Clear the clutter, make some cash

The New Year arrived, and with it, some pretty lofty goals of mine. I don’t make resolutions because nobody ever keeps them, myself included. But I do like to plan out a few goals for the year ahead. And as of January 1st, I had those goals in mind and was ready and excited to begin.

Then January 2nd came, and with it a letter in the mail from the good old IRS, notifying us of a mistake our tax preparer made several years ago. That mistake was now going to cost us $600, and our wonderful federal government felt it necessary to collect this debt immediately; we had until the end of the month to pay. Our family budget is tight enough as it is, but just coming off of the holidays, we really didn’t have the money to spare. Suddenly I found myself forced to put almost all of my other goals on hold, and come up with a new goal: make $600 extra by the end of January. When you are a stay at home mom of three without a great deal of spare time, that is a lofty challenge. But it needed to happen, so I set my mind to improving our cash flow.

Fortunately, my plan fell in line with one of my other goals for 2014: clearing out some of the clutter in our house. We have a fairly small house that falls desperately short on storage space, and I will freely admit to being a bit of a pack rat. But lately, the never-ending clutter has been driving me crazy. The boys are getting older and their needs are changing, and we are out of room. So for a while now, I’ve been wanting to start clearing things out; old clothes we will never wear again, duplicate housewares we have been holding on to since our “single” days, electronics we have upgraded but never got rid of the older model… so many items that have been doing nothing more than taking up space we don’t have. It was time for them to go.

I had been contemplating a garage sale this Spring or Summer, but let’s face it, a garage sale requires a great deal of time and planning, neither of which I have. Plus, I needed the money immediately, it couldn’t wait until the weather cooperated. So instead I turned to eBay, Craigslist, Facebook resale pages, anywhere I could advertise our former treasures to try and find them a new home. It is tedious work: taking pictures, creating listings, communicating with potential buyers, shipping if necessary or arranging to meet someone locally…. But I am happy to say that this endeavor has been worth the time and effort. As of yesterday, the last day in the month of January, I have made an additional $450 for our family, with half a dozen other sales still pending. No, I didn’t hit my original $600 goal, but I am still pleased that I was able to come up with some extra money to offset a big expenditure we weren’t expecting or planning for. Every little bit helps!

More importantly, I have found some new and successful avenues for resale, and I plan to continue this process, time permitting, until I feel our home is fully purged of the unnecessary items. I have a garage, office and shed that all need serious reorganizing, and there is plenty of junk that needs to go. It will take some time, but if I can earn a little extra money for our family while clearing out all the clutter, then it is a win-win situation.

The resale business can be a little overwhelming at first. If you are like me and you need to clear the clutter but aren’t sure where to start, I hope you will contact me. I am more than happy to share the tips and tricks I have learned along the way.