What could be better than getting decluttered? Fame, a genie in a bottle, a new car? Ok, ok, that might be a little out of reach right now, but we can make money from our clutter! How nice would it be to get rid of some of your extra things that are taking up space and making your house cluttered and end up with extra money?!?
The best way to go about this is to integrate it as part of your “normal” decluttering. For instance, let's say that you are cleaning out your basement and going through all the shelves of games, books, and other items that have accumulated. Odds are that you have some items that someone will want; our goal is to make some quick money from these items. What we need to remember is that the end goal is still to be decluttered, we don't want to wait weeks or months for someone to buy our $3 book when we would gain more from donating it and getting it out of the house.
An interesting side note – if you are considering selling your home in the near future, you should really be decluttering now! On top of the fact that no one wants to come into a home that is full of clutter and think about the work that will need to be done before they move in, the value of your home (as well as the percieved) value is increased by keeping it free of clutter and organized. A study conducted in 2003 showed that at a cost of around $400 (which we can do by following the Get Rid Of Clutter program for a tiny fraction of that cost!) home owners realized a profit of $2,000 – that's a 500% profit! That is quite a good return for the time and money used, not to mention the fact that a decluttered house is much more likely to sell quickly instead of staying on the market costing you money in bills, taxes, and more.
Ok, back to the task at hand – making some money from our decluttering efforts! Keeping this in mind as we go through our decluttering can really help to focus us on getting rid of items that we might otherwise make up a reason to keep. Remember, ask yourself these questions as you go through the process of decluttering an area:
- Is this item useful? If it is useful, is it used? An object that is not used is not useful.
- Does this item make me happy to see it? If it is hiding in the back of a closet, how happy does it really make me?
- Does this item bring back joyful emotions when I see it, hear it, or smell it? Again, if it is hiding in the back of a closet or shelf somewhere, how important is this to me?
If the things that we are going through do not fit into one of those three categories, then we really need to consider putting them into the clutter pile and moving on.
After deciding what it is that you want to sell, you need to develop an idea of the price that you want to sell it for – remember, the idea is to get rid of clutter AND make some extra money. Do not price items too high or you will end up holding onto them. Selling used items usually means selling them cheap. Make life easy on yourself and discount your items so that they sell fast – you will be happier in the end instead of holding out for the sale that might not happen with a higher price.
If you have trouble deciding what to charge for your item, look at the same places where you might sell to get an idea of what prices other people are charging. Go ahead and look at the list below to get an idea of where to look.
So, how can we turn the clutter into cash? We have many options! Here is a short list – each one of these could be a short article, or book chapter on its own (several of these are discussed in the book and via our training course). Some of these work better for others, sometimes it can take a little trial and error to see what works best for you. Look at the options and comments below to see what you think could make you the most money from your decluttering.
- – a great online site for selling anything and everything. Great for selling furniture and large items locally. Pro: you can sell just about anything from Craigslist and there is likely a buyer out there for it. Con: You will have to meet in person, whether at your house or at a meeting spot.
- – Amazon can sell your used items and takes a small fee. Pro: great for selling books and you only need to mail the item once it sells. Con: Setting up the item to sell can take a bit longer and Amazon takes a cut that is proportional to the sale price.
- – Ebay lets you set the price in its auction environment, a good place for some electronics and other niche items. Pro: Fairly easy to setup, if you have a good item you can start a bidding war and get top dollar. Con: Competition can be fierce in certain categories.
- Garage sale – The tried and true way to get rid of clutter in a local fashion. Pro: No need to post anything online (except for advertising your garage sale). Con: Dependent on things like weather, your neighborhood, etc.
Most people have enough clutter in their homes to make them a decent amount of money. From good condition books to extra furniture, it is not unusual for people to find that they have several hundred dollars or more or surplus items sitting around their homes not being used. Think about what you could do with that extra money! Enjoy!