If Spring time is the only time Americans begin to mention cleaning, I have NO idea what the heck is going on during the rest of the year. If you’re like many Americans who contribute to the $22 billion per year storage space industry, its likely that you are up to your eyeballs with stuff you don’t need otherwise known as clutter.
Most over consuming Americans reportedly have almost $900 worth of unused and unwanted items sitting around their home. What could you do with $900 right now? What is the mound of clutter in your life holding you back from? Well, besides an audition for the show Hoarders, you may be missing out on the establishment of a savings fund, investment opportunities, books for your college kid next semester, a summer vacation . . . . Need we go on?
Here are 5 Ways to Finally Kick Clutter to the Curb . . . And, Make Some Cash!
- Sell Old Gold – I know you might think that you’re saving that gold nugget ring from ’78 or perhaps that coveted rope chain from the 80s because they’re back in style, but the reality is if you’re in debt or don’t have any savings, it may be best to see if your prized collection of tangled necklaces and broken clasps can earn you some cash. There are tons of places that allow you to just mail the items in and wait for a check, but I suggest stopping in to a local “Cash for Gold” store front and getting an estimate in person and up front. Remember to shop around a bit. You don’t have to take the first offer.
- Cash in on Gift Cards – Are you still hanging on to those unwanted gift cards you got for Christmas? It’s estimated that in the $90 billion gift card industry, an average of 10% of gift cards goes unused each year. Check out sites like www.plasticjungle.com or www.cardwoo.com to turn your unwanted gift cards into cash. Depending on the demand for the card, you can earn up to 90% of the value.
- Find Consignment Stores – Ever feel like you wear the same thing all the time, despite having tons of items in your closet? I think we’ve all been there. The truth is we’re creatures of habit and once we find a pair of jeans we love or those shoes that seem to complete every outfit, everything else takes a back seat . . . sometimes for years! That’s why everyone should have two consignment stores in their area to sell their gently warn clothing to. First, you need the high end consignment store that is picky about everything they buy and will only take name brand clothing, shoes and purses. Then you need the store that is more concerned about the quality of the pieces and the season or time of year. If you have two, you cover your bases and increase your chances of being able to make some money off the clothing you may like, but just aren’t in love with anymore.
- Sell Furniture & Electronics – Have a garage sale or list underutilized furniture and electronics on Craigslist. Be careful, however, not to sell yourself short. Research brands and model numbers for items in good condition. You may be able to sell unique or antique items to specialty shops or place collectible pieces on E-bay and get way more than you would at a garage sale.
- Books, CDs & DVDs – Call me old school, but I still love hard covered books and compact discs. Yes, at any given time, I have at least 2 books in my oversized hobo and CDs on deck, however, with the trend moving toward devices like the Kindle and Nook, MP3s players, I-Pods and even I-Pads more and more folks are moving away from these forms of prehistoric entertainment. If that’s you, maybe it’s time to sell your paperbacks to old timers like myself at a discount. If you search diligently enough, you can always find a store that will purchase used books, CDs and DVDs. You won’t make a killing, but every penny counts when you’re saving or paying down debt, right?
Make sure before you start out on your cleaning spree/treasure hunt, you put a time limit on how long you will take to get rid of what you find. If you cannot sell an item within 2 weeks, donate it to charity. Take clothing and household items to places that actually GIVE the goods away to those in need. And, your local library would probably appreciate your old books, cds and dvds. Whatever you do just don’t put it back in the garage!
In addition to making some quick money, you can clear the chaos in your mind too! Did you know your home environment is very closely connected to your personal environment, meaning your emotions, mindset and general well-being? Energy gets stuck in all your stuff. So simply letting go of stuff and releasing old, bad or negative energy may free you up to attract new and exciting opportunities in your life. If nothing else, clean up the mess and feel good about inviting friends over again!