How To Make Extra Money--Selling Items From Around Your Home
If you’ve been around here long at all, friends, you know that we’ve recently sold our home of 16 years and moved! As I’m sitting in my new office writing this, I still can’t believe it! Jason keeps saying… “I love this house!” and that makes me smile! During most of the process, I felt like I was definitely the one pushing for the move and I was really hoping all the work would be worth it. Now that we’re here, it’s clear that we made the right choice to move, and we are so excited to start making this new house a HOME!
I think that moving is one thing that is all-inclusive…we, as adults, have all packed up our stuff and moved it to another place at one time or another. So, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the tips + tricks I’ve used to sell a lot of our stuff, helping to clear out and make some extra money along the way.
Packing up our house was honestly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I knew it was going to be a lot of work, but really had no idea until we got into it. When we started collecting boxes and wrapping paper, I couldn’t even comprehend how we would get all our stuff into boxes! Somehow miraculously, we were able to and it all worked out in the end.
One of the first things we had to consider when packing up all our earthly possessions, was that the house we were buying was much different from the house we were moving from. So…a lot of things weren’t going to work in the new space. I had to be careful to not get rid of too much, as we might end up making changes to the new house that will make those pieces work…but, also, I didn’t want to move items that I knew would probably never work.
Moving is super expensive from beginning to end, and I knew that I was going to want to buy some new pieces for the house and have a few things done that I would need to hire someone for. The numbers add up quickly, so being able to sell some of our stuff to help with that was so nice…bonus, we didn’t have to pack + move those extra things.
Whether you’re moving or just need to clear out, here are a few tips + tricks that helped me sell some of our things and make a little extra money while doing it.
Start Early—Even if you’re just thinking about moving, start the selling process early. Go room-by-room evaluating the items in it. Ask yourself: ‘Do I love it?”; “Do I use it?”; “Could I borrow it from someone if I need to use it?”. If you start this process when you’re in the thick of packing, it will be tempting to just toss or donate the items. Donating isn’t bad, obviously, but the objective here is to make extra money, so you want to plan enough time to do that.
Take Good Pictures—If you’re planning to do any selling online, you’ll want to have good pictures of your items. Lighting, background, and cleanliness all factor into how your things will look in pictures. I try to take pictures in natural light to avoid reflections; lay items out on a large table or floor (showing only those items—remove others from the background); also include different angles and close-ups of any marks or defects.
Price to Sell—Your objective isn’t to get rich…it’s to sell your stuff and make a little extra money along the way. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself what you would pay for something that used or pre-loved. If you’re anything like I am, you’re looking for a deal…and that means other people are too, so price accordingly.
Make Friends with Resale Shop Owners—I have several friends who have turned junking + reselling into a full-time job. Most resale shops purchase large lots of items and then resell the pieces individually at a mark-up. The shops almost always need new inventory, so if you can get to know the owners, it’s possible they will buy a bunch of your stuff, for a set price, and haul it away for you! This is a win-win scenario. You’ll be able to liquidate several items at once, plus, you’ll be helping-out a small-business owner!
Start Selling—Seems simple enough, but short of having a garage sale, how do you go about selling your stuff? Luckily, we live in a time of technology and social media…they make selling so much easier! My favorite on-line methods for selling are: Craigslist; Facebook swap pages (If you’re not a member of any, ask your friends…I’m sure they are and will be able to add you. You can also search your town or city in the Groups tab of Facebook and whichever swap pages have been established will pop-up. Most have admins that will have to approve your joining, but the process is usually quick and easy.); personal Facebook page (do this sparingly so people will stay friends with you), and Instagram. Well Kept Wallet has a list of 20 sites (similar to Craigslist), to use for selling items online. You can find that list HERE.
The one BIG piece of advice I will give you is don’t get rid of something you might regret later. It’s easy to get discouraged by how much you have or how much you’ll have to pack and move, but don’t sell something impetuously just because you don’t want to move it or because you think you can make some money on it. I try to consider how hard it was for me to get that item. Did I spend a lot of money on it? Have I ever seen something else like it? If you question at all whether you want to get rid of it…and you think it might be costly or difficult to replace…don’t sell it. I sold a lot before we moved, but if I had any question in mind about an item, I moved it here and I will re-evaluate later, after we’ve painted, made updates, and lived here for a while.
I’m sure I will have many more sales in the future, but it has felt so good just getting rid of the items we already have. Things can weigh us down and it’s nice to start fresh sometimes, being able to see what we need vs. what we want.
I hope you have much success in your selling and would love feedback after you do!