Once you’ve made the decision to simplify your life and clear the clutter from your home, it’s time to be ruthless. My rule of thumb is that if it doesn’t fit or get used on a regular basis, it’s time to toss it.
Personally, I find that figuring out what to get rid of is the easy part. The hard part is figuring out how to get rid of the things I no longer want. Fortunately, I’ve learned from experience that there are many great options available.
- Craigslist. At Craigslist, you can post a description of the items you want to sell, name your desired price, and wait for buyers in your local area to respond. You can sell anything from furniture to an old record collection on Craigslist, the only drawback being that you have to meet up with total strangers in order to complete your sale. While most people are very nice, be aware that scam artists do exist.
- eBay. Unlike Craigslist, which is primarily local, eBay has the potential to reach a worldwide audience. However, there are fees to list your items for sale, and you will be responsible for shipping. If you have antiques or collectibles, or unique items that you can’t sell locally, eBay might be the best way to connect with the right audience (and make a decent profit at the same time).
- Freecycle. You won’t make any money if you use The Freecycle Network, but if you have items that you can’t sell and don’t want, Freecycle is a great way to get rid of them and keep them out of a landfill. You will be amazed by what people will take off your hands when they don’t have to pay a dime.
- Donation. I like donating items because it’s a great way to teach our children (and remind ourselves) about the importance of helping those less fortunate. When we’re having a hard time parting with our things, it helps to remember that there are real people out there who truly need our belongings in a way that we do not. Children’s hospitals, church nurseries, homeless and women’s shelters, and charitable organizations like Goodwill and Vietnam Veterans of America are all excellent places to take donations.
- Garage Sales. A good, old-fashioned garage sale can be one of the best ways to move some stuff and make some cash. You’re likely to be successful if you sell big ticket items like baby furniture or appliances, organize and advertise your sale well, and are willing to bargain with your customers. I’ve had more garage sales than I care to count, and I’ve made a lot of money doing so, so if you’re looking for some helpful how-to hints, see my article 10 Simple Steps To A Successful Garage Sale.
Have you used any of these options to get rid of stuff you no longer need? Was your experience positive or negative? Please share with the rest of us!