Jumpstart your savings or pay off that credit card balance. I needed to do both of these things a couple months ago and here is how I managed to put $1,000 in my savings and pay off debt.
Sell your stuff!
It is truly that simple. The average American household has around 300,000 items. (LA Times)
Consider then how much time is spent on those things. Before my major clean out, I spent at least two days a week “cleaning”. I wasn’t actually cleaning I was decluttering, picking up, rearranging…moving stuff.
If this is fascinating for you, look at the stats on what Americans consume on Becoming Minimalist post here.
Where to Start?
The Storage Areas– The closet, basement, attic or garage are all great spaces to start with the declutter.
Ask yourself any of these questions:
- Do I use it? (If so, when was the last time? A year? It has gotta go! )
- Do I need it?
- Does it bring me joy?
If decluttering is a new concept for you, or you find it challenging to let go of things, check out one of my favorite YouTubers Lavendaire, who inspired me to become minimalist in my own way.
The documentary “Minimalism” is also on Netflix and is a must watch!
Lastly, some books to Read/Download/or Get on Tape:
Disclaimer, I have not read all of these…only half!
- The Art of Discarding: How to Get Rid of Clutter and Find Joy” by Nagisa Tatsumi
- “Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus
- “The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own” by Joshua Becker
- “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World” by Admiral William H. McRaven
- “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Condo
In order to declutter, you must have that Mindset change to support it. Make sure this is where you are at first. It would be unfortunate to purge and then go on a shopping spree to replace the stuff you just removed.
How to sell it and where:
- Traditional Garage Sale- I had a Saturday only garage sale from 9am-4pm with my clear out and quickly made $280. I did not even have as much as I have seen at huge sales- so your odds could be great. Here a a few tips for a garage sale:
- Invite your friends! More the merrier- plus you can market as a “Multi-Family Sale” .
- Have clear and bright signs from multiple directions. Make sure people know where you are. Maybe grab a few balloons for your mail box. To save money-make your own signs or go to the dollar tree.
- List your sale online using Nextdoor or Craigslist. These online marketplaces have specific categories for garage sales and list by zip code for the community to find.
- Sell the small things, but have out the big things too. Larger ticket items will do well in the next option rather than a garage sale. Remember people here are looking for the ultimate deal.
- Online Marketplaces- I have used all 4 of the following at the same time to make sure what I need to go actually does! You can look up online which ones seem to be more active in your area.
- Craigslist: A great option for all kinds of items. I have had success selling everything from a pile of wood to a blender. Posts expire in a week and correspondence is done via e-mail. You can provide your number if you wish to receive calls or texts- although I never wanted it out there be honest.
- Letgo: I listed my items on this after seeing a few of those ridiculous commercials on TV. I mean, if a guy can sell a bowling ball while hanging off a cliff, then I am sure to be successful. The interface is fairly simple, although after posting you have to go back into the post if you want to add any sort of description. Additionally, Letgo is not too popular in my area. So I would try it and see how many views your posts get. You might have better luck than me.
- OfferUp: I had the most success with this app. Easy to list all at once and my items had up to 24 views within the first 30 minutes. I sold the majority of my items on this as well. OfferUp also has a “TruYou” portion to the app which ensures that you or whomever you are selling to are real people. They ask for scans of you ID, a photo from your phone and that is it! This did give me some peace of mind, especially I had to meet people at my home for larger items.
- Facebook Marketplace: Linking to your already vast social network allows for things to sell bit faster. I thought this was great, as you can easily share the post to both the marketplace and your own Facebook feed. Friends and friends of friends can see it on your wall- meaning your chances of selling are high.
List on all of them! Why not have your listings multiple places? You will sell faster.
CAUTIONS: Online marketplaces have been known for scams or slimy people. Meet people while others are around in a public place is possible. Do not give out your personal information. Have your customer pay in cash. Use some common sense. If it smells fishy- it is.
Be willing to haggle.
I always price my items $5 to $10 higher than I am willing to take. At Garage Sales you will get a lower price for items since people are out for the best deals. A a garage sale is the last stop before donation sites and shopper know this.
With the chat feature on the apps and Craigslist people will always ask what your lowest is- be willing to haggle a little and do not be offended. Online Marketplace’s also offer a “Negotiable” (Letgo) or “Firm”(OfferUp) button so those looking at your listing will know your intentions.
Things that sell well online:
Still not sure what to sell online? Here is a list of what I found on my ultimate cleanout that was listed online. Other items like clothes, trinkets, craft supplies, home decor and the like sold well at my garage sale.
- Electronics- older iPad, Kindle, Digital Camera, printer etc.
- Furniture– Table, bench, trunk, side stand
- Sports and Outdoor– Snowboard, Snowboard boots, long board, motorcycle jacket.
- Speciality Items- Any brands that people collect such as Scentsy (my scentsy sold first when I listed). Camera bag, travel slash proof purse and things of this nature that would require a specific buyer
I wish you the best with your selling! You can easily put at least $1,000 in your account if not much more within a month using the apps and having a sale.