Speaking of Spring Cleaning – Let’s Make Some Money Decluttering!

Filed under :Cleaning, INSIDE the Home, Minimalism, Whole House Declutter Challenge


Clutter = CHAOS.  The opposite of chaos is ORDER.  We want order.  I’ll be writing another post just about this topic very soon 🙂

For now — Let’s simplify – declutter – and put some money in your pocket!

Does you garage look anything like this?  Maybe you have a storage shed in the back yard or even you could be renting a unit monthly to store your STUFF.   Let’s get serious here, ok?  Let’s talk about STUFF.  Do we really need all of this STUFF that we’ve accumulated and have stored in every nook and cranny?  Or is this STUFF just creating CHAOS in our lives – STUFF to clean, work around, move, etc.  Let’s SIMPLIFY!

ORDER in our lives creates PEACE.  And in this day and age, we need all the help we can get simplifying our lives.  Life is just way to busy having to shuffle stuff around.  Well, in addition to helping to simplify our lifes, we can actually make some money selling all of this STUFF that we really don’t need!

What could you do with some extra cash?  Pay off some debt?  Purchase an item that you truly need?  Put some money in your savings or rainy day fund?  Just imagine – cleaning and decluttering and getting paid for it 🙂  Now that’s motivation!

Speaking of motivation – that’s what you’re going to need to get started – MOTIVATION.  Our motivation is two-fold:  MONEY and ORDER.  But let’s take a step back and plan our process.  Let’s get organized first and get our minds set straight so we can SUCCEED and get this project completed and money in our pockets.

So, where do we start?  We start with a plan.  We start with a goal.

Then we take that plan and break it apart into smaller, more defined tasks.

As an example, while our GOAL is to declutter our home and create order in our lives, sell things we don’t need, and make some cash, our tasks are going to be more simplified, easier, specific tasks that can be accomplished in a shorter period of time with smaller goals and targets.

Another part of our plan is determining HOW we are going to sell the items (or find them another home if they can’t be sold).  There are several ways and places we can sell items that make the job so much simpler.  There’s Ebay, Craigslist, as well as local Buy/Sell groups on Facebook.  For the items that we are not successful selling, we can recycle, donate or just throw away.

Now, how do we get started on the actual DECLUTTERING work.  Well, we’re going to break that apart into smaller tasks as well.  I suggest breaking the job down into smaller tasks that you can accomplish in 1 afternoon or 4 hours.  That may be a closet, a cabinet, etc.  Start with the smallest tasks first – this will help to get you started and committed when you can quickly see your progress and accomplishments.   When you get to rooms like the garage, just break the job into Area A, Area B, Area C, etc.  That may mean a corner, a wall, shelves, etc.

Plan how much of your time that you are going to dedicate to this project.  I suggest at least 2 to 3 “decluttering” tasks per week – definitely no more than 3.  Remember, each task should only take you 4 hours max to accomplish.  Then spend a couple of hours the next day listing the items for sale.

Now let’s talk about exactly what “decluttering” really means.  Let’s say your first task is to clean out a bedroom closet.  As you remove each item from the closet, you need to make a conscious decision about that item.  Have you actually used or worn that item in the last 3 months?  If it’s a clothing item from winter and you’re doing your declutter in summer, did you wear the item last winter?  If you didn’t – it needs to go.   If you have used or worn the item and you are going to keep it, then it will need to be placed back into the closet in an organized fashion.  THIS IS THE ORDER we are looking for.  As you’re going along decluttering, make sure you are also cleaning!

Next, let’s talk about the declutter pile that you’re going to be creating.  Let’s talk about our options:  sell, recycle, donate, throw away.  As you are creating your “declutter” pile, let’s go ahead and sort the items based on what your plans are for each item.  I suggest buying several plastic bins and labeling them accordingly.  Of course, for the items that you are going to throw away, use a garbage bag 🙂

As soon as possible, after cleaning out the bedroom closet (example we are using), make sure to take the garbage bag to the trash.  Whew!  What a relief!  You’ve already unloaded some of your chaos!  Our next step is to determine what items we will be donating to places like 2nd hand non-profit stores.  These non-profit corporation sell the items to make money to fund great causes in our communities.  When you donate, you’re helping other less fortunate individuals!    Now that’s a great sense of accomplishment!!!  Congratulations for doing something positive to help others 🙂

Next – what items do you have marked for recycling?  Let’s get those items to the proper location for recycling.  Now you’ve already accomplished clearing out a good bit of the items that have been cluttering up your life 🙂  Do you feel the weight being unloaded from your shoulders?  You should be feeling a great sense of accomplishment and ORDER.

Our last step is to determine what items we have segregated to sell.  Make a list of the items (an Excel spreadsheet works well for this task to keep you organized) – number them and either tape or safety pin a number to each item.  On your list, record a short description of the item and where you are going to list the item for sale along with your initial selling price.  Also enter the date that you list the item for sale and leave a column to enter the date that you sell and ship/deliver the item to the new owner.   Give yourself a set period of time to sell the item.  If the item doesn’t sell in that period of time, decide if you want to lower the price and relist the item.  I would only do this once – if it doesn’t sell at your initial price or your reduced price, it’s time to place it into the next recycle or donate stack and get rid of it.

As you’re trading your CLUTTER for DOLLARS, you are feeling better and better about this decluttering project!  No only are your simplifying your life, you’re gaining a few bucks in your pocket and making contributions to your community through donations and recycling.  That’s more motivation to keep moving forward with your DECLUTTERING project and your final GOAL.    Congratulations!

While this article is very simplified and not written in depth, it does give you the essential top level directions that you need to get started and keep you on track with your DECLUTTERING PROJECT.  I wish you all the success as I start the same project in my home 🙂


Filed under :Minimalism

Just what is “minimalism”…. and what does it have to do with being frugal?  Well, check this out:

Less Stuff = Less Maintenance = Less Cleaning = Less Stress = Spending Less Money = Having More Time

OK, in that equation I see two key things that I like a lot — ‘Spending Less Money’ & ‘Having More Time’   Who can argue with that?   If you pick up a “home” style magazine, look at the pictures of the kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms….  Notice the pictures of the rooms that put you at ease, the ones that you would like for your home to look like.   Are the pictures that you’ve chosen full of clutter and ‘what knots’ or are they clean, sparsely decorated, open with clean lines?  Well, for me, even though I’m not an fan of  ‘modern’ decorating, I do like the feel of rooms being open, clean and uncluttered.  And when I’m in rooms decorated in this fashion, I feel much more at ease and less stressful.  Why is this?  Well, it’s because if you’re in a cluttered room, your mind will feel cluttered – you will get the feeling of disorganization.    If you are in a minimally decorated room that is organized, you will feel calmer and more sane.  You will feel like you have more control over your life and your surroundings.

Here’s two photos of the same room that I found on Oprah.com  — one is cluttered and the other is uncluttered.  Take a look at both of them and then think about how each makes you feel:

Minimalism means LESS CLUTTER — You’ll have less STUFF.  And, with less stuff, you’ll have less to clean.  Also, less stuff means that you’ll be able to have a place in your home where everything goes (everything in its place).

Minimalism means LESS WASTE — Why?  Because you’ll get out of the “disposable” mentality.  You’ll purchase items that you really need and things that will be good quality and will last for a long time.  When you have a “minimalistic” mentality, you’ll double think everything and research your purchases FIRST and then buy at the right time.  You will not “impulse purchase” items that you don’t really need or want.

Minimalism means BEING CONTENT — With a minimalistic attitude you’ll get out of the mode of buying things to try and make yourself happy.  You’ll learn that these purchases do not make you happy – they just add to your clutter.  You’ll learn to be happy with the things you already have and you’ll learn to make due.  The items that you do have will mean more to you – they will become more valuable to you.

Minimalism means SPENDING LESS MONEY — you’ll waste less, you’ll be more content with the items you already have, you’ll make due and ultimately you’ll spend (throw away) less money.  And let me tell you what this will do for your stress level!!  If you spend less on “stuff”, you’ll have more money to pay down your debt – which will reduce your stress.  OR, if your debt is already paid down, you’ll have more money to save!

I will be posting more on MINIMALISM and going into detail on how to DE-CLUTTER your home, life and mind and how you can get into a minimalistic attitude.