Have you recently started decluttering your home and found yourself wondering if your unwanted clutter was worth anything? Asking yourself if you can make money selling your stuff online? Turns out selling clutter can be a lot more lucrative than you ever imagined!
I started small, making $1,000 a month after decluttering a little bit.
A little bit turned into a lot and we ended up extreme decluttering our home down to eight suitcases and moving to Europe!
After it was all said and done, I made $50,000 selling my old stuff!
How to sell clutter for cash
Whether you’re looking for a way to sell clutter fast and just make a few bucks or even if you would like to make an extra $1,000 a month or more, selling clutter is a great side hustle!
Imagine finding out that an old blanket you had been using as a throw cover on the back of your couch was worth a staggering $500,000!
Or the vintage Rolex watch your grandfather paid $340 for in the 1970s was now worth $400,000.
Stories like this are more common than you realize!
When I first started decluttering our home and casually selling our unwanted clutter I was shocked to find myself making $1,000 a month after a few months – there were months that I made even more!
Even better, it didn’t take much effort!
I was making $1,000 a month as a stay-at-home mom just by selling clutter in between my kid’s naptimes – I probably could have made even more money if I had put in more time and effort.
Here are just of items that I sold on sites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and more.
Reasons to sell clutter instead of donating or recycling
Feeling a little weird thinking about selling your old Levi’s to some rando?
Asking yourself if anyone actually makes money selling clutter?
You are not alone; rest assured that if you own something chances are there is another person out there willing to pay good money for that item you don’t want anymore!
But money isn’t the only reason you should consider selling your clutter – here are three other good reasons to sell clutter rather than donating or recycling it!
Benefits of selling clutter
#1. Getting rid of clutter will make you happier & healthier
Studies have shown that increased clutter is associated with reduced life satisfaction and higher amounts of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Living in a cluttered home literally can stress you out so much it affects your physical and mental well-being!
Children who have fewer toys may also be smarter and more creative.
#2. Selling clutter helps alleviate “waste guilt”
There are all sorts of reasons that people avoid decluttering, but one common theme seems to be they are afraid they are “wasting”.
Wasting money getting rid of something they paid good money for; creating actual physical and environmental waste if they simply toss those items out into the garbage.
While you may not get the full price that you paid for the item when it was brand spanking new, at least by selling you can help recoup some of that cash spent and alleviate the money guilt.
Selling clutter also reduces the likelihood that your items might end up in landfills, which unfortunately happens quite a bit since resale stores like Goodwill and The Salvation Army are literally overflowing with unwanted clutter.
#3. You can ensure your clutter is going to a good home where someone will LOVE it
Chances are you loved your clutter at one point; why not give someone else a chance to love it now?
When we extreme decluttered our home down to 8 suitcases in preparation for our move to Europe, I said goodbye to many sentimental mementos left behind by my deceased parents and grandparents.
Although I no longer wanted those items in my home, don’t think for a SECOND I was willing to chance that they might end up in some garbage dump!
I made over $50,000 selling clutter (remember, this includes two cars!) and you can’t imagine what the kind thank you messages I received from the buyers of those sentimental items meant to me.
Although I didn’t treasure my father’s pewter Harley Davidson anniversary pendant, knowing that I was sending it to someone who was absolutely ecstatic to receive it — I can’t begin to describe what that meant to me.
#1: Declutter your home so you can sell your clutter
It probably doesn’t surprise you that the first step to selling clutter is, well, to actually declutter!
If you are asking yourself, “How do I declutter my home before selling” you should definitely consider doing a massive decluttering session before you start selling.
The problem with decluttering one piece at a time to sell online is that it is very inefficient.
Think about it, you walk around your house looking for one piece of clutter to sell.
You spy a nice high-end kitchen appliance that you have never used — awesome, you even still have the original box. You grab that appliance and head off to list it.
That means you need to take pictures, edit pictures, pack and weigh the item (if you are shipping), and then list it for sale on the website!
Okay, so you spent half a day working on that one item and now you have to do that over and over and over again with 1,001 other bits of clutter around your home.
Feeling overwhelmed just thinking about it?
That’s why you need to BATCH your decluttering and selling!
Think of decluttering to sell in stages; it makes more sense to do as much as you can in one stage before moving on to the next stage.
It’s much more efficient to do a large-scale declutter in one area, get rid of the stuff you don’t need, and then move on to selling the stuff that will (hopefully) bring in lots of cash!
Therefore, an ideal declutter-to-sell workflow would look like this:
- Start decluttering
- Have boxes marked sell/donate/recycle
- Get rid of the stuff that you don’t want to sell
- Start selling your clutter for cash!
Are you still feeling overwhelmed and wondering where to start?
Grab this FREE 5-page KonMari checklist and get started decluttering your entire life so you can take the next step of cashing in on your clutter!
The KonMari Method categories are laid out for maximum decluttering success – it’s how I first got hooked on decluttering!
#2: How to decide what clutter to sell
People are always shocked to hear how much money I have made from selling my clutter; they love to ask me, “How can I make money selling my stuff?”
If you want to make $1,000 a month selling your clutter, you need to know how much your stuff is worth.
Remember, time is money and you don’t want to waste either!
Ever watch the show Antique Road Show?
Please bring in their old junk and find out how much it is worth — sometimes it’s worthless and sometimes it is worth THOUSANDS!
Not everyone has access to experts like the ones on Antique Road Show, but luckily you have something even better.
It’s right there, in your pocket.
That’s right, it’s your smartphone!
My number one tip for selling clutter online is to use the eBay Advanced Search too on the eBay app to quickly and easily see how much your stuff is worth.
The best way to find out how much your stuff is worth
Not everyone has access to Antique Road Show, so the eBay app’s advanced search function is the next best thing!
If you have never used the eBay app but are interested in hearing more, you can watch this video in which I discuss all these tips and walkthrough using the eBay advanced search app (around the halfway mark).
#3. How to sort and store clutter for selling
Do you get easily overwhelmed by mess?
Make decluttering your home a snap when you start decluttering by having boxes or bins on-hand labeled:
This method helped keep my home tidy even while I was sorting through 25+ lbs of paper clutter and decluttering for our move overseas!
While you can use cardboard boxes, I found that plastic lidded bins worked even better – any unfinished work can be quickly covered up in a lid, and they stack nicely in the basements or on garage shelves.
If you want to make $1,000 per month or more selling your clutter, it helps to have a system in place.
After decluttering and listing items for sale, I would keep the prepackaged items neatly labeled in plastic bins on garage shelving, similar to the ones pictured below.
WARNING: If you have children and want to sell their old toys, clothing, etc., select boxes or bins that are NOT SEE THROUGH, like the ones seen here. Unless you have discussed minimalism with your kids and gotten them on board, the second your kids see those items will be going right back in your house.
#4. Take the best photos for selling your stuff online
A picture is worth a thousand words – or even a thousand dollars!
A great picture can mean the difference between selling clutter for big bucks and not being able to sell it at all.
When you take pictures of your stuff to sell online, make sure you are photographing in a bright and clean location; no dirty clothes or cat hair in the background, please! A white or light-colored wall or door makes a great neutral backdrop.
Try to use natural light shining in the windows whenever possible.
What is the best camera for taking pictures of stuff to sell online?
The best camera for taking pictures of stuff to sell?
Again, it’s your smartphone – your phone is your one-stop shop to taking the best pictures, editing them, and upload them to your website or app of choice.
Start with around 8-10 pictures – it’s better to take as many as you think you might need while you have everything set up and then delete later when you decide you have enough.
When you are taking pictures of clothing or other items to sell online make sure to get each item from multiple angles, such as:
- Tags or makers marks
- Special logos or identifying marks
- Any damage or defects
How to photograph your items to sell
When deciding how to photograph items for listing online, first you can browse similar listings to see how other people are listing the same products.
Are they taking pictures of clothing to sell on hangers, laying on the floor, or using mannequins?
My personal favorite mannequin, Marie Antoinette, was a great investment; I found that having a mannequin definitely helped sell my clothes faster online.
People like to be able to visualize what the clothing would look like when it is being worn.
Don’t worry, the mannequin can also be sold off afterward. 🙂
How to edit pictures before uploading
There are several photo editing apps that you can use to touch up your pictures before posting.
My personal favorite is called Snapseed and it’s totally free to use.
Snapseed allows you to crop, rotate, lighten, brighten, and otherwise fancy-up your photos with the touch of a finger.
Want to see Snapseed in action?
The YouTube video I shared in tip #2 also shows how I used Snapseed to edit a picture of a vacuum cleaner for sale!
#5. Give yourself a deadline to sell clutter
If you have a history of hoarding and find yourself tempted to raid your decluttered for-sale clutter stashes you may need to set a sell-by deadline for yourself.
Are you okay as long as the clutter is out of sight, out of mind? If so, then keeping items for months at a time to ensure you make the most money is fine.
If you don’t have a lot of extra space in your home or you are afraid you will start hoarding again, set deadlines; for large items that might be a few days and smaller items a few weeks to a few months.
#6. Know the best websites for selling clutter
Although there are TONS of different websites that will allow you to sell your clutter online, not all of them are created equal.
Some websites are better for selling furniture; others excel when it comes to selling old cellphones and video game consoles.
Knowing the pros and cons of each in advance will help you identify which website is the best for selling clutter, which in turn helps you save time, money, and even storage space!
The best way to sell clutter is the one where your item sells quickly, with the least amount of hassle, and for the most money!
Where can you sell your clutter?
So what is the best website to sell stuff?
Here are the top 10 best places to sell clutter – each of these websites has pros and cons.
- Poshmark (higher-end)
- Mecari (regular end)
- Facebook Marketplace
- Decluttr (read my Declutter review here)
#7. The secret to selling your clutter FAST
The secret to selling stuff fast online?
Remember when you first performed a search to find out how much your stuff was worth using the eBay advanced search function?
Well, to run that search and find similar items you used keywords that helped identify that item – creating a listing using big keywords will help your potential buyers find your item faster and make them want to buy!
Keywords should be prominently included in your title and description; when people go looking for an item like yours, using the right keywords will help them find it easier and faster!
Using keywords well can mean the difference between being found in the top results on page 1 or getting lost in thousands of other listings!
Keywords to include are:
- Year (if known)
- And more…
The five-word phrase that increases selling success
I want to teach you a secret phrase that will increase your selling success even further.
That phrase is pet-free smoke-free home.
Obviously, you can only use this incentive if your home is actually pet- and smoke-free, but if it is simply mentioning that helps tip the selling odds even further in your favor.
There are two reasons for this; first, many people nowadays have allergies, second, people want to know they are getting a fresh item – they don’t want to potentially smell your cigarettes or dog on that $200 vintage wool coat!
#8. Write a mouth-watering description that makes people WANT to buy your clutter
Besides using keywords, a description is a place where you can coax the viewer to become a buyer by painting a picture with your words.
Describe the item so that the buyer can see themself buying and using the item in their daily life.
You should try and answer any questions that someone might ask right there in the description – this will cut down on the time you have to spend answering questions.
If you are selling clothing you can include the measurements, such as the pants inseam length or armpit-to-sleeve hem for jackets.
A few people might skip reading and go straight to messaging you with questions, in which case you can tell them (nicely) all the info is in the description.
It’s way more efficient!
#9. Always be HONEST
Never, never, never lie.
Sure, you might get away with stretching the truth about an item and make a bit more cash once or twice, but more than likely you’ll soon enough get caught – and if the buyer isn’t happy, to keep them from leaving a negative review you are probably going to have to deal with a refund and comp them the shipping since your item was not as described.
Always note defects clearly in the description!
Use a pen, pencil, or other long thin objects to clearly point out defects in photographs.
Don’t think that defects will stop people from buying your item, either.
There are people who specifically look for defective iPhones or other electronics to buy and fix themselves because they know they are getting a bargain.
#10. Keep profits high by keeping shipping low
Ah, shipping – the online sellers arch-nemesis.
Shipping fees can quickly eat up the costs of your profits if you aren’t careful.
HERE ARE 5 TIPS FOR REDUCING SHIPPING COSTS:
Here are some tips if you are selling your item online and need to deal with shipping; remember, certain websites also offer shipping discounts to sellers that open stores!
- Find the cheapest shipping supplies possible. Or even better, find out how to ship your stuff for zero dollars!
- Package and weigh items BEFORE you list. Take all photos and then package and weigh the item before trying to list it.
- If possible, keep your shipping weight under 16 ounces. If you can keep the total weight of the item and box under 16 ounces, it will qualify for First Class Shipping, which is a flat rate based on the weight and BY FAR the most cost-efficient shipping method. You need to be able to specify the weight down to the ounce and going even one ounce over can make a difference of several dollars. This is my favorite scale, and it is accurate up to 86 lbs, which is more than enough for most sellers.
- Don’t fully tape the boxes closed until the item sells and you are ready to ship. Sometimes customers will ask questions that you can’t answer without removing the item from its box!
- Label your packages so you don’t forget what is inside of them! I like to write the listing in black Sharpie (just make sure to cover it with the shipping label before shipping so no one can read it later).
- ALWAYS use quality packaging so that your item arrives at the buyer’s location in perfect condition. This makes for great reviews and encourages repeat customers.
*SPECIAL OFFER* I’m SUPER excited to announce my friends Melissa and Rob from Flea Market Flipper are now offering a 75-minute webinar on how to start a profitable flipping business TOTALLY FREE!
In the webinar you will learn how to turn your thrifting passion into a profitable business in as little as 14-days (with special insider secrets on how they make $130,000 a year flipping stuff they find at flea markets and thrift stores!)
👇 Just imagine making this much money on eBay in 100 days!!! 👇
Now get out there and start selling your clutter!
To learn more: find out the best tips and tricks specifically for making thousands of dollars selling on eBay or learn how you can turn your passion for thrifting into a way to make money working from home by learning the secrets of thrift flipping pros!