It’s the most wonderful time of the year. That is, the most wonderful time of year for my type A self. Spring cleaning time–or rather Spring organizing time (I’m not so big on cleaning the cleaning part, so let’s leave that for another post).
It’s that weird in-between-seasons-time. The magical holidays are long gone. Most of us are totally over the cold. And the slush. And the wind chill. This time of year we start getting glimpses of the warmth to come.
Spring is a great time to evaluate all the stuff. I think part of the circadian rhythm somehow includes the need to organize and purge when spring rolls around. We can’t quite get outside like we will in summer. We’ve been cooped up all winter, out of indoor activities and entertainment.
My solution to filling time and staying active, is to purge. And not just purge, but make a little extra cash along the way.
The end result will be a simpler, more organized home with less stuff for kids to mess up and less stuff for you to clean up.
First, let me lay out the basic process for systematically going through your home in order to get rid of the stuff you no longer use or need:
- Create a plan. Divide your house room by room, closet by closet, into baby steps. Do one thing per day.
- Follow the three bag rule. During the purging process, have three garbage bags handy. One for things to throw out, one for things that belong elsewhere in the house, and one for items to sell.
- View each and every item in each in every room with a critical eye. If it is not something you use, delegate it to one of the bags.
In a month, you’ll be amazed at the transformation.
Second, let’s talk about how to turn your hard work into cash. The beauty of turning your stuff around to make money, is that you can easily do it in between all the other things that fill your busy schedule, and it’s a way to get extra income without any expenses.
BIG TICKET ITEMS
The places I’ve had the greatest success selling large items are on Craigslist and also local Facebook Yard Sale/Flea Market pages. As you work through each room during your purge, evaluate whether or not each piece of furniture is a keeper. If not, post it for sale. Clean it, take good quality photos of it, and post a well worded description complete with measurements if applicable.
HOUSEHOLD AND PERSONAL ITEMS
In recent years, I’ve begun to familiarize myself with eBay. The site is set up well for newbies to learn what sells well. I have a friend who sold a box of expired supplements for $75 that had been in her cupboards for almost a decade.
When you search for a particular item you want to sell, you are able to search “Completed Listings”. This means that you will view all the previous listings for the product you want to sell, and be able to see if it sold, and if so at what price point.
After you go through your closet, trade in your clothes for cash at Thredup. Sell your gold and silver for cash that you come across in the nooks and crannies of your home. If you have baby items to get rid of, check your area for a children’s consignment shop.
SELL IT ALL AT ONCE
If you really want to get down to business, have a yard sale. The key to having a successful yard sale is planning. Once you’ve gathered all the stuff, price it all. As the day of the sale approaches, post an ad for the sale on Craigslist and in your local paper. Get change to have for when people pay, make signs, and arrange to have tables to set-up stuff on. It is a big project, but once it’s over, you should have a good chunk of change in return.
RENT OUT YOUR CRIB
Now that you’ve totally transformed your home, consider renting out your home. I live in a town that has a university with loyal football fans and alumni, who often travel here for the weekend of a game. Lots of locals take advantage of this, and rent out their home if and when they are away.
Airbnb is a company is a site where you can list your house for rent. It allows both the hosts and the guests to rate one another. This way, you can rent out your home with a good idea of the type of renters you’ll have staying, and what sort of experience previous home owners have had with them.
Just tuck this away. Think about it when you’re headed out of town for vacation or the holidays. A few grand may be worth your while.
You’ll have a skip in your step once you’ve gone through your home and purged. And if that isn’t enough, with these ideas you should have some extra cash too!
How about you?
What are your money-making tips for selling your stuff?
Jen Altrogge: Mom / Blogger / Wanderlust / Couponer / DIYer