You’ve heard the old adage that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Well, it’s a popular saying because it’s true. Rather than just tossing out your unwanted items when you’re cleaning the house, you should learn to make a habit of finding another use for it.
Clearing out the clutter in your house and selling it is a win-win situation. You get to rid yourself of things that you don’t want anymore, and you get to earn some extra cash. You can opt to hold a garage sale, place a few classified ads, or list unwanted objects for sale on eBay. I usually start by cleaning out the kids’ closets. I am sure to find clothing that is in good condition, toys they are no longer playing with, and a wide assortment of books or video games they are finished using.
Look for people selling similar items to decide what might be the best venue for your sale. I’ve had a lot of success on Ebay selling children’s clothing, textbooks, pre-school learning type toys, shoes, video games, children’s collectible toys, and boy’s clothing. Try to look for a seasonal angle to your listings. For instance, if I have items that could be used as Christmas gifts, I place them up for sale during the Christmas season. Likewise, if I have a lot of kids clothing in good condition, I put those up for sale during the “Back to School” season. Selling related items in “lots” seems to do well too.
Donating items to a non-profit organization allows you to make money on your discarded items in a more indirect way. Although the recipient of your items won’t actually hand you cash, you can get a receipt for your donation. Listing your donations and their fair market values on your income tax return may entitle you to lucrative deductions. In the end, you’ll pay less in taxes and have more cash left in your pocket. Call your local thrift store to find out what their donation requirements are.
Like donating items to a non-profit, recycling your old items allows you to accomplish something good as you clear out the clutter in your house. Contributing scrap items to be recycled allows you to help stretch the Earth’s already-stressed natural resources. And, in some cases, you may even be rewarded with a little compensation for your trouble. You can sell scrap metals, like iron and aluminum, to recycling centers. Be sure to compare the rates offered by different recyclers before you drop off your recyclables.
Re-gifting an item is a great way to get unwanted things out of the house and into the hands of someone who needs them. Maybe you have way too many serving platters, and you have a friend who is just setting up house. She’ll be thrilled to have a new addition to her housewares collection. Another way to re-gift an item is to alter it prior to presenting it as a president. For instance, a plain black frame could be repainted to match a parent’s décor. Insert a picture of your children and you have a perfect grandparent present.