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How I Turned Our Clutter into Cash
Prior to our recent cross country move we needed a major clearing out. Walking into our home you’d never know we had so much extra “stuff”. However, years of using our basement as storage, combining two households made for more than we needed. That’s without the addition of a child. Items that we never even used were taking up space in our home, and that was a situation that I swore would never happen to me. Well, it did happen. In a big way. Here’s how I turned our clutter into cash.
Getting Ready To Sell
There are three top reasons why clearing out those areas prior to selling is important.
- You don’t want to give buyers the impression that there isn’t enough space for their things and that anything but necessary items need to be stored.
- Distracting buyers from what your home has to offer such as a large, finished basement can cost you thousands in potential offers.
- Extra clutter can cause buyers to feel suspicious of what you may be hiding.
Luckily we had never even touched our attic. I knew that storing anything there would just lead to more storage of items we didn’t need. For us, it was the basement and the garage that needed tackling.
I knew that it was possible to turn the clutter we had into cash. Being a member of several tag sale sites on social media I had watched what items sold and didn’t. I had also previously sold items myself on occasion. I developed a plan that would keep me forward moving during the time crunch of moving.
Follow this process, you will likely have success with decluttering, and hopefully make a good amount of cash along the way.
- Will I use this item in my next home? Yes – keep it. No – it goes into the sale pile. Don’t continue to hold onto things that you aren’t using. This is the biggest mistake we make in collecting clutter in our homes.
- Determine the condition of the item. Is the item in good condition? Are there any major problems with the item? If the item is in good condition there is a good chance that somebody else will buy it from you! Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your time posting something that will just sit there.
- Decide on a listing price. The general rule of thumb to list a used item, in good condition for 1/3 of the original price. If the item is a little more worn, take a bit more off. If the item is in excellent condition, add a bit more so that in the end, after negotiations with the buyer you still end up at 1/3 of the original price.
- Make your terms clear. Always put out there any specifics that are non-negotiable. Include specifics such as if the item is pick up only or if you are willing to meet. Determine ahead of time if your price is firm or negotiable. Including the original price of the item also helps your buyer understand exactly what the deal entails.
- Stick to a timeline. If you are looking to sell your home, or if you are on another deadline for getting your house into shape and decluttered, then you have to stick to a timeline for posting your items. I would generally list something for sale and update my post every other day. If the item didn’t sell in two weeks it was donated. There wasn’t any deviation from that timeline.
There are additional resources out there which give tips for selling on FaceBook tag sale sites. The Simple Dollar has a very helpful article you may want to check out as well.
To follow is a list of the items I sold and what I was able to sell them for. Your final selling price will be determined by demand and the area you live in, so keep that in mind when pricing. Here’s exactly how I turned our clutter into cash:
|Ambulance Ride on Toy||$50|
|Airplane Safety Harness||$40|
|Children’s DVD Collection||$15|
|Wooden Baby Sled||$30|
|New Outdoor Wooden Bench||$50|
|Children’s Ride In Buggy||$25|
|New Outdoor Dining Set||$175|
|Children’s Art Easel||$20|
|Cool Mist Humidifier||$10|
|Child Safety Sign||$20|
|Gas Powered Leaf Blower||$200|
|Set of Chafing Dishes||$20|
|Patio Umbrella Stand||$5|
|Handmade leaning shelf||$75|
|Child’s Picnic Table||$25|
|Washer & Dryer||$70|
|TOTAL CASH MADE ON TAG SALE SITES FROM DECLUTTERING:||$1,775|
What to do next:
When you’re moving this process doesn’t stop. I continued to find items that would be better off in another home over and over. We went from a 1,200 square foot area to storing items on the side of our garage with room to park.
Continue to purge as you go. You’ll be happy that you did, and you’ll be even happier collecting the cash!