After talking about how organization can save you money, I decided a 2 part series on how I purge and organize was in order. Please feel welcome to include any comments at the bottom of this post about your own routine!
Now that we've ruthlessly purged through our stash, we still have a few more steps to complete before we finally get rid of all that clutter. I'm talking about donating and selling our items.
It can be difficult to look at that at that pile and know what to sell and where, but I'm hoping the tips I give you here will help you get the best possible bang for your buck.
Amazon is such a great online retailer warehouse, and I love that they allow small businesses and people like you and me to list our junk and make money off of it!
Though you are reimbursed a certain portion of the shipping cost (about $3.99), you have to decide whether your item is worth shipping. The heavier and bulkier it is, the more you'll pay out of pocket.
Amazon also takes out an 8%-20% commission fee out of each product you sell. If it's a small book worth $2.99, you might have to cut your losses and just donate the book to a local library.
What to sell on Amazon:
- Textbooks in a current edition (or 1 edition prior)
- Books worth $3.99+
- DVDs worth $3.99+
- Small electronics (Cameras, iPods, calculators, etc.)
Craigslist is a website organized by cities and towns, so you can buy local rather than ship.
I also like that sellers can, and should, list multiple pictures of the item(s) your buying. That means I can easily pass by a lot of junk without wasting time driving to and from someone's house.
You do have to be careful with Craigslist though. There are a lot of creepers running around out there. One tip I use is to always schedule drop offs or pick ups when my husband is home. It just makes me feel so much safer!
What to sell on Craiglist:
- Vehicles and auto parts
- My friend, Andrea, bought and sold her house on Craiglist.
- Lots (of craft supplies, cake decorating supplies, collectibles, etc)
- Home decor
Any item that is too small to list on Amazon, too unique to be included in a lot on Craigslist, or just plain doesn't sell on either of those sites, goes into a garage sale pile.
Each item is labeled as priced to sell (because I really want to get ride of them!), before being neatly packed away in a box with GARAGE SALE written on the top and all over the sides. Then I stash those boxes inside a storage closet, along with other bulkier items that won't fit inside a box.
By the time Spring/Summer rolls around, I have 4 or 5 boxes full of items for a garage sale, already priced and ready to go. All I need is to put up a few tables, post an ad on Craiglist, and make a little money!
What to sell in a garage sale:
- Amazon/Craigslist leftovers
- Accessories and shoes
- Baby clothes
- Dresses and Coats
I have a personal rule after each garage sale: Whatever is left does not come back into the house. That means, it either needs to be thrown away, or boxed up for Goodwill.
Besides garage sale leftovers, I also keep an ongoing pile of clothes throughout the year to donate all at once. Those, I fold and put immediately into bags for my next trip. (For some reason, I just don't like selling my own clothes at a garage sale.)
As you are packing the items away, make sure you keep a list of everything you're donating for tax purposes. You can go back through the list later and add in price values. Oh, and make sure to get a signed receipt from the place you're donating.
I encourage you to try out each of these methods, and find out what works best for you. Craigslist might be the place that clicks, or maybe you'd rather host a garage sale than list everything online.
Do what's easiest, and what essentially eliminates all that clutter you purged. You'll be much happier after it's all gone, no matter how it's done!
What is your favorite place to sell or give away items you no longer need/want?
Come back Friday for a bonus organization printable, made just for you!