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  • Writer's pictureNancy Schmidt

Make Money While De-cluttering Your House

I love projects that get two things done at the same time. How would you like to de-clutter an area of your house and make some money too? Of course you would (and I am not talking about having a garage sale -- although you could go that route). I am excited to continue doing this in all parts of my home, and I want to share this win-win process with you. Pretty soon you will have a house that is free of clutter and you will have some extra money in your pocket. A perfect combination!

Time to Come Clean

Okay, first we need to be honest with ourselves. Do you have that one closet or room where all of your clutter gets hidden away when people visit? Do you find yourself staring at something and asking yourself why you own it? Have you ever come back from your parent's house with a car full of stuff, and you think -- where will I put all of this junk? Well, I have been there too! In fact, I am still on my journey of simplifying and de-cluttering (maybe I will be on this journey forever), but I am progressing one area at a time and that feels good. Now that the kids are older I can involve them too, and they get so excited when they sell something they don't play with anymore. If you are ready to begin releasing the stuff that doesn't serve you, this process will help keep you motivated! You are going to look in your closets and drawers and start saying to yourself - hmmm, I wonder how much I could sell that for? I am not kidding! Are you ready?

Getting Started

Every time we see something out of place in our home, our brain has to make a decision about what to do with it. When we see many things out of place, we can easily get overwhelmed. So, we are going to start with one small area of your home to begin with. Choose an area like a hall closet, bathroom, or master closet. If there is a lot to sort through, you can get more specific like the medicine cabinet. Put the date to de-clutter in your calendar and then, when the time comes, use the process below. Don't worry - we are going to do this one area at a time. We will not move on to the next area until one is completely de-cluttered and you have sold everything you want to sell. That money in your pocket will serve as a great incentive to keep going.

Next, get 6 boxes (yes, I said 6) and label them Put Away -- Sell -- Recycle -- Trash -- Fix -- Donate. One of your biggest piles should end up being your Sell pile. Depending on the space you are working on, you may want to work through things by category. For example, in my closet I will start with my shoes, then purses, etc. Look at each item and start sorting. Some people don't think anyone would buy their old stuff, but you would be amazed at what other people want. Even if your item is slightly damaged, has a small rip in it, or is chipped, someone might want it for a project or for parts. I saw that a woman sold her mismatched children's socks for $7 to a person who made sock animals. You will find that you can sell almost anything!

Tips for Letting it Go

  • Get rid of all of your duplicates - if unopened, or in good shape, add to your Sell box. You can even sell unopened beauty products.

  • Throw away anything totally broken that you don't think you could sell parts of

  • Seriously, if you haven't worn it in 2 years, will you ever? Sell it so you have money to buy something you really love.

  • Do you have a pile of gifts you have received over the years or "heirlooms" given to you by family that you know you will never use? Honor the items, take a picture if desired, and release it to be sold.

  • While Marie Kondo's methods are strict, she has some amazing tips for letting things go that don't serve you any longer. Her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is a great resource and it has changed the way I look at and organize my stuff.

Remember, if you let go of it now you are making space for other wonderful things to come into your life. If you catch yourself saying "oh, I might use that one day" -- stop yourself and just put it one of your boxes. If you really need it in the future, you can buy it again at the exact time you need it. Now, take care of everything in the various boxes. Put away the items you plan to keep. Throw away or recycle things that cannot be sold. Donate and fix any items that need it. Then, begin to get ready to make some money. This is the fun part!

Make Money Selling Your Stuff Online

Now, that you have a nice pile of things to sell, you can either have a garage sale and get almost nothing for your items or you can begin to post items for sale using online re-sale sites. Have you ever sold anything online via web sites like Craiglist or eBay? Have you heard of re-sellers like Poshmark or Facebook Marketplace? There are so many online re-sale opportunities available now and if you are willing to put in a little effort, you can make a nice bit of change. In fact, there are plenty of folks out there who make a full-time living selling gently used stuff. Amazing! If you are new to this, I suggest starting by selling one item at a time, or at the most, a few items at a time. Be sure all items are clean and smell nice. To price your items, do a Google search for your exact item (or like items) and what it has sold for recently. Photograph on a neutral background, in natural light, and be sure to capture all angles of the item. Include as many pictures as possible - especially of tags, brand, size, etc. Also, be honest if there is damage or wear and take a good picture of the damage. Then, price accordingly.

Online Re-Sale Companies

Each online service will have their positives and negatives. Some are free like Craigslist but others take a percentage of the sale like Poshmark. I personally like the convenience of Facebook Marketplace because I don't like to send items and the platform exposes my items to a lot of people in my area. One disadvantage of Facebook Marketplace is you may not want people coming to pick up items at your house so some people make arrangements to meet at a neutral, safe location. We always have folks pay ahead of time, or at the time of pick up, and arrange for a no contact, porch pick up. It has worked for us in the past but you should gauge how comfortable you are with that kind of a process. My husband, on the other hand, doesn't mind sending things and some of the items he sells are unique, so he prefers to sell on eBay. If you plan on shipping a lot of your items, you might want to have some packaging on hand. The great thing is, you can list on multiple sites. Do your research and you will find the perfect online site for you.

Here is a short list of some of the more popular re-sale sites out there and what you might sell on them. Have fun poking around to see what sites would be best for your needs:

  • Craiglist - anything and everything - sell locally

  • Facebook MarketPlace - anything and everything - sell locally

  • eBay - anything and everything - sell nationally

  • Etsy - vintage clothing or items, jewelry, vintage or handmade furniture - sell nationally

  • Poshmark - fashion, home decor, beauty items - sell nationally

  • Mercari - anything and everything - sell nationally

  • ThredUp - apparel, shoes, handbags, etc. - sell nationally

  • The RealReal - luxury consignment - send it to them & they do it for a % - sell nationally

  • OfferUp - sell locally - items you could sell include furniture and vehicles

Tips for Hassle Free Transactions

In the past, I have accepted cash for payment, but it is way easier to use a free service like PayPal or Venmo. These services allow you to take payments easily and ahead of time if desired. You definitely need PayPal for some services like eBay or Etsy so be sure you have what you need when setting things up to sell.

Repeat This Process Until Your Whole House is Done

Once you have gone through this process with one space in your home, plan to start in on de-cluttering another space. Put the dates in your calendar and get the whole family involved. If you don't feel like you have time for working on a whole space right now, you can join my 10 Minute a Day De-Clutter Challenge. It is perfect for tackling clutter 10 minutes at a time.

Remember -- clutter drains you emotionally, mentally, and physically. Start de-cluttering today to bring more peace, and a bit more cash flow, into your life! I cannot wait to hear about all of the money you made and how good you feel about your de-cluttered spaces.



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