Stuff—yuck! Getting rid of stuff—refreshing! Downsizing is the new trend. It is not only a freeing feeling to throw out stuff, but you can also make money doing it.
But how can you do it easily and not end up paying to trash it?
- First, cleaning out basements, garages and even whole houses can be expensive. Dumpsters cost big money. You even have to pay for smaller truck loads at the local landfill. Here are a couple ideas:
- Call your local Freecycle group. They will pick up junk for free.
- You can also put free stuff out on the curb for anyone to pick up. But, if it isn’t picked up you still have to deal with it.
- Another possibility if you are dealing with large amounts of stuff is to buy the Bagster. You can get the Bagster at Home Depot for $29.95. Its dimensions are 8 x 4 x 2, and it will hold up to 3,300 pounds. Then call the waste management companies in your area and have them haul it off for a more nominal fee of between $79 and $159.
But, it’s even better to make money.
- You can start with donations. You can get tax deductions for the fair market value of donated things. You must have an itemized list and get a tax receipt from the company to which you donate. Goodwill and the Salvation Army will even pick up larger items for free.
- You can also take clothing and household goods to a local consignment shop. You will get about 50% of what they sell it for, but they will set the price and will put it on sale if it’s been in their shop for too long. Make sure these things are in very good, condition, clean and not worn. Sometimes shops will only take 1 to 2 year-old things or only designer labels.
- Craigslist.org is a great place to set you own price. You can list what you’re selling for free to get 7 days of advertising in a large city and 45 days elsewhere. It would be wise for you to check items in the same category in order to price your items properly, and it’s also good advice for you to look at Craigslist.org/about/safety to avoid scams.
- Ebay is another place to list items, but there are fees involved. In fact, you may have to list, photograph, and ship. Sometimes it’s easier to contact trading assistants like iSoldIt (www.871.isodluit.com). For 30% to 40% of the sale price they will do all the work, even come to your home and help you choose the best items to sell. You will also have to pay the eBay fees.
- The best and fastest way to clean out and make money is with estate sale companies. They have the staff to lug, tag, and bag. Even better they will clean out everything in just a couple days and take it to their place to sell. Just make sure you have references and a contract, and that the business is licensed.
Yes, you can have a garage sale, too. But you can usually only make money on large ticket items. You also have to have the proper municipal licensees and make sure you meet homeowner association constrictions.
There are ways to lighten your stuff and make money. Time to start sorting and heaving.
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