Yesterday I made $286 just by tidying up my house. Sorting through the clutter we can live without is an incredibly easy way to put money back in your pocket. Here’s how I made $286 just this week and I’m not nearly done.
Refinishing furniture means I often have a stock of several smaller pieces of furniture. I usually keep them around for a while to pair them with larger pieces and make a set. I’ve put together entire bedroom and dining sets this way.
Last month I took three of those smaller pieces to a local furniture consignment shop. They were able to sell them right away and I made 50% of the sale price. When I picked up the check yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised that I had made $51.75. Here’s the breakdown:
- Plate display rack: $12.00
- Small mirror with wood frame: $12.00
- Small side table: $27.75
- TOTAL AMOUNT EARNED FROM FURNITURE CONSIGNMENTS: $51.75
I also made money yesterday after sorting through my two boys’ clothes. Living in New England means two drastically different wardrobes – from shorts and t-shirts to warm pants and bulky sweaters. We store off-season clothes in plastic bins in our attic in order to keep our closets as organized as possible. After all, it seems like they wear the same 5 shirts and shorts over and over!
It was time to do the change-over of clothes from winter to summer clothes. The day’s process involved bringing down 3 bins of clothes from the attic, emptying my two teenage boys’ closets entirely, and then they “shopped” for the clothes they wanted to keep.
Some clothes were put into their closets to be used this summer and those that were still too big were returned to the attic for storage. In the end, I was left with a mountain of clothes that were not returning to either the attic for future use or to their closets. These clothes would leave the house, so I began sorting them into four piles…
- New with tags – to be returned to the store
- Like new without tags – to be sold online
- Good condition – to be donated
- Torn and stained – to be recycled or thrown away
From the torn and stained pile, I removed any old t-shirts that I could use as rags with which to clean or stain furniture. These went into a bin for future use. The others were too worn out and had to be thrown away.
From the remaining three piles, I removed any clothes with tags, took them back to the mall, and returned them. This is how I made more than $120 in less than two hours.
Even though we had some of the clothes for more than a year, every store still took them back because they had tags attached. Without the receipts, some stores were only able to return to me the last lowest sale price, which in some cases was as low as $4.50; but I figured I wouldn’t be able to sell them for much more than that online anyway. In instances where I charged to the store’s credit card, the store was able to look up the original price paid – which made a huge different in the amount of money I got back. All stores happily gave me store credits to use at a later date. Here’s the breakdown:
- Hollister – 1 shirt: $4.50
- Eddie Bauer – 1 shirt: $27.00
- American Eagle – 2 shirts: $9.60
- Abercrombie & Fitch – 3 shirts: $18.00
- LL Bean – 1 shirt + 1 short: $63.61
- TOTAL AMOUNT EARNED FROM RETURNS: $122.71
From there, I took the like-new boys’ clothes and posted them online for sale. There are a few ways you can do this which I’ll talk about in next week’s business strategy post titled, Ways to Make Money Just by Tidying Up. This past week I made $60 selling a batch of 11 boys clothing items on a local Facebook yard sale page.
If you plan to sell clothes on Facebook yard sale sites, it’s easiest to sell in like-batches for one lump sum price (but usually for no more than $5.00 per piece). Selling in batches also means you can make a larger sum of money faster. For me, it’s not just not worth selling one $5.00 shirt at a time to stranger.
Sort the like-new clothes by size and season, figuring a buyer is searching online for clothes their kids can use for the immediate season. Lay them out neatly on your dining table and take a photo of each batch. Use this as your primary photo when you post them online so buyers can see you are offering several pieces for sale at once. Also take and post individual photos so they can see the details of what you’re selling.
- TOTAL EARNED FROM SELLING CLOTHES ONLINE: $60.00
If I have name brand clothing that’s like-new without tags, Ebay is a great place to sell clothing items individually. Here’s a detailed tutorial I put together on How to Sell on Ebay:
Any clothes that I don’t sell online get donated to our local Salvation Army. If you donate, be sure to keep track of every item you drop off and ask the donation center for a detailed receipt. These donations can be claimed as deductions on your annual tax return. You typically get back on your taxes one-third of the thrift store value (may vary, consult your tax advisor), so it’s definitely worth donating and keeping track of your donations!
SELLING ON EBAY
Finally, I sold a few video games online on Ebay. One game was sold individually because it had a higher selling value. The other seven were sold as a batch. Here’s the breakdown:
- 3DS game: $27.00
- Lot of 7 Ninetendo DS games: $24.99
- TOTAL EARNED FROM SELLING VIDEO GAMES ON EBAY: $51.99
As you can see, by simply consigning a few small furniture items ($51.75), returning clothes to the store that were never worn and still have their tags ($122.71), selling a few clothing items online ($60.00), and selling 8 video games on Ebay ($51.99), I was able to make $286 this week. Simply by tidying up our home!
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Note: This post may contain affiliate links to products I use myself.