Declutter and Get Paid for It
March 31, 2018
How to Cash in On Your Clutter
The title may lead you to believe this is about professional organizing or cleaning services. Nope! This is about decluttering your home, car and office and cashing in on it. The old-fashioned ways of unloading unwanted possessions were limited (although sometimes still beneficial) and included consignment shops and yard sales. The internet has exponentially expanded our potential to cash in on our junk, and new venues are always popping up.
Gazelle is a great place to sell your computers, cell phones, and tablets! Dump them here, and put the money in your vacation fund.
Etsy is a good site for crafters, and a lot of people sell collectibles and crafting supplies (plus an odd array of items there). Unlike eBay, they do NOT let you search for sold items, however, so consider carefully if it’s the right venue for your goods. They started as a handcrafted site but have expanded to include a little bit of everything. I recently found an articulated camera arm produced by a home shop (through a web search)—so you never know what you might discover there.
Amazon (and a number of other electronics retailers) will let you trade in your old devices, books, and other items for merchandise credits. You may do better selling on eBay, however, because eBay gives you real cash to spend where you like, or save for a vacation, or… Incidentally, you CAN sell used goods on Amazon as well but it’s probably better suited to retailers than the little guy or gal wanting to make a few bucks.
It’s not the collectibles/virtual flea market it used to be, but there are plenty of customers there, depending on what you sell and I see a bit of everything there from antiques to collectibles, to used household appliances. Brand name clothing and good jeans might be worth selling on eBay. Do a search for sold items to get a ballpark for the marketability of your goods. If you have high-end collectibles, antiques, or art, it might be worth subscribing to Worthpoint for a couple months ($20 a month) to see what the market has been over an eight-year period. The Worthpoint interface lets you refine search results by price and date, which is a great feature. They cull prices, photos, and descriptions from online auctions, and they used to have a free trial week, so you can check it out to see if it will be useful for what you sell.
eBay now has an app that makes selling pretty quick and dirty. Be sure you educate yourself about proper packing and be really thorough in your descriptions so the customers know what they are getting. This package (I received the other day) is proof that you need to pack your items so that, they are protected by two inches of bubble wrap and you prevent the item from moving around in the box: fill every cavity! Boxes get thrown around in trucks and routinely manhandled! You don’t want a buyer angry about damaged merchandise. Also, don’t forget to insure packages…
I see a bit of everything on Facebook, and it’s a good way to sell locally and an alternative to Craigslist. It’s a great way to get rid of furniture and collectibles. Speaking of collectibles, there are lots of hobby groups on Facebook, some of which allow trading, and your goods can be cross listed with the Marketplace for extra exposure. Bear in mind that what you sell there could be viewed publicly (check the TOS before using it). I’ve used Facebook to unload a number of collectibles I was having trouble moving on eBay and, as of today, you don’t have to pay a consignment fee, which is huge.
Good for tools and equipment, lawnmowers and furniture. I see a little bit of everything. There are people who like to barter there (like a lawnmower for a snowmobile). I’ve had mixed luck selling on Craigslist, but whenever I listed something free, it went within hours.
*Safety Tips–When selling locally, be safe. You never know who you’re dealing with. I usually meet someone in a public place (buying or selling) rather than a. going to their location or b. selling from my home. It makes everyone more comfortable, and you don’t have to divulge much about yourself.
There are lots of other online sites to sell household goods including Let Go and others. Ask your friends or do a web search. Let Go also has the benefit of connecting with people locally, receiving cash rather than online money transfers, and not having to deal with shipping or pay consignment fees.
You may not want to be burdened with shipping large heavy items such as furniture, televisions or lawn equipment. These types of articles are better sold locally. Consignment shops are the old-fashioned way to sell merchandise, from clothes to homewares. Like the online venues, they keep a commission. Note that most regularly markdown merchandise on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Be sure to get an inventory and schedule in writing after leaving the merchandise with them. One of the benefits of consignment shops is that it’s less work for you—no shipping or photographing—plus, you don’t have to interact with the customer or be involved in the sale.
If you want to do a big purge in a hurry, a garage sale is definitely the way to go. You may not get as much as on an online site, but you won’t have to be bothered with weighing, packing and shipping. Plus, you can donate whatever you sell to a charity. The advantage is you can dump a BUNCH of stuff at once and be done with it. While you may not get the highest price, people do pay more than they used to for quality goods. I made $350 at the last one I held and rid myself of some burdensome furniture and an unwanted television. I donated what was left over, and it was mostly a pleasant experience, save for the triage of distant neighbors who were switching stickers on fabric bundles.
Donating is the other way to declutter and there are plenty of people who need clothing and homewares. The Purple Heart Foundation and Goodwill are two charities that spring to mind, but there are lots of others, some of which may match your interests or affinities. So you’re probably wondering how you are going to get paid for this. Depending on your income and financial details, you can sometimes write off donations, so be sure to ask for a donation receipt when you drop off those boxes. This personally never worked for me, but I know people who routinely and successfully do it. Advantages to charities: you GET RID OF IT instantly. Also, many will pick up your merchandise, so you don’t even have to lug it to the bin.
I’m a big fan of donating for quick purges but I do sell a lot on eBay and, more recently, through Facebook groups. My thing is collectibles, however. I find that cashing in on something and rewarding myself with a vacation, another experience, or a small gift (while observing the one-in-one-out rule) gives me a little extra motivation to get rid of stuff. I always feel happy seeing a pile of boxes ready to ship and find myself smiling as I add up the cubic feet of freed space as I gaze at the to-ship pile. Note that little rewards work well on kids too, and it’s especially effective in teaching responsibility!
Have fun getting paid to declutter and be safe!
How to Assemble Your Makeup Battle Station
March 21, 2018
How to Assemble Your Makeup Battle Station
By Pamela Miller
The makeup table or vanity has long been associated with glamor and elegance. But with most of us using a hefty list of beauty products, our makeup tables, vanities or even bathroom counters can quickly enter a state of clutter and disarray. When you have to spend time rummaging through your arsenal of products to find the next step in your routine, it not only slows you down but can lead to some moments of utter frustration. Organizing your space will save time and make the whole process more enjoyable. As an added bonus, a well-planned makeup station looks tidy and attractive.
Invest in Containers
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on containers to help you organize your products. Small jars serve as a great place to store makeup brushes and liners. Store your makeup brushes with the brush bristles pointing up to help them maintain their shape and protect them from being damaged. Fill ¼ of the jar with small marbles or craft filler. This will give your brushes more stability and will keep them from rubbing against one another or the sides of the container.
Makeup organizing trays are readily available at many retailers, but you can also re-purpose a cutlery tray to store and organize your beauty items. The long slots in the trays work well to store mascaras, lipsticks, liners, and blushes. These fit well in bathroom drawers and may also fit in a vanity drawer or rolling cabinet. Mail or paper organizers offer an excellent way to store makeup palettes, keeping them easy to find and access.
Rotating organizers are essential for the makeup maven with a large collection of lipsticks, lip glosses, and mascaras. A rotating organizer allows you to neatly showcase all of your makeup and make the items easier to find. If you don’t have room for one, you can use long trays, placing each item with the label facing up.
Consider Your Space
It’s important to consider how you prefer applying your makeup. Do you prefer to stand up or sit down? If you have the space, a makeup vanity is a good option. It’s helpful to sit if you struggle with a steady hand, as you can lean your elbow on the table and gain some steadiness while applying liners and mascaras.
If you prefer to stand or only have your bathroom countertop to work with, a set of rolling drawers is an excellent option for storing makeup and beauty essentials. Rolling drawers allow you to easily move your makeup station around. This is also a great option if you’re short on space (but big on makeup). An expandable over-the-door hanging makeup organizer is another space-saving option.
Keep Things Organized
Check makeup expiration dates regularly and go through your stash to keep your collection free of clutter. It’s easy to forget about the makeup you have in your collection if you don’t take the time to regularly do a once-over. Take stock every few weeks to ensure you can continue to use your products safely. It will also keep you from purchasing duplicates of products or products that are similar to ones you already own.
Add a Little Flair
As a finishing touch to your neatly organized makeup station, add a little something extra to make the experience feel beautiful. A small bud vase with flowers or the soft glow of a candle on your makeup station will add ambiance and elegance. A pretty porcelain dish can serve as a place to store your most-worn jewelry or beauty essentials you like to keep within easy reach, such as a favorite lipstick or lip balm.
Pamela Miller is a dual licensed cosmetologist and esthetician. As a beauty blogger for Walgreens, she enjoys writing about beauty tips, including how to keep your makeup and skincare products organized for efficient application. Browse a wide assortment of skincare solutions like moisturizers at Walgreens.com.
Although it is intended to be accurate, neither Walgreen Co., its subsidiaries or affiliates, nor any other party assumes for loss or damage due to reliance on this material. Walgreens does not recommend or endorse any products, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned in the article. Reliance on any information provided by this article is solely at your own risk.
Kitchen Sink Organizing
March 13, 2018
How to Organize Your Sink for a More Efficient Kitchen
Our kitchen sinks get a lot of action, so it’s essential to keep them organized. They are a place where dishes, utensils and even cleaning supplies can accumulate and, when disorganized, the kitchen becomes less efficient (and less attractive).
If you find your sink area is frequently cluttered, do an assessment and toss items you don’t use. *You might also like our kitchen toss post on our sister site, Clutter Control Freak. If you never use a particular cleaner, maybe it’s because you don’t like it. Toss it or give it away. Feel free to let go of those gnarly old dish scrubbers too.
While you’re assessing what you don’t need, are there items that would be better stored beneath your sink (this would make for a cleaner counter appearance)? If you’re in the kitchen a lot, or if you cook a lot at home, you may find it’s better to have some items accessible and others neatly stored beneath the sink or on over-cabinet-door organizers.
Sink and Counter Organizers
Sink organizers come in countertop and in-sink models. This brush and sponge holder hangs over the kitchen faucet, providing draining storage for cleaning supplies. The OXO stainless steel organizer includes onboard drainage and keeps brushes and soap stationary while keeping soap corralled. Other sink caddies, including suction types are available on Organize-its sink organizing page.
Under-sink organizers are great for larger cleaning supplies, those less often used, and they keep things hidden from view for a tidy appearance. Sturdy steel pull-out models have double-tiered designs to hold lots of cleaners and supplies and an expandable plastic model is available for odd sink configurations and you can customize it to suit yours.
Over-Cabinet Door Organizers
Over-cabinet door organizers give you storage space in unused segments of your cabinetry. Provided your cabinet doors are a standard width, installation is easy—just hook it over the cabinet and instantly expand your kitchen storage. Great for small kitchens with inefficient built-in storage, over-cabinet door organizers come in a variety of designs to store, not only cleaning supplies, but food wraps, spices, pan lids and more.
Whether you have a large sink and expansive counter, or you live in a tiny house, you’re sure to find products to organize that area of your kitchen at Organize-It. Remember, a big part of getting organized is to frequently assess your belongings and ask yourself if you need them. The other two parts are having efficient storage implements and developing good, consistent cleaning and organizing habits.