Moving after being in our home for 10 years was so painful, but if there were any positives to the whole packing and sorting everything out ordeal a few months ago, it was that we were able to declutter and make some serious cash on stuff that’s been lying around the house. Emma was amazing at selling stuff, posting pictures, responding to requests, and scheduling pickups. She even managed to convince someone to buy our own bedroom furniture set for a hefty sum when he came by to pick up a mattress. That was a godsend because not only did we make the most money with that set, we would otherwise have an extra bedroom furniture set that’s hard to get rid of sitting in our garage of the new house. When it was all set and done, we managed to put $2,800 in our pockets.
And before you think you need a super seller like Emma, know that anyone can make some money declutter their home. Travis, my friend, also decluttered recently. Here’s his story.
After eight years in our home, I started to notice that all our closets were looking pretty full. There was barely enough room to move around in our mechanical room because of all the boxes. Our outdoor shed was so full it no longer served its original purpose of housing our lawnmower.
It was time to do some major home decluttering.
If it were up to me, I would’ve bought a box of contractor grade garbage bags and just started throwing stuff away. My wife, being a tad bit smarter than I, saw the potential to earn some cash (I see a pattern of smart wives here). We came up with a plan to declutter our house, find good homes for our gently used things, and make some money along the way.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of our plan so that you can replicate it and hopefully earn some cash of your own:
1. Garage Sale
We went through our home room by room, purging everything we no longer wanted. By the time we were done, the inside of our home was neat, tidy, and organized. Our garage, however, was completely full of stuff. Borrowing tables from everyone we could, we then categorized and priced everything. We ran an ad in the local classifieds and held a garage sale, which generated over $700 in cash.
Unfortunately, less than half of our stuff actually sold. No doubt the pandemic had slowed traffic considerably. We’d made an agreement that none of the stuff was going back into the house, so I grabbed my keys to go buy those garbage bags. But not so fast — my wife had different ideas.
2. Consignment Store
We put all of the kid clothing and toys into plastic bins and took them to a consignment store. They sorted through the bins, removing the items they wanted to buy from us. They offered us about $120 for a large chunk of the stuff we brought in. It was only now that my wife gave me permission to go buy my garbage bags.
We placed everything that remained into boxes or garbage bags and donated it all to our local Goodwill. (Be sure to get a receipt for your donation, as you’ll probably be able to use it as a tax deduction.)
Following our three-step process, we shed a lot of clutter from our home and put over $800 into our pockets. We’ve since repeated it a couple of times, and have been so successful that our neighbors joined in on the action. (We’ve found that our garage sales are more successful when we have multiple families involved.)
Hey, it’s David here again. I suggested to Travis that he should incorporate and use the power of the internet in his strategy next time. Before he holds the garage sale, he can probably sell some of his possessions online for a bit more money than he would get in a garage sale. When Emma and I sold our stuff, we sold everything through Facebook. You have to take pictures of and post each item you want to sell, but it’s not more work than advertising, organizing, and cleaning up after a garage sale.
You can also use Craigslist, or even eBay. We shied away from eBay because they take a pretty hefty cut, but the site is great if you are looking for more of an audience on higher priced or more specialized goods and you are willing to ship out the item you want to sell.
Don’t worry about whether you would find buyers at certain price points either. We sold quite a few IKEA furniture at prices pretty close to new and people were practically lining up to buy them. We had someone drive 40 minutes each way to come down to buy a $5 coffee table that cost $10 when it was brand new. And it was readily available on the IKEA website!
The kid’s beds were sold for 70% to 80% of the cost of a new one, and they had to come by to disassemble it, pack, and move all the pieces back to their house. One of the families borrowed a Jeep from their friend, drove to our house, and took two hours to take apart one of our IKEA bedroom and closet assembly just so they can take two different trips to haul it back home. We had another family almost pay us $50 just to deliver a table back to their house because we had a truck and they didn’t.
Remember the person who bought the furniture set when he originally wanted just the mattress? When he came by to pick everything up, I sold him a light fixture too!
When someone wants something, they want it. You just have to give them the opportunity to give you money.
This is how we did it. How do you declutter your home and earn money at the same time?
Originally posted at https://moneyning.com/make-money/a-3-step-plan-for-earning-some-extra-cash-decluttering-your-home/