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How to Turn Your Clutter Into Cash

By Kayla Sloan
February 24, 2018

Got too much stuff? Join the club! For you, this may mean a collection of DVDs that you simply can’t part with, a closet full of clothes that no longer fit, or shelves lined with books you’ve already read.

No matter what you’ve been collecting, however, you may reach the point when you decide to clean house. But instead of just throwing things in the trash or giving your stuff away, you can turn your clutter into cash and inch close to your financial goals. Want to learn more? Read on.

Sort Through Stuff

Sorting through the items in your home can be tedious and for most of us, it’s not fun.

It takes time to do a thorough job of sifting through each item drawer by drawer, closet by closet, and room by room. I’ve found that decluttering works best if you do a little bit here and there, rather than trying to tackle the entire giant “project” at once.

The bigger the cleaning out project, the more likely I am to get overwhelmed or run out of time, leaving me with a giant mess of stuff. This just adds to chaos! So, I recommend starting small, especially at first.

Choose a Clutter Collection Area

While you’re sorting through your stuff, it helps to find an area of your home where you can put all of these items. This will help you organize and declutter your rooms faster.

I suggest picking an area that isn’t in the general traffic flow of your house. This way it’s not in your way. This area should have room for both small and large items.

While you’re collecting your items into this waystation, you may come across things that need to be thrown away because they’re broken, worn out, or simply not saleable. Instead of dumping these in your pile, simply throw them away.

Keep Your Emotions in Check

Try not to let your emotions get out of hand or you won’t be able to part with anything. Trust me: it’s easy to pick up items and recall memories behind each one. If you do this, you may never make it through the task at hand.

At the same time, if something truly has so much sentimental value that you absolutely can’t part with it, make room to display this item proudly in your home. If there is no room for it, rid yourself of another item to free up space. This way, you can keep the sentimental item and clear out something else in the process.

Another suggestion as a last resort: if you can’t bear to part with something and can’t find room for it anywhere, it’s ok to hang onto it for now. You may find that you become more ruthless and less attached to stuff as you move through your decluttering project.

Decide How to Sell Things

Once you’ve decluttered, it’s time to figure out how to sell your items. Here are some ideas:

1. Electronics

Most electronics will be passed up at garage sales. In fact, you may be hard-pressed to get rid of them at all. What’s worse, the longer you keep an electronic item, the harder it is to sell and you’ll be lucky to get more than a couple of bucks.

Instead, try selling electronics through local online sales groups, like on a Facebook yard sale site. You may also want to try sites like eBay and Amazon, or sites dedicated to selling electronics, like Sellshark.

Keep in mind that selling your products locally will probably result in more money since you don’t have to pay for shipping and can arrange a hand-off at a designated local spot.

2. Clothing and Accessories

Name brand clothes and accessories can be sold online through sites like Poshmark and Vinted.

Selling on sites like these will help you reach a larger audience of interested buyers. That said, I have had success selling clothing through local Facebook groups, but it can be hit or miss. Selling at a garage sale is an option too, but people expect to pay rock-bottom prices. At the same time, if you’re selling a ton of clothing, shoes, and accessories, a garage sale may be in order. Or, if you don’t want the hassle of a garage sale, simply donate your clothing.

3. Furniture

The best way to sell furniture is to work with a local consignment shop. Keep in mind that most consignment shops will charge a commission to help you sell your furniture.

Here’s how it works. You bring your items to a consignment shop and the shop owner makes space to display them in the store for a certain time frame, usually 30 or 60 days. You then agree on a price and, if the item is sold, you receive a percentage of the sale.

Another option is to sell furnishings on eBay, but if you do this, be clear about how these larger items need to be picked up as shipping will likely be too costly. Of course, you can also have a garage sale to sell your wares. This may be your best bet, especially if your furniture is torn, frayed, or stained. You may not raise a ton of dough, but you’ll clear house fast.

4. Books & Music

These items are getting harder to sell as many people now get their books and music online. But, a couple of good places to sell books and music in good condition include Amazon and eBay. You can also try local thrift shops and flea markets, as well as online sales apps like OfferUp and LetGo. Lastly, you can incorporate these items into a larger yard sale.

Tips to Get the Most Money

However you decide to turn your clutter into cash, make sure you keep items in good shape and wash or dust them off before you try to sell them. Also, if you are posting items online and need photos, be sure to take pictures using good lighting and in a clear space. This way, your items will look the best and hopefully garner the highest price.

Tax Benefits for Donations

If you decide not to mess with selling your items, you can still benefit from donating them. Donated items may get you a tax deduction, but, at the very least, you can feel good about giving to an organization in need.

When you do make your donation, be sure to ask for a detailed receipt and check with the IRS to see if you can deduct this off your taxes.

Trash to Treasure

Are you ready to turn your trash into your treasure? Remember to follow these tips and you can be on your way to making some money while decluttering your home.

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