I don’t know about you but the first thing that I do when I suddenly realize that money is getting tight towards the end of the month is to look around my home to see if there is anything that I can sell. The immediate benefit of this is the quick cash that you get from the sale. However, there are also longer-term benefits to be considered.
When you regularly get rid of items in your home in this manner, you give yourself the chance to continually de-clutter your home. This helps you to realize how much you buy that you don’t actually need which can ultimately help you to change your buying habits. It also frees up physical space in the home which can clear up your mental space and help you to have a calmer, more “zen” approach to life.
Additionally, focusing on how to sell or re-use the items that are in your home already allows you to use your creative side in being frugal. This means that you’ll not only save money but also improve your overall quality of life. You’ll be richer in your bank account and richer in your life experience.
Perhaps you’re thinking that you don’t have that much stuff around the house right now that you can get rid of. Think again. Here’s a look at twenty items that you probably have in your home right now that you can either sell for cash or re-use to avoid spending money on something new.
1. Books. Almost everyone has books hanging around their homes that they don’t actually need to keep hanging on to. You may be surprised at how much money you can get for some of these books (especially if you have some good textbooks hanging around!) Your best bet is to set up a seller’s account on Amazon.com and sell them individually through that site. However, you can also sell books to local bookstores or list them on a classified ad site either individually or in bulk.
2. Unused electronics. Many of us hang on to electronics that we aren’t using. The laptop that started to get old but still works, the digital camera that we replaced with a better one, the video game system that we never really got that into after all … these are all things that are taking up space in our homes and that may be turned into a few bucks with a quick sale.
3. Kitchen stuff. Do you have kitchen stuff that you don’t use? If you’ve got a set of good dishes that were given to you but aren’t being used, consider selling them. Perhaps you’ve got a gently-used toaster or blender or George Foreman grill that you know you could live without. Maybe you’ve just got some extra pots and pans. These things can be sold through classified sites. If they’re in good condition, they can also be cleaned up and wrapped to give to someone as a gift which saves you from having to purchase a gift for the next wedding or birthday party you attend.
4. Clothes. It can be difficult to make a lot of money off of selling your old clothes but it’s possible to get some pocket change while clearing out your closet. Sell these locally to a used clothing store, on classified sites or through an auction site like eBay. Make sure that you pay particular attention to clothes that are brand new, vintage or designer as these will garner you the most money. If you’ve got some sewing skills, you can get creative by adding your own embroidery to customize the piece. This makes it unique and may make it valuable. If you have a lot of clothes to get rid of, you might even want to get into the business of altering clothes to create new designs and open up an online store on a site such as Etsy.
5. CDs. How many CDs do you have that you don’t need to keep hanging on to? Rip them to your computer and then sell the originals. You can sell them to a local music store or sell them online through a wide variety of sites including Amazon.com.
6. Jewelry and accessories. Take a look in your closet and see if you’ve got any items that you aren’t accessorizing with anymore. That hat that looked so cute on the mannequin but never looked right on you, the brooch that your grandma gave you but you never really liked, the beaded bracelets from your college days … these things can all be sold locally or online to clean up your jewelry box and earn you a few bucks. Alternatively, these can be set aside to give as gifts to others so that you don’t have to spend money on gifts for them at the holidays.
7. Tools. Men are particularly prone to purchasing tools that they never end up using but women have this problem sometimes as well. If you take a look in the tool shed and see that there are some things there that you’ve only used once or twice (or never at all) then you should think about selling them. Get back some of that money that you spent and get yourself something that you’ll really use around the house!
8. Games / toys. Kids rapidly outgrow their games and toys. Often, these things are still in decent condition. We hang on to them thinking that we’re going to pass them on to younger kids in the family one day but then we never bother passing them along. Consider selling these gently-used items instead. Don’t forget video games which can be quite valuable!
9. Musical instruments. How many of us have yearned to play an instrument, bought a brand new flute or drum set or guitar, and then quickly realized that we just didn’t have the musical ear? Sell these to a local music store or through a classified ad to someone else who has that musical dream.
10. DVDs. Many families have big DVD collections of films that they haven’t watched more than once or films that they stopped watching years ago. Go through your collection and see how many movies you can bear to get rid of. List them on a site like Amazon and watch them sell.
11. Furniture. Take a good look around your home at each piece of furniture that you have. Do you really need it? Does the desk in the den actually get used? Would your bed be just as nice without the frame? Do your decorative lamps never get turned on? You probably have at least one item of furniture that you could sell and possibly get a pretty penny for.
12. Magazines. The truth is that it’s really difficult to sell magazines for very much money at all unless you happen to have some rare magazines stacked up in your home. Check this first but then consider all of the things that you can make with old magazines. Turn those pages into art and DIY projects that you can sell through a site such as Etsy.
13. Paper bags and plastic bags. Everyone has extra bags lying around their homes, taking up space. You won’t be able to sell these but you can certainly re-use them to avoid spending money in other places. Use paper bags as book covers, shelf liners, and wrapping paper. See other tips for reusing paper bags here. Use plastic bags so you don’t need to buy so many trash bags. See other tips for reusing plastic bags here.
14. Art. A lot of people have art in their homes that they keep out of habit. Even if it’s not particularly valuable, you may be able to get a few bucks for it by selling it to someone else who will appreciate it more than you do. Have a yard sale or list items individually for sale online.
15. Knick knacks. Go through your home and collect all of the little knick knacks and tchotchkes that are collecting dust throughout your home. Take some good digital pictures and post them on an online classified site or auction site and let them clutter up someone else’s home.
16. Bicycles. A lot of people have a bicycle hanging around the house that they never use. If you’re one of those people, consider starting to use the bike to save yourself some money on the wear and tear of your car. However, if you know that you’re not ever going to really do that, stop just letting the bike sit there. Sell it and the helmet that you got with it and put that money away for a rainy day.
17. Other sports equipment or gym equipment. Bicycles aren’t the only sports equipment that people keep and don’t use. Basketballs, tennis racquets and yoga mats often get purchased and then barely used. Even more common to see just sitting there is fancy gym equipment. You may want to use these things to get fit for cheap at home. Or you may realize that you don’t need a lot of equipment to work out at home and decide instead to sell these items now so that you have more room in your house and more cash in your pocket.
18. Arts and crafts stuff. Most people either keep a bunch of random arts and crafts stuff in their homes or just toss it away. If you put it together in a set, you can probably sell it online or at a yard sale. Art students are always looking to purchase half-used paints, crayons, markers, notebooks, canvases, ribbons and other stuff that you might not even have thought of as art stuff. Gather everything that you’ve got together into a big box (or several smaller boxes of related items) and see if you can sell them in your area.
19. Storage accessories. Now that you’ve gotten rid of a bunch of the stuff in your house that you didn’t really need, you may find that you have empty storage accessories that are no longer necessary. Closet organizers, tote boxes and other items used for storage can also be sold.
20. That thing you’ve been hanging on to for no good reason. After getting rid of all of these items, you may feel like your house is empty and you’ve got nothing left to sell. Think again. There is probably at least one more item that you’ve been hanging on to for years that you just don’t need to hang on to anymore. Perhaps it’s an antique that was passed down to you, maybe it’s a bookcase that’s only half filled with books, or it could be an old dress that you’ve kept for sentimental reasons. Think about whether or not it has monetary value and whether or not you really want to keep hanging on to it. It may finally be time to get rid of it!
See, you probably have a lot of stuff that’s in your house ready to be sold for some quick cash, re-used or gifted to someone. Remember when selling items online that you should consider the cost of packing and shipping items so that you don’t lose money on that. If traditional outlets for selling used items aren’t working, try posting them for sale through your online social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. If items still don’t sell or just aren’t worth much, think about whether they can be used in a new way in your home or given as a gift to someone else. And make sure that you don’t get rid of anything that you’ll just want to buy again new in a couple of months. If you think through your home’s items carefully, you’ll probably be glad to see some things go and watch at least a little bit of money come back to you.