Turning Clutter Into Cash

turning-clutter-into-cash

 

Many people have trouble decluttering because they see their clutter as piles of cash that they spent. I know that I am less of an impulse shopper now that I have given away items that I had to have but then never used.

Decluttering is humbling. You realize you have more than you need and often wish you could have a “do over” and get that money back.

Before the great recession of 2008, I could make a great deal of money back on my used items through garage sales, eBay sales and consignment stores. But since the recession – many people have joined the resale community and driven down the price people are willing to pay for used items.

This spring as you are decluttering your house, set up a selling and donation staging area. You can earn some summer fun money by taking your items to various resale shops.

1. Garage Sales

If you have a LOT to get rid of, you may want to consider a garage sale. I have had good luck with selling furniture, children’s items and craft supplies. If you are going to have a garage sale – set up an area of your home NOW to start collecting your “treasures.” Set a date and work like crazy to have all of your decluttering done by that date. {NOTE for 3 years I had garage sales in the spring and fall. It took me 6 garage sales to get my clutter to a manageable level!}

Set up EARLY and be prepared for people to come even earlier. I usually have mine on a Friday from 8-2 and Saturday 8-12.

I don’t even price my items anymore. You can have a blanket and say everything on the blanket is $1.

Market your garage sale by putting pictures and descriptions of popular items on Craig’s List. Have change and grocery bags for people to take their treasures home.

Plan for Saturday at noon – where is the rest of this stuff going? It is NOT going back inside! :) Divide what you have left and try these options:

Organizing Your Home Library | Optimistic Mommy

2. Half Price Books

Normally, I earn between $6-10 at Half Price Books. The pay is ridiculously low. I was tempted to take my last banker’s box full of books straight to Goodwill, but decided to stop by Half Price Books first. I was SO glad I did; I earned $22.50!

40 Weeks 1 Whole House: Week 27: Organizing Board Games, Video Games and Puzzles | Organize 365

3. Game Stop

These games are really old; they wouldn’t even take 3 of them! But I did make $29 on this stack of games. Let’s not do the math on how much I PAID!

4. Consignment Stores

Each season, I take a few clothes out of my closet and stop by the consignment store before I hit Goodwill. I make about $75 per season selling old clothes. I turn right around and buy about 6-8 items with that money at the same consignment shop. For the past 6 years, I have spent very little on my clothing outside of consignment shops.

Time To Change Out Your Closet | Organize 365

5. Child resale shops

If you have kid’s clothes, old toys or furniture, the kid’s resale shops are the way to go. You will earn even less than you will get at a garage sale, but you will get something.

6. eBay

eBay is a great way to sell name brand items that you can sell for $20 or more. I say $20 because the fees and shipping eat up a lot of cost when selling on eBay. The best way to tell if an item is worth selling on eBay is to search for that item and see how many are being sold and at what price.

7. Craig’s List

Craig’s List is similar to eBay in that you are selling on line, but instead of shipping the item, you meet the buyer in real life. I have had success selling furniture this way.

You need to know how much you want for the item and know people will haggle with you AFTER they come to your house. I find this annoying.

For safety, I list items with the Craig’s List fake email that forwards to my email. Then, I reply with my cell phone number. I have never had a problem selling on Craig’s List, but as I mentioned above, there are “deals” for buying, but selling has been harder since 2008.

Goodwill

8. Goodwill

I know you will not “make” money by donating to Goodwill, but you can get a tax deduction. I have always liked the convenience of dropping off my donations at the Goodwill drop off center. But last year I listened to this podcast about all the donations Goodwill takes and what they do with them. Then I went to a meeting and learned all about the amazing resource that Goodwill is to the special needs community in my area.

Now when I have a donation, I feel like I am really giving and not just “getting rid of” my old stuff.

So, what about you? What do you do with items you no longer need?

Check out our Pinterest board on the topic!

 

This guest post is written by Lisa Woodruff with Organize 365

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5 thoughts on “Turning Clutter Into Cash

  1. Wait, we’re supposed to get rid of things we don’t need? LOL

    If I have children items (clothes, toys, etc) I will usually offer them to family first as I am one of seven and five of us have at least one child. My clothes I try to take to the local plus size consignment shop, or drop them at Goodwill. Old games and books we try to donate to the library if they are interested in any of the titles, otherwise they too go to Goodwill.

  2. I started my ‘spring’ cleaning early, and we are definitely purging a LOT of stuff from our house. I have filled our basement up with items to put out in a yard sale as soon as it gets warm enough! We usually make enough money to buy the clothes they need for summer! It’s a win/win!

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