You have all heard the saying “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” Well this holds true. How many items are around your home that you don’t use? Appliances, furniture, clothes and books are often left sitting unused because they no longer work right, no longer fit, don’t match the décor, etc. Take a look around and make a list of everything you no longer use. Put everything unused on the list, don’t second guess yourself… just write it down, you’ll be amazed at what other people are willing to buy.
Organize your junk
After writing out your list look it over and organize it into categories such as appliances, furniture, metal, non-working parts, wood, clothes, etc. This makes it easier to turn your junk into cash because different piles will need to be dealt with differently. Name the categories anything you want, just don’t get carried away. Remember to K.I.S.S. (Google it.)
Sell your organized junk
Many people get stuck on this step because they’re way better at accumulating stuff than getting rid of it. There are countless ways to do it and I could list them all here but instead I’ll point you to the best resource I know of to help you sell your crap and make some money.
Trade for things you need
You don’t necessarily have to get cash for your items, you can trade some of it for things you need. Trading can save you from having to spend time and cash buying things new. You can also profit from trading items if you practice up on your negotiating skills. Some shops will take your clothes and allow you to take something from their shop in return. I once traded in five pairs of generic jeans that didn’t fit for two nice pairs of name brand jeans that fit great. Me sexy! Consignment shops are everywhere these days… when’s the last time you’ve been in one?
Some appliance stores will take your old appliances to repair and re-sell them. Why not see if they will exchange your unneeded appliances for something you do need? There are also internet sites like Craigslist that allow you to trade items you don’t want for things you do.
Sell, sell, sell
Junk removal businesses will come to your home, help you organize your junk, then take it to the appropriate scrap yards or stores and split the cash with you. This takes a lot of the work out of your hands while still delivering a profit – nice. Do your best to check the reputation of the businesses performing these services to be sure they’re reliable. Check their rates too; some charge more so compare costs and services offered and go with your gut.
Call your local scrap yards for current price lists of what they’re willing to take. Try to get rid of as many items as possible at each place so you limit travel costs. Commonly accepted items include: old junk batteries, wire, aluminum, small engines, steel, cast iron, copper… the list goes on. You’ll be surprised what they take and pay for. Always check to see if they have free pick up, that will save a lot of work and money.
Websites like Craigslist and eBay allow you to open your junk yard to the world wide web.
Donate to the needy
If you’re going to give something away be sure the person or organization wants or needs it. Call around to your local homeless shelter, Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc. and ask for a list of items needed. Providing for the needy makes you feel good, it’s the right thing to do, and you can write it off on your taxes.
Go get started!
Like Matt said in point 4 of yesterday’s article, getting rid of stuff is hard at first… but it feels great when you’re done and it gets easier as you go.
What are you waiting for? Quit reading this and go give your unused stuff a new home – I promise it will make you feel good.
Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey says
Great ideas! I will bookmark this article so that I will be reminded the next time I clean up my closet and other mess at home.
Barbara Weatherly says
I donate my old clothes