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

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

CLUTTER CLUTTER CLUTTER CLUTTER…..

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 🙂


Are You UP For A New Challenge?

Filed under :Whole House Declutter Challenge

Over in the “How To Be Frugal With Food” blog, we’re working on a “Organize Your Pantry” Challenge right now.  I’ve very excited about how the challenge is going and I am excited about getting my pantry organized, cleaned and “in order”.  This will make everyday life so much easier for me when it comes to cooking.

But on the rest of the home front, I have other things I need to tackle as well.  I basically need to do to the rest of the house what I did in the pantry!  So, I’m starting the WHOLE HOUSE DECLUTTER CHALLENGE later this week.  We’re going to tackle one room at a time and clean, declutter, organize and decorate.

Our objective in the “Whole House Declutter Challenge” is going to be to streamline the contents of every room in our house.   We’ll work room-by-room until we  have the entire house completed.   When we are finished, each room is going to be clean and organized.  The rooms will be free from clutter.  This is going to make our lives easier and less stressful.  When you have alot of clutter in your home, you also have alot of clutter in your mind.   Cleaning becomes a difficult task and ends up being a chore that we just keep putting off.  That only makes things worse.

How can decluttering the house be frugal?  Great question!  Decluttering your house is going to help you save money and make money at the same time….

  • How many times have you looking for a particular item knowing that you have that item somewhere in your home?  And for some reason, you just can’t find it!  It’s because it doesn’t have a “home”…. you know that saying about “everything in its place”, right?  Well, because you can’t find the item, you end up going to the store and purchasing another.   So having a cluttered home will cost you money!
  • If you have a cluttered home, it’s hard to find things.  So you spend alot of time just “looking” for items.  Well, wouldn’t you rather spend that time doing something else?  So, an uncluttered home costs you extra time – so get frugal with your time as well as your money and declutter your home!
  • On the topic of time, the more you have, the more you have to clean and dust…. so it even takes you longer to clean!  Not very time frugal at all.
  • Have you ever looked for an item only to find an item that you didn’t remember that you had?  Yes, that has happened to me too!
  • Decluttering your home can also make you some quick $$$.  How?  Easy, as we’re decluttering, we’re making decisions about the necessity of items in our homes.  If you get back to the bare minimum of items that you actually need and use on a regular basis, you find that you have so many “extra” items that someone else might pay money for.  You can sell these items on ebay, Craigslist and in the newspaper classified.

Our challenge will begin on Friday, Sept 24.  Let’s get off to a great start this weekend with our new challenge.  It’s the first step that will be the hardest…. but when you see the results of decluttering your first room, that will motivate you to move on to the next room.