Julie Morgenstern, professional organizer and author of the book Organizing from the Inside Out explains that a consistent cause of cluttered-ness in her clients is a psychological need for abundance. A sense of security that comes from filling the cupboards with food, filling the closets with clothes and keeping the bookshelves full.
One reason that we accumulate such excess is that it can give us a real sense of ‘fullness’ and ‘bounty.’ We feel comforted and secure that we are prepared for anything.. – Julie Morgenstern
The problem that comes from this need for bounty is that it’s often unrealistic and sometimes unhealthy. Filling our fridge with food that we won’t eat before it spoils or stuffing our drawers full of clothes that we’ll wear once or twice hurts our budget and is a wasteful use of our resources. Taking time to assess your belongings, determine what you need, what you like to have and what you have just because you can is imperative in clearing the clutter.
Plus, you can make some quick cash by selling the stuff you discover has no purpose. Here’s how and where you can sell your stuff. It all depends on what you’re selling.
Where to Sell Books:
This is a great place to start -commit to getting rid of 5-10 books the first time. If you have a book that you haven’t read in the last three years, do you really need to keep it? If you’re looking to get rid of excess books there are a few great places to sell them.
Amazon.com Trade-Ins and see what you can get for them. Print the label, find a box and take them to the UPS store. You don’t even have to pay for shipping, even if they don’t accept your books. They will ship them back to you for free.
Bookscouter will automatically search multiple websites to see if they will buy your old books. All you have to do is enter the ISBN number. They currently have 39 sites they search and they are adding more each month. They also have a tremendous mobile app that you can use if you want to buy and resell old books. Before you throw out or donate your old books take some time to see if there are any hidden gems in your bookshelf.
Where to Sell Media:
If you’re a game or movie junkie, you probably have more than you need. How many games and movies that you own do you actually enjoy on a consistent basis? Would you like to have some extra money toward your next game or console purchase? Selling your old stuff is a great way to get there. You can always take old games, consoles and accessories to a local Gamestop or video game store, but you won’t get top dollar. Your best options are Amazon trade ins, cashforgamers or selling them yourself on Amazon or Ebay. The same is true for movies and electronics. We’ve written before that everything has value, you just have to find the person who wants what you have.
Where to Sell Clothes
Our town has a sweet little consignment shop called Velour. Every 6 months or so I look through my closet, grab things I haven’t worn in forever or don’t see myself wearing again and head down to Velour. They look through what I have, pick what they like and give me the cash. Simple. I can either take what they don’t want back and put it in the yard sale pile or leave it with them and they’ll donate it to Good Will. Simple.
Where to Sell Everything Else
If you can’t find an online store or consignment shop that will take your other random clutter items, think about selling it on Ebay. The advantage of Ebay’s interface is you can search sold listings similar to your items. This helps you set a reasonable price and maximize your profit.
A yard sale is always an option
The yard sale, tons of work for minimal profit right? Wrong! If you know how to price, organize, and promote your sale you can make a killing.
Here’s what you need to do to make your sale a success:
- Expect to get only 10% of what you spent back at a yard sale. Maybe less depending on the condition.
- Put EVERYTHING on a table unless it’s furniture or something else too large to fit. Stuff set out on the ground will not draw a crowd, even when it’s on a tarp.
- Keep things organized. It may seem pointless because it will be picked through throughout the day, but people are willing to pay a little more when things are kept together. Plus having helpers walk through the piles and organize makes it feel like more people are still ‘shopping.’ A crowd draws a crowd.
- Put a price on it. No boards that list complicated labeling codes or a ‘name me a price’ system. Some people are going to ask you to lower the price no matter what, but many people feel it’s too much of a hassle to ask for a price and will leave something they may have purchased if they knew the cost.
- Keep a huge stash of bags (offer them to your shoppers) and the last hour or two of the yard sale put a sign out that says “Fill a bag for $5.” This helps make a final push to clear the excess.
- Thursday mornings are the hard core yard salers favorite day. It’s not always possible, but if you can swing it – give it a try. Friday mornings are the next best.
Are there other ways you’ve found to sell your stuff or make some extra cash? What does your process for ‘clearing the excess’ look like?