Tag Archive for Clutter

Why a Garage Sale May Not Be Worth Your Time (and What to do Instead)

garage sale alternatives

garage sale alternativesWhat?s the best way to bring in money without getting a second job? Sell things, of course!

If you are moving, downsizing or needing to get rid of all your baby stuff, the one thing people do to get rid of their stuff is have a garage sale or yard sale.

Garage sales can make or break you, especially if you are hoping to get rid of everything you no longer want. Though they seem like a good idea at the time, garage sales actually may not be worth it.

Below are a few reasons why a garage sale may not be worth your time, and what to do instead!

Garage Sales are Time Sucks

Garage sales take so much work!

Not only do you have to go through every single room in your house to separate trash from sale items, you have to label and tag it all. You can spend weeks going through your house and then a few more weeks marking everything for sale.

By the time the sale actually happens you are frustrated and tired.

The money you make does not equal the time you spent putting it on. Save yourself time by not doing one at all. Try donating things from your home as you go, or collecting them in a small box. Then when the box is full, take them to donate. It’s not as time consuming to go through one cabinet a month.

You Don?t Make Your Money Back

When you think about what all you spent on purchasing your no longer wanted items, it makes you do a double-take.

Depending on the item, you might have spent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to only turn around make a couple hundred total at a garage sale.

Is this a good return on your investment? No, but it does make your house cleaner and filled with less clutter.

The Weather

Depending on when you have your sale, it can be miserable weather. A summer sale means hot weather. A fall or summer sale means rain or snow. And don?t even try to have one in the winter.

The weather can greatly affect how much money you make at your sale. Plus, who likes to sit outside during gross weather? Not this person.

What to Do Instead

If you really must get rid of your stuff, here are some less-time consuming and potentially more money-making ways to dispose of your gently worn, no longer wanted, stuff.

Donate Your Items

While you could try to sell your old washer and dryer, and wait around for someone to look at it and buy it, it would be faster for you to donate it. Places such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, half-way facilities and other charities will take your gently used items and put them to good use.

Donating things makes your feel good, plus you can write it off on your taxes. It also reduces waste in the landfill, as the items are reused and not immediately disposed of.

Sell Your Items Through Third Parties

If you have an antique chest that you know would be a steal if priced at a garage sale, put it online for sale.

Places such as ?for sale? groups on Facebook, Craigslist and apps like Let Go, can reach a greater audience and help get you the price you want.

It doesn?t take as much work and you can sell as you want or need to. You could also look at consignment shops or antique stores to dispose of those unwanted heirloom pieces.

Garage sales have their place. But, if you aren?t up to hosting your own, go in with a buddy or use some of these other alternatives.


Do you enjoy having garage sales? If you don?t how do you sell your used items?


Photo courtesy of: PublicDomainPictures

7 Benefits of Downsizing Your Home


downsizing your homeTake a minute and think about?your home.

When you first bought your home, what features drew you to it? Was it the four bedrooms, three baths and a large master suite? Or was it the gourmet kitchen that could feed 20 of your closest friends?

For the average home-buyer the amount of space is key when purchasing a home. But, a big property comes with a big price.

If you cannot afford to continue living in your large home, a way to remedy that is to downsize your property.

That said, downsizing isn?t just for retirees and empty nesters. It?s a great way to lessen debt and gain financial freedom no matter how young or old you are. There are a lot of financial benefits to doing more with less.

If you are thinking about downsizing, here some of the financial benefits of?downsizing your home.

Instant Savings

By buying a smaller house or property, you instantly save money by having a lower house payment every month. Not to mention lower total debt. The difference you save in a house payment can be directly applied to current debt or invested in the stock market. Either way you are making gains toward achieving?financial freedom.

Less is More

Downsizing your home?means downsizing your stuff. You can?t fit the same amount of stuff into a smaller space comfortably. (If you do try to cram it all in, that?s called hoarding and is a topic for another blog. Just kidding, but seriously.) This means you should take the time to declutter and?get rid of unused or unwanted belongings. The best part about decluttering?is that you can sometimes make money back from selling your clutter.

Lower Utility?Bills

A smaller space does not take as much energy to warm it up in the winter or cool it down in the summer, thus you’ll enjoy lower utility bills by downsizing your home. By not running the heat or air conditioner as much, you save on your electric bill as well. A smaller space also requires fewer lights, so you won?t need to turn as many on at one time, which also saves energy. Lower utility bills is a definitely a financial positive for downsizing.

Lower Property Taxes

A smaller property is not taxed as much as a larger property, so you’ll pay less for property taxes if your downsize your home. Enough said.

The Potential for a Debt Free Property

When you downsize, you might make enough off of the sale of your larger home to completely pay for the smaller home in cash, which means you’ll have no mortgage debt hanging over your head each month. Even if you don?t make enough cover the entire purchase of your new, smaller home, you can at least make enough to not have to pay for a cash down payment on the smaller property.

Lower Maintenance Costs

Maintenance costs are of the things I hate most about being a homeowner, and they are also one thing many people forget to account for when buying a house. A smaller home means less work to keep it up, especially if you end up purchasing a condo or apartment. Instead of replacing ten windows in a larger home you might only have to do three if you have a smaller place. Savings in landscaping, lawn maintenance and on your summer water bill also provide an instant bonus to your savings.

The Ability to Choose a Lower Cost of Living Area

Last, but not least, when you downsize and move into a smaller home, it?s possible for you to move to a place with a lower cost of living. If it costs less to live in a certain neighborhood, you’ll see instant savings over your old neighborhood or city. It may not be a possibility to move to a different area due to factors such as your job and your family’s needs, but it?s definitely worth considering when downsizing your home.

As with anything, there are always other factors to think about?when you are considering?downsizing your home. In the end it comes down to what fulfills your needs and fits your budget best.


Have you ever thought about downsizing your home? What else did you consider before you downsized?


Photo courtesy of: Tammy Strobel

4 Easy Ways to Cut Down on Clutter in Your Home


cut down on clutterThis time of year always has me in a mood to declutter. Even though my family had a pretty minimalistic Christmas, at least compared to some years in the past, I still feel the need to declutter?my home now that the holidays are over.

I think this urge to purge is pretty normal during this time of the year and it’s mostly attributed to the accumulation of more stuff thanks to Christmas gifts.

Not only that, but the whole “new year, new you” thing has many people in the mode to clean out old stuff to create a new energy for the new year.

If you are on a decluttering kick, here are four easy ways you can cut down on clutter in your own.

Return Gifts You Don’t Want or Need

I used to feel guilty when I got a gift I didn’t want or need and I felt the urge to return it. Now I know that I’m not the only one who does this. I haven’t gotten too many gifts over the past few years that were duds, but when it does happen I no longer feel guilty about returning, or even re-gifting, things I don’t want or need.

Try the One In, One Out Rule

The one in, one out rule is a good one to live by if you are satisfied with the amount of “stuff” you currently own. With this rule you get rid of one item for every new item you bring into your home. For example, if you got a new sweater for Christmas, then you need to get rid of one you already owned.

Sometimes this rule isn’t used to get rid of a like item. Instead, some people choose to be a little more loose with it. Instead of getting rid of a sweater to make room for a new one, you could instead get rid of a book or a kitchen utensil.

With a little alteration, this rule can also be altered to help you cut down on the number of things you own. If you think you own too much stuff, try getting rid of two items for every one item you bring into your home.

Set a Timer and Tackle One Area

Another easy way to get started with decluttering your home is to start small. Set a timer for 10, 15 or 20 minutes and work on tackling clutter until the timer goes off. If you repeat this task every day in the same area or room, you’ll have?that area clutter free before you know it. Then you can move on to a new space.

Get Rid of One Item Each Day

If you don’t like the idea of working on decluttering for 20 minutes at a time, you can choose to declutter you home by getting rid of one item each day. This method is a smart way to de-clutter if you are prone to being too hasty with your decluttering and wishing you hadn’t gotten rid of something. Because you only get rid of one item of clutter each day, you’ll have plenty of time to think about those things that are more difficult to part with.

This time of year is the perfect time to declutter your home. In fact, decluttering and organizing your home now may mean more money for you in the future if you hold a garage sale to sell your clutter this spring or summer.


Are you in the mood to declutter? How do you cut down on clutter in your home? Have you used any of these methods?


Photo courtesy of: Hans

4 Easy Ways to Turn Your Clutter into Cash


rubbish-143465_1280I?ve been on a big de-cluttering kick lately ever since I discovered whole blogs devoted to the subject. I?ve cleaned out my kitchen, my closet, my garage, and more. I now have a lot less stuff, and thanks to these four easy ways to turn your clutter into cash, I have a lot more green in my bank account.

Host a Yard Sale

The easiest way I?ve gotten rid of my clutter and made some cash is by having a yard sale. Embarrassingly enough, I?ve had a yard sale at my house every spring since I moved into my house. (I moved in during the fall of 2012, so I?ve had three yard sales already.)

Every year I collect things in my basement in large storage totes until the spring when I have my yard sale. I always think I won?t have enough to have a sale the next year, and yet somehow I always find more stuff to get rid of. Now that I?ve slowed my spending down considerably, I hope that I?ll finally get caught up. Plus to be fair, my mom and cousin usually contribute a lot of stuff to the yard sale every year too. 🙂

Visit a Consignment Store

If you have some really good stuff, it might be worth it to visit a consignment store to make more money?out of your clutter. After all, one man?s clutter is another man?s treasure.

I have taken name brand clothing to a consignment store in the past and while I never get anywhere near what I paid for the items, I still get more than I would at a yard sale.

There are some pretty strict rules at some consignment stores regarding what they will and won?t accept, and how long you can leave your items there to be sold. So make sure you check that out before you decide to consign your stuff.

Post Things on Facebook

I live in a pretty small town, but we have a very active Buy/Sell/Trade group on Facebook for my community. Once in a while I get tempted and buy something on there, but most of the time I just sell things. It can be a pain to try to get together with someone to sell them the item, and it?s definitely not worth my time if the item I?m selling is worth less than about $10. But some things sell like hotcakes on there so it?s worth a try if you have a group like this in your community.

Sell Through an Online Account

The internet is also a great way to get rid of clutter and make extra money. In the past I have sold things on Ebay, and Amazon?with some success. To use these online mediums you definitely need to do your research to make sure it?s worth your time, effort, and the shipping costs to sell your items online.

If you aren?t a big fan of either of those options there are plenty of online consignment stores and re-sale shops that will buy things from you too. I have looked into options like ThredUp for my gently used clothes, but I?ve never personally found anything worth sending in to them.

Getting rid of clutter has a lot of benefits, and if you go about it in the right way, one of those benefits can be a little more cash in your pocket.


Are you on a de-cluttering kick? How have you gotten rid of your clutter? Have you ever made money off of it?


Photo courtesy of: NathanCopely

3 Ways to Dispose of Your Clutter


2559363502_bc352d4ec1_zAlong with trying to get out of debt, I?m also trying to dispose of?clutter in my life and in my house. I really believe clutter and debt go hand in hand, after all both can be caused by excessive shopping for things you don?t really need. I?ve been on my journey to get rid of clutter and debt for just over a year now and in that time, I?ve tried a few different ways to get rid of my clutter with varying degrees of success. Here are three ways I?ve successfully?freed up some space in my house.

Trash Your Clutter

Putting things in the trash is the easiest way to get rid of them – plain and simple. It takes almost no effort to open the trashcan or dumpster and put things inside it. But I hate trashing things that could be of value to someone else, so I rarely trash my clutter unless it?s something broken, used up, or actually just trash.

Donate Your Clutter

I have an almost permanent spot in my house where the ?donate box? lives. As I identify clutter that I want to dispose of that isn?t worthy of being sold online but isn?t trash, I put it in my donate box. Then once the box is full, I put it in my trunk and take to it to the second hand store the next time I?m out and about. Donating your clutter is one of the easiest ways to get rid of it, but many people have trouble donating things they spent a pretty penny on.

Sell Your Clutter

There are several ways you can sell your clutter, including having a garage or yard sale and posting things online.

Having a garage or yard sale to get rid of clutter is actually a lot of work. You have to designate an area to collect your sale items, sort them, price them, haul them to the yard or garage, organize them, etc. I have had several garage sales in the past with varying success. The last one I had made just over $600, so I will definitely be having another one in the future even though I don?t really enjoy them at all.

Selling things online can also be a hassle. If you go the Ebay route, it?s really only worth the time invested to sell pricier items. It takes quite a bit of research and time to sell things on Ebay and make any kind of ?profit? back.

If you decide to sell your clutter via Craigslist or your local Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade group, be prepared to be annoyed. My area is too rural for Craigslist to work well for me, but I?ve heard good things about it from friends who live in more urban areas. I?ve actually had a lot of success with selling things on Facebook. But with selling on Facebook comes the hassle of trying to set up meeting times with prospective buyers and hoping they show up on time. I?m pretty busy, so for me this is the biggest hassle and turn-off for trying to sell my clutter on Facebook.

As I get rid of more and more clutter from my home, I?m hoping I won?t have to continue pursuing all these different avenues to get rid of it. For now though, I?m just glad there are several options available. 🙂


How do you dispose of your clutter? What’s one thing you always seem to collect but never really seem to use. What tricks do you have to sell your stuff that doesn’t take a whole lot of time. Do you think debt?and clutter go hand in hand?



Photo courtesy of: John Beagle