Spring, for me, is a season of cleaning up and clearing out—a time after the extravagance of the holidays when I take stock of my belongings and acknowledge when it’s time to let go of items that no longer serve me.
I peruse my wardrobe, scan the bindings of my books, take stock of my desk drawers—all with the goal of ridding myself of the same number of items equivalent to my current age.
These items can be small, like years-old lipstick, or big, like a piece of furniture that no longer fits my current space.
No matter the size, it’s about the mental clarity that comes with owning less, and my desire to combat what I call the ‘clutter creep’ that grows each year with age.
However, slightly less of a Marie Kondo and more of a Marie Forleo, I don’t just stop at downsizing: I make it my goal each year to sell my unwanted goods, decreasing landfill waste and sending my items into homes where they’ll be loved.
And whether you’re looking to make a bit of spare change or do your part in minimizing waste, this decluttering hack of turning your trash into treasure can add up over time, leading to monetary gains to reinvest into your future self for items that truly spark joy. Utilize these free online and in-person marketplaces to pass your purchased goods onto their next homes, and make money along the way.
1. Sell Your Books on SellBackYourBooks.com
If you’re anything like me, books have a way of stacking up to untold levels, filling my bookcases, dream chests, and shelves. While Sell Back Your Books may not take every book, you can scan each book’s ISBN to determine the monetary value of the books.
In total, I received $32.57 for the books I sent back, all without having to pay for shipping.
2. Cross-Reference Buy Back Prices at Bonavendi
Before selling on SellBackYourBooks.com, first check out Bonavendi—a site that searches the website for the best deal across sites like SellBackYourBooks.com. You can enter the barcodes and ISBNs of books, CDs, video games, and DVDs and determine which site is going to give you the most bang for your buck.
3. Sell Your Clothes on Poshmark & Plato’s Closet
Beyond loving Poshmark and Plato’s for all the cute thrifted finds I’ve purchased over the years, they’re also my go-to place to sell lightly used, but no longer wanted clothing.
With a few photo snaps and a catchy headline on Poshmark, you can sell anything from boots and belts to tops and skirts. At Plato’s, all you need to do is bring your clothes and the store managers will do the work of letting you know which pieces they want to keep and re-sell.
Though I don’t donate a large quantity of clothes, in one year I made $27.75 between Poshmark and Plato’s Closet.
4. Repurpose Items on Facebook Marketplace
For any other item that isn’t a book or an article of clothing, Facebook Marketplace is your best bet. Quite possibly the largest repository of online users, Facebook Marketplace offers the ability to sell unwanted items both locally and globally.
In one year, I netted $60 on Facebook, getting rid of larger items that I otherwise would have had to throw out.
5. Host a Garage Sale
Depending on how many items you’re looking to get rid of, garage sales are an excellent way to save yourself the hassle of photographing every individual item and selling it all at once. Consider partnering with a neighbor or friends if you don’t have too many items to sell, and make it a party with music, snacks, and time spent with friends and neighbors.
While those are my main sources of decluttering income, there’s a growing number of online marketplaces that offer similar services which I’ve listed out below:
- Ebay: Great for niche and/or vintage items that can net high value profits (ex. antiques, electronics, and CDs)
- Mercari: An up-and-coming Facebook Marketplace alternative that requires no personal Facebook account
- Depop: An online clothing marketplace for vintage finds
- Craigslist: An older database for selling rental rooms, services, and larger purchases in your localized area
- Decluttr: Similar to Sell Back Your Books, but with old tech, DVDs, CDs, and old phones
In total, I made $120.32 in one year alone by simply refusing to throw out my used items, and selling them to someone else who wanted them instead.
If you start this habit now of recycling your goods to other loving homes, not only will you make some extra money (which never hurts!), but also curate a downsized and more intentional life.
Start small or large, but take this time of crisp spring weather to meditate on your items, and pare your collection down to the ones you love the most.
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Photo:Bongkarn Thanyakij via Megapixl