other equipment. We certainly empathize with and very much appreciate the important work these types of vehicles and equipment take on. They are the chariots that save lives and empower the men and women in their service. It’s easy to understand why certain items can be hard to let go, and sometimes at a sale price that may seem a disservice.

In our experience, when selling agencies remove the nostalgia and the emotional connection with a certain item, it opens up a realm of possibilities for the market to compete and return an honest value. It’s important to take into account how certain categories of surplus may be of service in a second or third life, while honestly considering how saturated that particular market is.

Curious to learn more about the decluttering phenomenon? Check out Marie’s documentary on Netflix which has been the inspiration for this article.

Finally, we’d like to jump back and address our upcoming move to our new Municibid HQ. We continue to enjoy our home in Philadelphia, and thanks to all of our sellers, we have been experiencing happy and healthy growth over the past several years. Our new facility is an investment in our team to continue providing you with the best service.

To facilitate our continued nationwide growth, we also opened our first office on the West Coast, in Santa Monica, CA. It’s an exciting time for Municibid and we thank you for your support and for the opportunity to earn your business. As we grow and expand, we can assure you, we will continue to declutter and improve along the way..

Happy Spring!

Team Municibid


Customer Service, helpful advice, Spring Cleaning, springtime, Surplus

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  1. Exactly! This remains one of the driving forces behind our commitment to using Municibid! As with most school systems (or other municipal settings), the storage and disposal of surplus remains a challenge due to space limitations. All to often, schools will fill up “inappropriate” areas like mechanical rooms, stairwells, IT closets, etc. which may impact life safety and maintenance and is anything but ‘calming’! Municibid creates the space for “zen” boiler and mechanical rooms, store rooms, etc.!! It’s that simple! Of course the added benefits of generating funds to go back in operating budgets, along with knowing you are recycling, reusing, and repurposing is a “really good feeling”! The excitement in the ‘never ending’ buyer experience and their plans for your surplus will “bring you joy” as well!
    Finding Peace in Surplus,
    Bob Schultz, LMSD

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