I love decluttering. I don’t actually know how I end up with so much extra stuff, but it seems to regularly creep up on me. I find it invigorating to clean it up, organize it, and get rid of what no longer serves me. In addition to improving my mental and physical space, sometimes I even make money while decluttering. It’s not usually the goal for me, but it’s a nice side benefit. And during times of financial strain, it can actually help a lot to make money while decluttering.
Benefits of Decluttering
There are so many benefits of decluttering. Personally, when I have a clear space, it clears my mind. This is true for many people. Sometimes when I can’t get a project done or focus on my work, I’ll take a few minutes to declutter the space. Afterwards, I feel better. Then I’m able to proceed with less mental clutter.
Additional benefits of decluttering include:
- Gaining a clear picture of what you have in your space, so you don’t purchase extra items unnecessarily
- Reducing costs of storage fees and/or more living space at home
- Improved health due to less dust and other hygiene concerns
- Better heating and cooling efficiency in the home because of improved air flow
- Stress-reduction and lower rates of anxiety
- Cleaning becomes easier since you have less stuff to work around
- Easier to find what you need and enjoy the things you love the most
Of course, if you can also make money while decluttering then that’s another benefit.
Methods of Decluttering
There are many different approaches to decluttering. You might have to try a few different methods before you find the one that works best for you. That’s totally okay. The relationships we have with our stuff and our spaces are just that – relationships. Not all relationships work the same. Figure out what works for you.
Some of the most popular decluttering methods include:
- Marie Kondo’s KonMari method, in which you strategically go room by room, keeping only what “sparks joy”
- Swedish Death Cleaning, in which you clear out your home as if you were about to die and don’t want to leave your mess to others
- Dana K. White’s Container Method, in which you see each room – and each smaller space within that room – as a container designed to hold one type of object
- Do you love it? Need it? Use it regularly? If not, perhaps you should declutter it.
Find the approach that works for you so that you can have the level of clutter (or lack thereof) that feels right in your home without the decluttering process becoming a chore.
Tips for Decluttering With An Eye Towards Making Money
Regardless of which method of decluttering you choose to use, you can approach it with an eye towards making money in the process. Here are some key tips to keep in mind if you want to make money while you declutter:
- As you declutter, organize the things that you don’t intend to keep. Place books with books, clothing with clothing, etc. This will make it easier to figure out what to sell where when the time comes.
- Focus especially on finding high-ticket items that you can declutter. If you have two iPads, you may come up with reasons that you can use both. However, if you focus on the items in your house that are worth the most money then you might realize that you don’t need to keep the second one after all.
- Set aside items that are seasonal. If you want to make money while decluttering, then you have to be smart about it. Certain items only sell in certain seasons. While it’s not worth it to keep low-value items until the “right” season, it can be smart with higher-ticket items.
5 Ways to Make Money While Decluttering
Some people choose to declutter their entire homes, collecting items for sale, and then sell the items all at the same time once the cleaning is complete. Other people choose to do a little bit of decluttering at a time, selling a few things here and there as they go. There is no right or wrong way.
Whatever you choose to do, here are some of the ways that you can sell the items you’re ready to let go of:
1. Locate Great Buyers for Specialty Items
If you have unique items that you’re ready to part with then it’s worth it to take the time to find the right buyer. These would be high-value or rare items. Items that might fall into this category include:
- Vintage items
- High-end furniture
- Designer clothing
In other words, if you have anything that is valuable because it is rare or collectible, you should sell it to the right people. The individuals or institutions that purchase such items will pay the most for the things that they desire. For example, if you ave a rare piece of art, you will want If you want to make money while decluttering, this is a great place to start.
2. List High-Ticket Items For Sale Online Individually
If you aren’t able to find specific buyers for things that have good value, then you can list them for sale online. You want to think about your time investment vs. the amount of money that you will make. For example, if you have 100 books for sale but each is worth only a few pennies, then it’s probably not worth your time to list every book individually.
However, if you have popular brand clothing in good condition, gadgets and electronics, and other items that are worth a little bit more then you can list them for sale individually. Some of the places online where you can list items for sale include:
- Amazon (although the rules around this have been changing recently)
- Facebook Marketplace
3. List “Lots” of Items for Sale Online
When you have a lot of little items to declutter, it usually makes sense to try to sell them as a lot. For example, list a “box of books” for sale on any of the sites highlighted above. There are also many places where you can sell groups of the same items.
For example, you can package up a box of clothing and send it to a site like ThredUp which will list everything for sale for you then pay you the it sells. Also think about “buy back” websites. For example, there are several websites that “buy back” used textbooks at the end of each semester. There are also cell phone and electronics “buy back” websites. Look at what you have, search online for a “buy back” option, and see what choices you have available to you.
4. Sell Items to Local Stores
You don’t have to sell groups of items (or individual items for that matter) online. You can also go local. For example, I used to take boxes of books to my local used bookstore. They would sort through them and buy what they wanted. I would typically just ask them to donate the rest. After all, if you’re decluttering, you don’t want to bring the extras back home. If you’ve ever sold clothing to Buffalo Exchange or Crossroads Trading Company, then you’re already familiar with how this works. You might also be able to place some valuable items for sale on consignment with local stores.
5. Have a Yard Sale
If you have a random assortment of stuff that you want to sell, a good old fashioned yard sale is still a terrific option. You won’t get rich having a yard sale. However, you will declutter things quickly. You will make a little bit of money in the process.
3 Ways to Save Money With Decluttered Items
Sometimes you can’t sell your items, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be profitable to you. You just have to get creative. Think of ways to save money as you get rid of the things that you don’t want anymore. Here are three options:
Do a Swap with Friends or Neighbors
Finally, if you have leftover items that you haven’t been able to sell, you might want to consider swapping with others. You won’t make money while decluttering this way, per se. However, if you can get rid of something you don’t want in exchange for something that you do then you’re getting a good deal.
Donate to Charity
Another way that you can declutter is to donate items to charity. Again, you won’t make money per se. However, you can deduct your charity donations on your taxes. Therefore, it can have some financial gain.
Gift the Items
If you have items that are in good condition, start thinking about who might love them. If you can “shop your storage” for gifts instead of buying items at a store then you effectively save money.
What decluttering trick do you know that would help others? Share it in the comments below!