How to clear your clutter and make some money

I have a hard and fast rule in my house: before things come in, stuff must go out. I like to do a big purge ahead of Christmas, birthdays or at the start of summer. A cluttered house makes me anxious and somewhere along the way, I realized I could offset the price of the new by selling the old. I have reached pro status at selling my junk, so I am passing along some tips.

Get organized

I like to set aside an entire afternoon and tackle one whole area at a time. It is definitely worth your time to do entire closet clean-outs or tackle your garage all at once. Make piles based on size, type, or features. Iron wrinkled clothes, match outfits together and replace toy batteries–things sell better when ready to use. Label them for what you think they’re worth (research this until you become familiar!) and take pictures if you plan to sell online.

Know your options

My strategy is always to work from the top down–you will absolutely get more money from your items by selling them directly to someone else. Facebook Marketplace is really popular right now but the individual buy/sell/trade groups on Facebook geared towards certain niches (hobbies, kid’s clothes, designer clothes, etc.) yield the biggest payoff. There are also apps like LetGo and Craigslist is still an option, although I find the traffic isn’t there like it used to be. These things are a bit more time consuming but I find they often bring in up to double the profit.

If I can’t sell directly, I will then move on to consignment. The model with most stores has changed from a “drop off and wait” approach to one where they just pay you up front for your items and they get the profit from the sale. For this reason, you won’t get anywhere near market value for your stuff–but it’s a quick and easy way to get rid of things in volume, like clothes.

Whatever is left over after that gets donated. I always get a receipt for these donations and use them as tax write-offs.

Know the rules

Particularly with Facebook, there are unspoken rules of engagement when it comes to selling your stuff. You’ll want to read up on your page’s Buy/Sell/Trade rules (usually under the “about” tab) to make sure you aren’t stepping on any toes. But generally, with all online forums, the expectation is that you will disclose any irregularities with your item, give preference to the first person to respond, and most people appreciate the option to pay you via Venmo or Paypal.

When it comes to consigning, become familiar with your store’s policies. Most have a list of brands they prefer and those they don’t accept. I have also found that since they’re all different in their stocking needs, it is sometimes worth it to try multiple locations before donating.

Lastly, when it comes to donation, know that most places have an online list of items they cannot accept. For example, most places that accept donations for children do not take car seats, cribs or pack-n-plays because of recall concerns.  Also, do your research and make sure the organization you are donating to has values that align with your own.

We all know how that it’s a breath of fresh air to have an organized home but when that organization comes with a paycheck, it’s even better! Happy selling!

Originally posted to © CharlotteFive

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