If you have had the chance to read my most recent Monday Motivation post you would know that my absolute dream blogging course – Elite Blog Academy 3.0 – has just opened up. It opens up once a year and when it does, it is only for 5 short days. Because I don’t have the disposable income available to sign up right this second and with Spring (cleaning) just around the corner, I decided to kill two birds with one stone.

Does anyone else really dislike that saying?

Since I have a house full of stuff that we no longer use (or don’t use that often) and a course that I really want to take (but isn’t in the budget), I figured it only made sense to start decluttering and sell anything that I considered to be in excellent used condition. Now, I know that going through each room, asking yourself some key questions, then taking pictures and listing all your gently used stuff for sale on sites like Facebook, Craigslist, Kijiji, etc, sounds like a really huge job.

It doesn’t have to be.

***Note: I do have to say that this by no means is a full guide to decluttering your home. In the coming weeks I will be posting a series that goes into much further detail on the process of decluttering and doing a deep spring clean.

This is just a starting point. 

A quick guide to get you in the mood to purge, and to show you just how easy it is to make a few extra dollars when you need to.

If you are anything like me, all it takes is a few items that you are willing to part with – and that someone else wants to buy – to motivate you to declutter your whole home. I know it might sound odd, but there is nothing more satisfying or freeing than getting rid of unnecessary stuff.

There are many reasons one might want to declutter their home. It could be because their home feels busy or crowded. Perhaps there is just too much stuff and not enough places to put it. It may be that a move is on the horizon. Or better yet, a major life event – babies anyone?

Whatever the reason might be, what if I told you that you could solve all of the above problems AND make a little extra money while doing so?

Sounds pretty great right?

Especially since it really doesn’t take all that much effort to get started.

So where do you start?

First – if you are purging for profit – you need to think about the types of items that will sell.

If you are anything like me you are probably a member of a number of Buy and Sell Groups on facebook.Why? Because it is almost like going to a garage sale from the comfort of your own home – and boy do I love a good garage sale. Now if you pay attention to any of these groups, you will begin to see that are certain items that almost always sell (and quickly too).

Some of these items include:

  • Furniture
  • Kitchen Items
  • Baby Items (especially baby gates, exercausers, swings, play areas, strollers, etc)
  • Jewelry
  • Clothing

Once you have figured out the type of items you are going to try to purge the next thing you have to do is come up with a system to figure out what exactly you are willing to part with.

***Note: I know we are talking about purging for a profit, however, more importantly we are talking about the process of decluttering. As you ask yourself the following questions about items in your home, please keep in mind whether it could also be a donatable item or if it is something that should just be tossed right away. If its something that should be tossed just go ahead and do that right now. You’ll thank yourself later. 

Sure, some things might be no brainers. Like that Food Processor you bought 3 years ago and have only used a handful of times. Or perhaps that Bread Maker? Or what about that table and chair set you’ve had tucked away in storage for who knows how long?

Other things might take a little bit of pondering.

So how do you decide whether to keep something or to get rid of it  – and more importantly how do you tackle your whole house?

You start by decluttering one room at a time.

Once you’ve decided on the room you want to attack first – I usually start with the easiest because I like to gain quick momentum – take a quick inventory of the room and look for the items that stand out.  In my case it usually means the ones that have (literally) been collecting dust.

Then I ask myself the following questions:

Is it something I use regularly? 

If it doesn’t fall into the seasonal or holiday use category (like your big turkey roaster or holiday decorations), you need to ask yourself how often you use it. If it isn’t something you use regularly then you need to ask yourself…

Is it something that I love? 

This is something I struggle with. There are items in my home – particularly my old school Nintendo Gaming Systems – that I do not use regularly. I know that I should probably let them go and if I did I could probably get a pretty penny , but I love them.  I would be sad if I got rid of them. That being said – and this is my own personal rule – If there is an item that I love and don’t use regularly then I make a point to get rid of something else in its place. After all the point is to declutter right?

So if you don’t use something regularly and you don’t love it. The next question you need to ask is…

Am I keeping this because I feel like I should?

Are you holding on to something because it was a gift and you might feel guilty if you got rid of it? Or are you holding on to it “just in case”. If it is not something that you use regularly and you don’t love it, then get rid of it. Stuff shouldn’t make you feel guilty and if it makes you feel better to donate those “guilty” items to someone in need instead of selling them, then donate them.  I also get the whole “always be prepared” thing, but if you haven’t used something in at least a year – away it goes – no more just in case okay?

And if you’re still not sure,  the next thing to consider is…

Do I have more than one? 

This is particularly useful in the kitchen and clothing category. I can’t tell you how many whisks and potato mashers I have seem to have acquired over the years. The same goes for basic plaid shirts. While I know that selling a whisk on its own might not get you much – or anything at all– but if you bundle it with a bunch of other misc. kitchen items, you might be able to make a few bucks off of selling it as a lot. Clothing on the other hand is a whole different ball game. A ball game that is worth a post of its own – so stay tuned for that.  For now, I will just say that clothing items generally sell better separately than in a group. Unless you are selling kids/baby clothes – but again, more on that later.

Now if you don’t have more than one the next logical question is…

Do I own anything else that could do the same job?

Again, I find that I ask myself this question most often regarding Kitchen Equipment. Blenders, Bullet Blenders, Juicers, Food Processors, Mandolin Slicers, Kitchen Knives, etc. If you have something else that can serve the same purpose then it’s time to purge. Figure out what you use most often and keep that. Or figure out what you lose the least and that is the one that has to go,whatever is easier to decide. It is your house after all!  This is supposed to be quick, remember!

And last but not least…

Can I use the space for something else?

This is a big one for furniture or hardly used appliances. I have a lot of stuff that doesn’t get used to its fullest potential and chances are it has been that way for a while. If you are looking to declutter and making some extra cash let those things go. Chances are once they are gone, you’re not going to miss them anyway. Plus you get the added bonus of some much-needed free space.

Remember, the purpose of this post is a quick declutter. One that is productive enough to encourage you to purge even more and to help give you the motivation that you need to do that (dreaded) spring cleaning. Now that you have that handful (or maybe a few handfuls) of items you are willing to part with – for a profit of course – you need to start thinking about how you will price what you are selling.

A good general rule of thumb is the 50-30-10 rule.

So what is the 50-30-10 Rule? As stated by Apartment Therapy  it is:

Basically anything that is consider new (or practically new) should be sold at 50% of retail value – unless of course it’s severly outdated and more than a few years old – then be a little realistic. Anything that is slightly used should be sold for roughly 30% of its retail value. Anything that is well used or well-worn (but still in good, usable, condition) should be sold at 10% of retail value – but between you and me these are the items that I usually donate.  

Once you have priced out your items it is time to take some  photos and post those items to the platform of your choice. I personally stick to Facebook and you thank messenger for that. It’s much easier to have a quick conversation with a potential buyer than emailing back and forth. Plus I don’t have to give out my number or address until a deal has been made.

In the last three days, I have posted roughly 15-20 items and I am approximately 90% of the way to my goal. Even if I don’t hit the target I am aiming for I will at least have some extra cash – and who doesn’t love a little extra money?!

Do you have any quick decluttering tips that can help make you some quick cash? I would love to hear them.

 

 

***Note: All images are Stock photos from Unsplash

 

 

79 comments on “How to Crush Clutter and Make a Profit”

  1. I love this post! I really need to declutter my home… I’ve been hoarding so much stuff that I never use and it just makes my house look so messy. Every time I clean the house, I just feel so refreshed! 🙂

    • That is thing about having too much stuff. You can clean and clean and clean until you are blue in the face but if there is too much stuff it will still look messy. We are slowly but surely getting to where we need to be regarding purging. I just need to get my partner a little more on board with it. He has so many knick knacks that he never uses that he refuses to get rid of!

  2. I really need to declutter! Especially my closet! I have so much useless junk that I need to get rid of!

  3. I need to declutter as well. I have lots of toys and stuff that I don’t really need. So maybe I will try some Fb groups as well.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. The place that we are in right now is very small – too small for our family. We have far too much stuff for the space, and while I would love to hold on to more of it for when we do live in a better space, it just isn’t practical.

  4. We just went through all the boxes we had in a storage unit. Alot of time and work but we got through them all and have been able to donate a ton of stuff. We have about 2/3 less boxes and stuff so I am very happy with all we got rid of.

    • That is amazing! We have so much more work to do, but I currently have three rather large boxes that are waiting to be donated – which is a lot for us since we live in such a small space. I can’t wait until we actually get them out of the house though!

  5. A few years back I was watching one of those shows on hoarding and then looked around my place and seen so much stuff that I didn’t need and some of it I didn’t even remember how I acquired. I decided then to become a minimalist and loaded my living room up with everything I could do without. I sold or gave away tons of stuff and now I don’t purchase anything without first asking myself if I need it right now or in the future and how easy will it be to get rid of.

  6. These are great decluttering ideas. You have really outlined the steps that one must follow pretty well. I do find it a little difficult to part with stuff around the house even I am not using them. And it’s only because of all the memories attached It’s so not practical though.

    • Sentimental items are the hardest to part with. I have allowed myself one steamer trunk to keep all those items. Once the trunk gets full I go through it to see if there is anything that no longer holds the same memory and get rid of those. I find that as the years go by, memories change and I am more willing to let certain things go.

  7. I do a good weeding out of my closet every year. It feels good to finally get rid of stuff I no longer wear.

    • I need to get better at the closet clear out. I am so incredibly guilting of holding on to things that no longer fit because I hope that they will again. I am hoping that I will rid that nasty habit with my next closet clear out.

    • I have had that experience too! When that happens, I usually try a small garage sale (or a getting a table at a community garage sale). It’s not always super easy, which is why I end up donating a lot too!

  8. I have sold some of my old gadgets before because I needed the money. I am also a member of online groups that I can sell my items. It is tricky when it comes to payment. There was one time, I agreed to meet a potential buyer at the mall. He was interested to buy my beauty gadget but he wanted to take a look at it first. He bought it eventually on the spot after I have convinced him that I was offering the best price. He haggled a lot. When it comes to clothes, I just gave them to my relatives.

    • Yeah, that can sometimes happen. It is definitely a pain point when it does. I just had a very similar experience with someone about the perceived value of something. If it is something that I will likely just donate I will tend to budge on price, but it all depends on the person too. Sometimes the process of haggling just isn’t worth it.

  9. I am about to start de-cluttering to make a bit of extra cash for my blogging biz. The 50-30-10 is great info. I will definitely be using that when the time comes.

  10. This is something that I have done over the years and now I have just the right amount of stuff. I wish I could cut down on the paper that I still have a tendency to gather. 🙂

    • Oh paper clutter is the worst! I am still trying to figure out how to cut down on that also. Especially since I love taking pen to paper when it comes to organizing. If you figure out a system for that I would love to hear it!

  11. I dread the word, de-cluttering. Haha. But with three kids, who wont stop growing, needing things, and constantly in change of likes its helpful for the eyes to get rid, sell, or keep things. I’ve never really done it for profit, i guess because i never knew if it would sell or if anyone would want it..but your suggestions prove to me that most of my barely used items may just be of advantage for someone.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Honestly, kid and baby stuff sells the fastest. Especially if it is in good condition. I know I pretty much always jump on used kid items – especially when it saves me from buying new. However, I am usually late to the party and most often I find myself commenting “next” hoping that it gets to me. I think you might be surprised at how quick those barely used goods will get picked up by someone! You should let me know how it goes if you decide to sell any of it!

  12. This is making me want to clean out our basement! We have boxes- and boxes- and BOXES of baby stuff packed away that I keep thinking ‘butttt what if we want one more.’ The likelihood of that happening is VERY low, and will be in several years, so we would want to buy new stuff anyways. I need to just declutter! Thanks for the inspiration!
    Caitlin
    http://www.rogerspartyof5.com

    • Oh my goodness! I can so relate to this. I keep holding on to things thinking it will come in handy for the next one, but you just never know. I keep thinking I should just bite the bullet and purge all of it (except for my few very favorite things). Especially since most of it has hardly been used!

  13. Great tips! I have a problem focusing on one room at a time. I tend to jump from room
    to room and that gets me very side tracked.

  14. We are getting ready to move into a new house and I’m not really looking forward to the process. I know there is so much that we NEED to get rid of because either we don’t use it or just flat out don’t need it! I’m looking around and see so much stuff we could sell and probably make decent money. Then part of me just wants to throw it all away. But I somehow always convince myself I will use it…one day lol Here’s to hoping it all flows smoothly!

    • Moving is one of the few times I will suck it up and have a garage or moving sale. It’s a bit of work, but I find it really helps with getting the unwanted stuff out of the house, plus I always make arrangements with a community group to come and pick up whatever is left at the end of the sale. That way I am not tempted to bring it back in and end up moving a bunch of things I don’t really want to keep. Moving is one of my least favorite things. I hope it goes well!

  15. Oh boy does this post scream “Spring Cleaning!” I’ve been told that we’re decluttering next weekend. This post will serve as a great guide.

    • Glad I could help. I always have trouble with a few items that I “think” I need to hold on to. These questions definitely help make the decision to purge lot easier. Now if only I could get my partner to feel the same way! haha

  16. Great tips. I like to sell things in a Lot sale, say my son grew out of all his pants? Cuz that happened and I had like 5 pairs of jeans. Through in a Lot and they sold fast!

    • When it comes to kid and baby stuff it is almost always better to sell in a lot sale! I like to keep like with like though. A Lot of sleepers, pants, shoes, etc. But I will always split up if need be and if it doesn’t go within a few days it is time to donate!

  17. Great idea! I’m about to start cleaning and reorganizing my own house, so I’ll keep this in mind!
    | diaryofasouthernmillennial.com

  18. I think this is hitting 3 birds with one stone. Aside from saving cash and having a decluttered home, you also get to help the environment by allowing others to reuse your stuff instead of buying new ones. I think of everyone does this instead of buying new stuff all the time, the environment will definitely thank us

  19. Money can be a great motivator to declutter! We do a purge, of anything we haven’t already gotten rid of as soon as we figure out we don’t need it, a few times a year. We usually donate. Then we’ll be strapped for cash for something and feel guilty that we’re a little disappointed we donated it because then we can’t sell it!

    • When I first start decluttering I always look for the items that I might be able to make a little bit of money off of. Once a few items sell, and I have noticed how much more space I have, then I am super motivated to continue the decluttering process which usually results in me donating a TON of stuff – even now I have about three large boxes of household items that I will be taking to a community group and I have only just started the decluttering phase.

  20. This is awesome! It’s nice to make money out of the things that you no longer use. At least you get to add more to your savings and at the same time, you also get rid of the clutter in your home.

    • Exactly! I usually only end up selling a small portion of the items I purge – usually only higher ticket items and larger household goods. Anything else I usually end up donating. I go through the selling portion of my decluttering system first just to help keep me motivated!

  21. Making money from your old things is brilliant. It does sound like a ton of work but it’s actually worth it. And these days, it’s not so difficult to sell stuff online especially since there are plenty of websites that you can join to do that.

    • It is so easy nowadays! I do still love a good garage sale, but the work that goes into hosting one – my goodness I am tried even thinking about it! Selling things online is so much easier and definitely worth the work that goes into it!

  22. I have SO much I can declutter. I told my husband over the weekend that I’ve thought about just emptying our house into garbage bags so I can have our space back 😉

    • haha! I can so relate to that. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have just wanted to empty everything out and start from scratch! Slowly but surely I am starting to regain some of that space that I miss so dearly. Good luck in your decluttering adventure.

  23. Decluttering is so cathartic! You have some really great tips for how to start the process of decluttering and for how to price them to sell! I didn’t realize there was a rule to follow for resale value, either!

    • I was so happy when I came across that resell rule! Seriously, I hate looking at an item and trying to figure out where to price it. The rule takes all the work out of it. Now that I have started the declutter process it is time to finish – and get ready for that (dreaded) deep spring clean! Hopefully some of the tips help you!

  24. I do a super-clearout every 6 months and try to only hold on to things I really need. I like to donate stuff though. One man’s trash…

    • I usually end up donating about 90% of the stuff I declutter – especially to community groups in need. When it comes to clothing and smaller household goods I almost always donate. When I do sell (or try to sell) stuff, if it doesn’t go within a few days I donate. I wish I did a super clear out every 6 months!

  25. I feel like I need to declutter my kitchen. It has somany things I don’t use at all. I didn’t know about the 50-30-10 Rule. Thanks for sharing this.

    • You are welcome! It was a definite game changer for me when I learned of the rule. Made it alot easier to see what was worth selling and what I should just donate instead. Glad you found it helpful!

    • I can relate to this! I have hard time deciding whether I should attempt to consign any of my clothes and accessories rather than just donate them. All I know is that I have WAY too much stuff that I don’t actually wear.

  26. I have two reasons to declutter: a new baby by the end of the month, and then we’re moving a month after that! It’s going to be quite hectic. I am pretty decent at getting rid of stuff. As long as I don’t think about it too much and as long as it doesn’t take too long to get out of my house, then I have no problem letting things go. I am also blessed with a rather poor memory so I can completely forget about that cool little trinket I used to own but sold. Now Hubby, on the other hand . . . that’s why we still have heaps of STUFF.

    • Oh my goodness how I can relate! My partner LOVES his trinkets and collectibles. I, on the otherhand, am now fully capable of getting rid of almost anything. I think having a baby changed that for me. Congrats on the new baby by the way! That is so exciting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.