Step One: Have a motivated goal
Make your goal. You need to clearly understand what you want to do and why. Your goal might go something like: I want to clean up some of this stuff I don’t use or need. That tells you what you want to do, now think of why. Come up with either something you need to buy (a new pair of shoes), or something you would like to do (get a massage). This is your motivating factor outside of just having a cleaner and less cluttered home. Now your goal might be: I want to clean up some of this stuff I don’t use, and then I’ll go buy those new bed linens we need. You may also be interested in beginning or adding to a savings account, whether just an emergency fund or with a specific goal. So you may want to phrase your goal: I want to get rid of some junk and add the extra money to my new furniture fund. If you are interested in saving money, you may want to check out this article. Stating your goal this way, with two motivating factors, increases your chance of success.
Step Two: Cleaning a room without being overwhelmed
Start with one room. Don’t do an overview of your entire house. It makes no difference which room you start in. Magazines and books are frequently kept in bathrooms and closets. Video games can be kept in living rooms, bedrooms, closets or outside storage. Clothing might be kept in laundry rooms, closets, bedrooms, or outside storage. Just pick a room.
Step Three: The road to cash is an easy process
Grab a bag or box and go to the designated room. Go through everything in your room and pull out all the clothing, books, magazines, CDs, VHS tapes, DVDs, computer software, and video games. When you have a pile of these items, go through them individually. Make one pile of items you would like to keep and put everything else in your box. This is a simple process if you keep your mind on your goal. When you have sorted through all of your items, put the keepers back in an orderly fashion, making sure they are clean and dust free. If you like to alphabetize things, this is the time to do so. When you are finished with your first room, proceed to the next. Don’t leave a room unfinished, or you run the risk of having a messier and more disorganized place than before!
Step Four: Doing your research well
Check out the websites for Plato’s Closet, Half Price Books, and Movie Trading Company. These are three places that buy and sell used goods. Read their policies to find out what they are looking for. After you have a general idea of what to expect, check out websites for Goodwill and Salvation Army. Goodwill and Salvation Army are good charities, but there are many good charities out there. If you already have a relationship with a local charity or woman’s shelter feel free to donate some of your items there.
Step Five: Determining what will sell and what will be donated
Take your bag or box of items you no longer want or need and find a large workspace. A big table or the floor of a room will work great. Empty your box or bag. Start with clothing. Pull out and examine each clothing item individually. Make sure buttons are sewn on, stains are not present, and that none of the items have holes (unless they are intentional holes). Clothing needs to go into two separate piles. One can contain any damaged items, as well as socks, underwear including bras, and pajamas. The other should contain everything else: shirts, blouses, dresses, sweaters, jeans, coats, sweatshirts, and purses. The pile with damaged items, socks, underwear, and pajamas should go into a bag or box, neatly folded and stacked. Mark this box as donation. This box is destined for Goodwill, Salvation Army, or the charity of your choice. Label the second box Plato’s Closet.
Books and magazines are next. You need to make two separate piles again. Books or magazines with torn covers, missing pages, or in overall poor condition need to be placed in your existing donation box. Please remember to take a thick black marker and mark out your address if it is present on any magazines. Books and magazines in average, good, or excellent condition should be placed neatly inside a box and marked Half Price Books. Half Price Books buys books and magazines. They will also buy music, movies, games, and computer software. I have found better prices for these items at Movie Trading Company
Now you are left with CDs, VHS tapes, DVDs, computer software, and video games. Again you are making two piles. Everything missing its case or box, dust jacket, or instructional manual needs to be placed in your box marked donation. Items in good or better condition and still having all of their appropriate information need to go, neatly stacked, into a box marked Movie Trading Company.
Step Five: Selling your items
Load these items into the trunk of your car. You may not be able to drive around and sell your items today, but you should have the satisfaction of seeing the hard work you have done around your home without a bunch of boxes in the way. After visiting the websites for Plato’s Closet, Half Price Books, and Movie Trading Company to find their locations nearest you, check out Mapquest. Here you can plan an easy route to hit all of your destinations. You may want to go on your selling spree on your day off, or when you have at least half of a day to do this. There may be a wait at some of these stores, you can call and check if time is an issue.
Step Six: Personal satisfaction
Feel great about what you have done! By following these steps you should achieve a cleaner and less cluttered home. You should have donated some items to charity. By donating to charity, you are helping people in need. You should have pocketed a little extra cash; almost everyone appreciates a few extra dollars. By selling your used items to the stores recommended above, you are contributing to a green lifestyle. And above all, you should have achieved your main goal!