If you missed it, on February 1 – two weeks ago, I launched Project Downsize with the purpose to get rid of as much stuff as possible in my home – to remove clutter, to simplify our lives.
I’m doing this for two reasons:
- We have plans to move this summer and instead of upgrading to a bigger, better house, we plan to dramatically reduce our square footage. We aren’t being forced to do this – it’s a choice. We want to spend less on our next “home” so that we can focus more on things we love and value – like travel.
- I want to own my stuff and not have it own me. Ultimately I only want to keep the items that a.) serve a purpose and b.) that bring me joy.
I set a very LOFTY February goal is to earn $2,000 in February selling items in my home on Amazon, eBay and Craigslist. After the first week I had earned $548.16 – get a week one update here – including photos of everything I sold and how I earned over $500.
This week was outta-the-park awesome. I worked really hard to list items for sale in my local Facebook For Sale, Trade or FREE group. I spent a couple hours a day photographing items, listing them and coordinating pick-ups.
(To find your local Facebook For Sale, Trade or FREE group, search Facebook for your city/county/area and the words for sale or trade.)
My garage and my house are slowly becoming less cluttered and it seems to be directly correlated with my stress level. 🙂
PROGRESS THIS WEEK:
- Listed about 44 items for sale in Facebook group
- SOLD 36 items for sale in Facebook group earning $1,230
- Still had books for sale on Amazon
- SOLD four books on Amazon, earning $53.47
TOTAL earned this week by downsizing = $1,283.47
TOTAL so far this month = $1,831.63
YAY! Insert HAPPY dance here.
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS WEEK:
1.) It’s a lot of work to sell items – but financially it’s worth my time. I have had more than one person mention to me how much work it is to sell your items this way. It DOES require more work than dropping them off at Goodwill or having a Garage sale. BUT – I’m earning way more than if I had a garage sale. It’s like couponing – yes, it takes effort to save, but if it works for you personally I recommend investing the time.
2.) Meet everyone at the same time and place. Setting up ONE spot and one general time to meet everyone has been a HUGE time saver for me. Every weeknight I would meet at the same time and public place – it was easier than coordinating a bunch of meet-up locations. I was even specific in the listing – I prefer to meet in this general area – so people are aware before they agree to purchase. Some nights I’d meet as many as 6-7 people at that spot – selling individual items all at once. I’d make very clear notes and labeled everything to make it easy.
3.) Save yourself TIME by being thorough on your listing – For every item I listed for sale on the FB group, I included this type of information:
*Brand name/product number
*Complete measurements – height, width, length
*Complete description of any bumps/scratches or wear
*Smoke-free, pet-free home
*Amount I’m asking, cash only
*My preference for the public place I want to meet – I was very specific and actually ended up being to meet multiple people at one, saving me a ton of time and gas
*Clear photos (not blurry), with multiple angles or item. Photos of any blemishes or markings
If you are very thorough in your initial post, you don’t have to go back and answer questions (usually asking for this information anyway). Potential buyers can make an educated buying choice – because everything is clearly described and laid out. Make sense?
4.) Why I don’t say OBO “Or Best Offer” on my listings – I see a LOT of people offer something for sell and immediately after the price, they’ll list OBO, for example, $100 OBO. When you do this, you’re basically saying you’ll take less than you’re asking price. It almost encourages people to ask less. I never use OBO, instead I put a flat rate, “$100, cash only” and if someone wants to offer less, they will – they usually do! Be confident in the value you’re asking and negotiate if it makes sense, but don’t advertise that you’ll drop the price with a “best offer” – make sense?
5.) Coming to terms with getting rid of items – This one was a big one for me this week. I finally broke down and sold all my canning jars and canning supplies. I’ve been buying canning jars and accessories for the last two- to three-years in hopes that I’ll finally learn how to can. It’s on my bucket list. Maybe one day I will – but if I’m being honest with myself it’s not for this season in my life. And when it comes to downsizing – it was taking a huge amount of space. As frugal-minded folks, it’s hard to get rid of items that we “might need someday” – but I’ve decided that someday isn’t enough to justify holding onto items. A case of jars is $9.99 – I’ll buy a case when I’m ready for that journey, until then, I won’t be burdened with guilt that I’m not using the items.
6.) I’m much more thoughtful about consuming/purchasing other items. When you put to much effort into de-cluttering, you really stop and ask yourself, “Do I need this?” and “Will I use this in the near future?” I find myself passing up good deals a lot more frequently because I don’t want to bring new stuff into the house! It’s been good for my budget on both sides – saving and spending!
SOME OF THE ITEMS I SOLD:
To give you an idea of the things I’m selling and how much I’m earning from each item, I thought I’d share a few of the items I sold this week. I am not listing everything – it would bore you, I’m sure.
Pampered Chef Stoneware collection – $120
I sold Pampered Chef about six years ago – and I had a lot of really nice Pampered Chef stuff because of that. Unfortunately I don’t use a lot of it on a regular basis. I had great success combining these items into “LOTS” and selling them as a big grouping, instead of selling them as individual pieces. I had lots of offers to buy items separately – but this would have meant coordinating with as many as 6-8 different people – something that would have taken quite a bit of time. I was patient and was able to sell the whole lot for $120. A steal for the person buying it – and a fair price for me, too. If I had these items at a garage sale, I doubt I would have gotten more than $60.
Pampered Chef baking lot – $40
I really wanted to be good at baking pies. But if I’m being honest with myself, I don’t even like pie. 🙂 A lot of these items I collected while being a Pampered Chef consultant – but haven’t used since. Time to say good-bye!
Bento Lunch LOT – $40
I had purchased these items with the intent to do a Bento Box series last September. Um yeah, that never happened. Had I sold these items at a garage sale I would have been lucky to get $1 an item. By pairing them with everything you need to get started with your Bento lunch boxes I was able to get $40 for this lot. Although it’s much less than I paid retail price, I’m really pleased with the amount I earned from selling these items!
Kid’s Baking LOT – $30
Again, I think selling these items as a whole lot was a much more lucrative option then selling these items at a garage sale. I was able to sell this whole lot for $30 to a grandma who actually had a baking date with her grandkids this Valentine’s day. How perfect! Win-Win. 🙂
NEW kid’s Bear Paw boots – $20
I got a SUPER deal on these – but they are THREE sizes too big for my daughter. Part of my downsizing process has been choosing to get rid of the items I bought for my kids to grow into – because frankly, the burden of storing them isn’t worth it to me. I find these deals often enough that I’m confident I’ll find a comparable deal again before my daughter is in this size.
Ceramic egg holders, ceramic fruit baskets and wire baskets – $30
Collection of NEW Eco-friendly toys – $30
IKEA frames and photo boxes – $20
Projector Screen – $50
Purchased to use for coupon classes and haven’t used it for years.
IKEA area rug – $15
Apothecary jars, set of 3 – $30
Office supplies – $60
I’ve had a home business of some kind for the last 12 years – it was time to get rid of supplies that I might need, someday.
Canning supplies – $65
My favorite canning items actually went to an avid Queen Bee reader – couldn’t be happier that I know they’ll be in a good home.
Canning jars – $60
Brand spanking new. Only opened to take photo.
Garage organizers – $60
Purchased on super sale from Amazon with the intent to organize my son’s LEGOs. Then I thought maybe I’d organize the garage. Never happened. Outta here!
Fabric lot – $35
I used to quilt. I used to sew. I haven’t in years. One day I’ll get back to it. But for now, I sold all my fabric and batting. Such relief to have the extra space in my closet. And as I mentioned – I no longer have the “hobby guilt” – I don’t have to look at it and think about it’s potential and think I should really finish that Seahawks quilt that I started five years ago. . .
Baby crib – $60
This one was emotionally a bit harder for me. This was the crib both my kids used. I thought one day I could make a bench from it. Or? I don’t know. For the last two years we’ve been moving it around our garage – because one day I’ll do something with it. I was emotionally attached. But space-wise it was taking up so much space in our home and it did not have an immediate need. It made me feel guilty – because I wasn’t doing anything with it.
That “crib” season in our life is over – it was a special time and we have memories and photos with this crib – and I’ve decided that’s enough for me. I am trying to come to the realization that memories don’t need to be tied with stuff. If I keep every sentimental item from my kids growing up – we’ll have piles of stuff. And stuff can be smothering – so this was a tough, but good choice, for me. I still have plenty of mom-mementos from these early days – I’ll keep the smaller more meaningful items. How do you balance this emotional connection to your items?
So those are a few of the items I sold this week. If you’re on the fence about decluttering – let me encourage you – it feels great!
Earlier this month I shared this tutorial on How to Sell Used Books on Amazon – I need to go back into my Amazon listings and adjust my prices so that I can sell more books this next week.
I’m getting so close to my goal – I only need to sell another $168.37 worth of stuff to reach my goal of $2,000 for the month. I think I can do it!
I’ll provide another downsizing update next Sunday.
If you’re joining me for Project Downsize – I’d love to hear what you got rid of this week! Pick a goal for this week and share it here, please!