Yesterday I started cleaning up from Christmas. I found an ornament stacking bin that I no longer needed. I knew someone would want it the day after Christmas, so I grabbed my phone, snapped a picture, posted it in about a minute … and it was picked up off my front porch within an hour. $5 was placed under my mat. Easy.
I love the thrill of making a few bucks from decluttering. It is motivating to me, though getting clutter out of my house is my biggest motivation. Earning money can be a motivating part of decluttering, but don’t let it overshadow the main reason you’re getting rid of stuff. Remember: You want the clutter out!
It’s okay to want to earn money selling things and it’s okay if you don’t want to bother with that, there’s not a certain way you should be. You may feel differently about different things and at different times. The important thing, however, is to avoid creating obstacles for yourself.
I don’t always sell, I honestly still donate more than I sell. We went through my sons room before Christmas to make space for his new toys – we pulled out a lot. In this case, it was an easy decision to donate because I knew with all the Christmas activities going on that it would take a long time to organize it all for selling, to take the pictures, post, and coordinate so many pickups. I saw that obstacle a mile away and I didn’t want that clutter just sitting around waiting for me to deal with it!
You have to know yourself! Be honest with yourself about how you handle things and set yourself up for success.
When to Avoid Garage Sales
This not a surprise if you’ve read my blog very long, but I’m not a fan of garage sales. I do enjoy selling things, but not at garage sales. Here’s why:
For garage sales to be successful, you need to sell a lot of stuff. To sell a lot of stuff, you need to store a lot of stuff. I don’t want my garage or a room in my house to become a storage unit while I wait for a garage sale!
- Avoid collecting stuff “indefinitely” for garage sales.
- Literally schedule the garage sale before you start collecting items, then actually hold the garage sale.
- Donate everything that’s left immediately. It’s very important to actually have an end date of getting rid of stuff. Do not let unsold items become permanent clutter waiting for your “next sale.”
Don’t let a future garage sale become an excuse to keep clutter and use your house as a storage unit for junk.
If you want to get money for more valuable items, sell as you declutter! Don’t let it become all or nothing, you can just pick and choose a few things worth selling and donate the rest.
Know yourself: be honest with your strengths and weaknesses. If you know you’re likely to procrastinate hosting the garage sale: Garage sales are not for you.
My husband thought I should add a reminder that donations are tax deductible, so you can “earn money” that way too. (You can see my free printable for donation write-offs here.)