Every week in 2013, I’ll be sharing a different way you can save $100 this year. If you do all of these things, you’ll be able to save over $5,000 this year alone! Many of these things will likely be things you’re already doing, but hopefully all of you will pick up at least a few new ideas or some inspiration from this series.
This isn’t exactly a post on how to save $100, but it’s certainly a way to clear out some clutter and make $100 (or more) in cash fairly quickly!
Clear Out the Clutter
No matter how hard I try to keep clutter at bay, it constantly seems to be creeping and seeping into our home when I’m not looking. And that’s why I have to regularly go through our home and clear out the clutter — lest it take over!
Here are five questions I always ask when I’m clearing out clutter:
Do I Need This Item?
Need is the keyword here. If you could live without the item, than you likely don’t.
I’m not saying you can only have two outfits and one pair of shoes, but the exercise of objectively considering how much of the stuff you have is something you need for survival can help change your perspective on your stuff.
Do I Regularly Use This Item?
If you only use something once every six months, get rid of it. Christmas decorations are exempt, but if you have a food dehydrator lurking in a basement corner that you’ve only used once in the last ten years, you either need to pull it out and start using it or find a better home for it — preferably someone else’s home.
Do I Like This Item?
Sometimes, it is easy to keep clutter just because we always have. It becomes a part of our home without us ever examining whether it is a useful part or something we like and use. If it’s doing nothing for you and you don’t even like it in the first place, pitch it!
Is This Item Taking Up Space I Don’t Have?
Many people feel like they need a bigger home or apartment for all their stuff, but most people just need less stuff. When my husband and I first got married, we spent the first six months living in a one-bedroom apartment with one closet.
Where would we put the vacuum, or the suitcase? We made use of all our available room, from under the bed to under the bathroom sink, and learned an invaluable lesson: the less space you have, the less stuff you need.
Could I Bless Someone Else With This Item?
One of my favorite ways to “dispose” of items I no longer love, need or use is to share them with someone who will! Not only do I get the item off my hands, but I bless someone else in the process — and likely save them money, too!
Now, I am not advocating that you go dump of ten bags of junk on your friend’s doorstep, but if you know your friend could use some diapers and you have half a box that your son outgrew, stop letting them take up space in the nursery and ask your friend if she’d like them!
Need some inspiration for more clutter-free living? Read How I Keep My Kitchen Countertops Cleaned Off.
Turn Your Clutter Into Cash
Once you’ve cleared out the clutter, it’s time to turn that clutter into cash. Here are three ways to do that?
List It On Craigslist
If you live in a large metropolis, your local Craigslist is likely hopping with potential buyers. Take good pictures, use descriptive words, only include your email address (there are weirdos on the internet; no need to give them your home phone number!) and list your item reasonably.
Chances are, finding a buyer will be fairly simple. Best of all? If the item doesn’t sell, you’re out nothing but time and effort.
Craigslist is a great place to sell almost anything, but I’d especially recommend using it for selling exercise equipment, appliances and baby items.
Sell It On eBay
eBay may be a great option, but as it is so well-known, the market is often saturated. Before listing any items on eBay, do a search to see if an item you are considering selling on eBay is actually selling. If there are dozens of listings of your item and very few bids, you’re probably going to do much better selling your item elsewhere.
I personally have had success with selling items as “lots” as opposed to individually. This is a quick way to get rid of a lot of items at once. It will save you the time and energy of taking pictures and listing each thing separately and you’ll likely get more bidders. Make sure that you do have a few items in the lot that are hot sellers, use descriptive keywords in your title and listing, and take at least one or two high-quality pictures.
Consignment stores normally specialize in selling name brand used clothing. Children’s consignment stores also sell baby items, maternity clothes, toys and more.
There are at least one or two (or more!) available in most areas. All consignment stores have their own rules and guidelines, but most have you bring your unwanted clothes to them and they’ll either pay you upfront in cash or store credit. Or, they’ll display the items in their store and then pay you a percentage of the profit if it sells.
Depending upon what items you have, what condition they are in and what brands they are, this could be an excellent opportunity for you. I’d recommend calling around to local consignment stores to see what their rules and guidelines for accepting items are and how much they pay.
What are your best tips for turning your clutter into cash?