Good Grief! If you are like me, well, lets just say I need to be in the SPRING cleaning mindset to really part with things. I tend to hold on to stuff longer than I should. But that all changed in 2012.
It was the motherload of all spring cleaning years, totaling just over $6,000.
Did that get your attention? 😀
I know. I couldn't believe it either! That was by far the most I had ever made – to date.
What would you do with an extra $6,000 dollars? Build out that emergency fund? Pay off debt?
What was that? Oh, what did I do with that extra $6k? Well, you'll have to read to the end to find out. 😉
Whether you decide to tap into your inner Marie Kondo or follow your own method of decluttering, make this year the year you simplify life and make room for what really and truly matters to you.
Let's get started…
Adopt that Spring Cleaning Mindset
I was ready. What I mean by “ready” is ready emotionally and mentally to part with stuff. I made a conscious decision to get rid of things and started by going through each room. I was ruthless with my purging and grouped stuff together to make selling easier. I also cleared out a space where all the “For Sale” stuff went.
Then I reached out to Craig…
Craig is my friend (List that is)
Craigslist is just one of the many sites you can use to advertise gently used stuff. Ron Clark has a great post on 48 other places to check out.
I took pictures of the bigger pieces and made separate listings for each one on Craigslist with as much information as possible. Size, wood type, color, etc… whatever I could add to the description. The pictures were close up, further away, draws open and closed.
That year I got rid of so much stuff that I held 2 garage sales. For me personally I have had the most success with 2 types of garage sales.
First, estate sale, where there are larger pieces to highlight and draw people in. I would take pictures of the larger items, like, tables/chairs, bed frame, etc and give just enough information that gets people curious enough to come over and take a look.
Second, multi-family, where the neighborhood gets involved. Garage sale people make one stop and hit multiple homes. It a win-win – many hands make light work.
Garage sales are a lot of work. They can be a great way to make some extra money but you have to be organized and prepared. Here is a great post by EveryDollar.com that outlines just that.
Table at a Local Flea Market
I didn't do this personally, but I did give a few things to a friend to add to their table of household items.
Here's what they do. Throughout the year they go around to various garage sales and pick stuff up for next to nothing, fix them up and store it all in a storage unit. Then once or twice a year they get a table or two at the Flea Market and set up shop. They put it all for sale and make a nice profit. Nice little side business if I do say so myself.
Side story: I also knew someone who would get up early, fill a few large coolers with ice and add in water bottles & sodas. Then they would drive to the entrance to the flea market and park. Selling ice cold beverages for a dollar each…. they would make a killing on those extra hot days! 🙂
What to do with what is left?
With some of the nicer things that didn't sell, I would take it to consignment. You wont make as much but someone that will appreciate it will give it a home. That was good enough for me.
We are avid readers and had a treasure trove of books for various ages and interests. We would sell them at our garage sale. For the books that were left we split and donated the kid books to their elementary school teachers and the rest would go to the local library. All donations are tax deductible.
If you are looking for a quick way to shed those extra books but don't want to go the garage sale route, check sites like BookScouter, eBay's Half.com and Amazon Trade-in to see who offers you the best deal. If you're selling comic books, ComicBookResources.com is also a great resource..
I had camping gear that went to an avid camping friend. Really nice, barely used, tablecloths and placemats to another friend. Not to mention the gardening equipment.
The best part, I still borrow the camping equipment from time to time. It's a win-win.
It was a lot of work, but $6,000 cash is much more useful than all the stuff that was cluttering up my home. Not only did I gain an uncluttered, stress free home but getting rid of all that stuff also freed up time. Time that I was using to maintain all that stuff.
As for what I did with that extra $6,000? I had a big emergency. My car had broken down again. It was time to replace it. Between the trade-in value and $6,000, I was well on my way to much needed NO LOAN gently used replacement car that I still drive today.
There are a lot of ways to make money at spring cleaning. I would love to hear from you.
What are your spring cleaning tips?
What's the biggest haul you have had?