Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Frugal Tip Tuesday: Decluttering -- A Green Way to Make Money

This week's tip is how decluttering can benefit you twofold -- it's green and it can bring in some money.

Where's the Clutter?
Look around your home. Are there knick-knacks collecting dust, clothes that still have the tags on them, or toys your children have long outgrown? Gather up all of those items and get rid of them. Don't throw them out. You're going to make some money in the process.

Some Options
Depending on what you've gathered, you have a few options. Here are some of the sites and ways I've decluttered:
  • Craigslist
    This site is great because it's free and convenient since buyers normally come and pick up the item for sale. I've unloaded many large items this way, including a Bowflex and antique trunk. No fuss, no muss. The only negative is when you get wishy-washy buyers. It does happen on occasion, but I still use the site often.

  • Ebay
    This is the most well-known auction site for selling items. There is a fee to post your item, whether or not you sell it, but it's worth the exposure that your items will receive. It's important to do a little research prior to posting your stuff. You may think it's worth more than it is, if anything at all. Just enter the item, search how many are currently posted and then check to see how many have actually sold and for how much.

  • Garage Sale/Yard Sale
    I find garage sales to be the fastest way to make a quick buck. While you may not get top dollar for your things, you will get rid of it fast. Plus, it's as easy as putting a sign up and putting your stash out in your garage or driveway. Granted, it can be tedious at times. Depending on how many items, you could easily make $200-$300 in one day. Not too shabby!
  • Consignment Shops
    I've never personally gone the consignment shop route for selling items. But I hear it's painless and can be profitable. You may have to do a little research to find stores in your area. Depending on what you have to sell (i.e., antiques, name-brand clothing, etc.), consignment shops may be the way to go.
  • Freecycle
    Don't want to be bothered with the hassle of selling your stuff? (I would beg you to reconsider, but that's your choice.) Then you'll want to check out Freecycle. It's a great forum broken down by location that allows you post items you'd like to give away. I've found Freecycle is great for large items that may be difficult to move (i.e., pool table, treadmill, etc.) Plus, you can search for items. I recently scored a garbage bag of toddler girl clothes. While not top-of-the-line gear, these were great items to clothe my daughter in when she goes to daycare and stains every article of clothing anyway.
While I'm sure there are plenty of other ways to remove items as you declutter, these are a few of my top picks. Any others that I may have missed?

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