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:
- Kitchen Items
- Baby Items (especially baby gates, exercausers, swings, play areas, strollers, etc)
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