You’re surrounded by clutter, and you wish you could wave a magic wand to make it all go away.
I don’t have that kind of lifehack (yet!), but as someone who’s become a pro at minimalism and creating an adventurous life on a budget, there are 3 easy tips I can share to help you quickly make money from your junk and create more room in your life.
Best of all, none of them require a lot of work.
Reverse Birthday Party
When I was 39 and on the verge of selling everything our house to travel around the world, I didn’t know how to get rid of those things I no longer needed but still really loved, such as:
The buttery leather coat
The giant leopard cocktail ring
The colorful silk scarf
The black stiletto boots
The red wool beret
You probably have things like this, too, maybe items you love and are good quality but you never, ever use anymore. They just don’t fit who you are now (or maybe they never did). But you can’t figure out how to get rid of them so they just sit there, taking up space and cluttering your life.
The solution I came up with was a Reverse Birthday Party. In honor of my 39 years of living, I picked 39 of these great items and made tags describing why I bought them, loved them, and needed to release them. They were displayed on a metal shelf in my living room.
Then I invited about 20 friends over my Reverse Birthday Party, requesting that they shop my closet and contribute to my upcoming trip rather than buy me a gift. Add some wine and food to the mix, and you have the makings of a very good time.
My friends were instructed to write their names on the tag of any item they wanted, and if more than one person liked it, we had a runway ‘style off’ to the sound of Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain. Whoever wore it best got to keep it.
As my friends collected their items, they dropped a donation into our trip fund box, took a picture with me and the item, and then waltzed that possession right out my door.
It was a great way to release what I no longer needed, make new memories with friends, and have a permanent reminder of the fun evening with the digital photos, which don’t take up any physical space.
Indoor Yard Sale
It’s exhausting to even think about putting together a yard sale, and if the weather’s turned cold, this usually isn’t an option anyway. But there are times when you really want to get rid of big things like furniture, artwork, accessories, and linens.
When we were about a month away from closing on the sale of our home, we invited several friends over for an indoor yard sale. It took almost no planning or set up on our part, and we were able to continue using the necessities until the day we moved out of the house.
First, we invited friends who were in need of household items. These included a recently divorced friend, a couple buying their first home, a couple who had just moved in together, and a couple who bought some land to build a small retreat in the mountains.
When they arrived, we fed them snacks and drinks to create a party atmosphere. People are likely to buy more when they’re having a good time.
Then we gave each person/couple a sheet of colored sticky dots. They took these dots around the house and put them on the items they wanted. After they were done shopping, we simply went around with them to talk about the group of items and negotiate a price and a date for pickup.
It was incredibly easy because we didn’t have to price or move anything, and we didn’t have to give up our couch or dishes while we were still actively using them.
If you’re getting ready to move or downsize, this is the perfect way to get rid of what you no longer need in a comfortable setting with people you trust.
Lots of people sell odds and ends on Craigslist, but by creating a staging area for all your Craigslist items, you can sell more of them in less time.
We began saving and decluttering for our travels 2 years before we left. During that time, we had a goal of selling at least one thing every week. We knew it would be less stressful and more profitable to do it that way instead of waiting until the few weeks before departure.
What we didn’t realize was the power of a Craiglist Store. Now, there isn’t an official store, so don’t go looking for it. The store I’m talking about is the one you create in your own home.
- First, find a space in your home you’re willing to let strangers see. We created our staging area in the small front room by the door.
- Then use this space to attractively display all the items you have for sale. Think of it in terms of a store display and show how pillows, rugs, and other items go together.
- When a buyer comes to buy the camera, frame, or toaster you have advertised, make the transaction in the room that holds your Craigslist Store. Let your buyer know that all those things are for sale, and you’ll be surprised how often they buy more than what they came for.
We sold thousands of dollars of items this way, and we met a lot of interesting people who were curious as to why we had a Craigslist Store in our front room in the first place.
Your junk is not doing anything for you right now except taking up space in your life. Try one of these methods for getting rid of what you no longer need and you’ll have a nice sum of cash to fund something that fits you perfectly.
It sure beats paying the price for keeping what you no longer need.