How to clutter your wallet

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When I get rid of stuff that is already in my house—I can make money! (Okay, technically it’s only recouping a fraction of the money I’ve already hemorrhaged, but going forward with a minimalist mindset will help with that portion.)016 (2)

Awhile ago I set all the stuff I wanted to get rid of on my lawn and in turn people came and carried it away for me– while paying me money for it!

They paid for the right to take something I didn’t want anyway.

Here was my pricing: 25 cents for each article of clothing (including winter jackets and everything. No variation.) 50 cents for a pair of shoes or a book. One dollar for a DVD.

Now with prices like that, you can imagine how everything else was priced. I was not out to make beaucoup bucks, just get rid of things.

I made over $400.

019Cooler yet, I made a lot of friends. At the end of the day Saturday, I rode my bike to the end of the street to post on our sign that we were closed and all up and down the sidewalk were kids with their new toys playing with stuff that my kids hadn’t played with in awhile (think of the end of Toy Story 3).

Then when I got back a neighbor girl asked if I would go on a bike ride with her and her friend. We just made one loop around the street on the sidewalks and by the time we got back we were a regular biker gang. Kids on bikes everywhere. It was great.

I traded my stuff for an experience and relationships… and some cold, hard cash! Now that’s a win/win!

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12 thoughts on “How to clutter your wallet

    • Also effective at boosting community involvement and being nice on the wallet is re-roofing your own home. We did this a few months after the sale. It took us awhile to do it just the two of us (we gotta work too, you know) but it was so much cheaper and we had a front row seat to be able to wave and smile at all the neighbors coming and going. One guy even stopped and took a picture of the husband when he had our boys up there helping. Then he stopped by again and dropped off the printed copies the next day!

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    • That doesn’t even count the coin decluttering we did. We had some jars with saved change. It finally hit us that it was just taking up space, too heavy to move easily, and really a poor person’s mentality to keep it in case of emergencies. At least the bank pays minimal interest! We decluttered that and turned it into 700 usable dollars!

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  1. I love people who understand the point of a yard sale – to get rid of your stuff. It’s not to make a lot, although $400 is a pleasant surprise and can go a long ways toward financial goals. I have a hard time going to yard sales where they want 50-60% of retail price – that’s what ebay and craigslist are for, not a yard sale!

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    • Right! I don’t want to haul it back in the house or to Goodwill. I want it gone! Many people found it worth it to stop by our sale. Almost everyone who stopped left with arm loads. It was fun on the last day to cut the prices to half. A lot of the neighbor kids cleaned us out that day. Then, right after we loaded it all in our van a lady stopped who saw our ad and was bummed that we had closed up. We let her go through everything and just take whatever she wanted. She left with a car load of little kid clothes and books. It feels good to perpetuate frugality and limiting waste at the same time.

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  2. I’d love to clear out my basement. We’re planning a big yard sale and I have already been filling up the garage and part of the basement. Time to clear space and get some cash for stuff gathering dust. Nice job. Always better to get something than to just store it in another box.

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    • I did LOVE clearing out the collection areas (we collected a lot so there were several areas!) Just two days after I finished up the sale my sister moved and had plenty of room to put her stuff. It was a bummer to not have the space totally free longer but it was nice to be able to accommodate my sister. She was contemplating renting a storage unit while she lived with us to store her household stuff. If she had done that I would have felt horrible. As a general rule, storage units are horrible. They perpetuate a misguided view of the importance of stuff and it sucks your money away at the same time.

      I’m excited for the first. I’m more than halfway done writing short daily motivational posts for a month long decluttering. Less stuff is better and I’m gearing up for another big purge. This time I think it all will go to Goodwill though because I don’t think my sister wants to sleep on my boxes of extra waiting for the next yard sale. : P

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  3. Tarynkay

    That’s fantastic! And I totally agree with the above poster- you did a great job setting the prices. Our neighborhood has a Really Really Free Market once a month, which has been great for meeting our yard sale needs.

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    • Thanks. We do like our reasonable priced yard sales so we want to do the same for others. The main point is to get stuff re-situated so it’s actually used by someone instead of sitting in a closet or in a landfill. The money portion is just a fun reward for the effort.

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  4. $400 is pretty awesome for yard sale. It’s a really good idea to declutter the house by having a yard sale. Cluttering your wallet is always a good thing. We just recently moved to a new place and we sold and donated a lot of unneeded items that have been sitting in our closets for years.

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