Everyone has heard of or seen the show Hoarders, and we always think, “at least I don’t have that much stuff!” The reality is that we often don’t truly realize how many items and possessions we have until we try to move and have to deal with the organization and moving of all of it. This leads many people to consider decluttering as a means to lighten their moving workload—but what most people don’t realize is that they might be losing quite a bit of money if they go about decluttering the wrong way.
Below, we’ll explain why it’s important to take the time to go about decluttering the right way. We’ll also offer some strategies for how you can get the most value out of your clutter.
Why It’s Important to Declutter the Right Way
When planning a move, you always want to take only the things you really need in order to limit the amount of space that your items will take up. After all, the fewer items you have, the less time you will need to spend when you pack and unpack. But as tempting as it may be to just throw all your unwanted items out in a bulk trash pickup, there are real costs that can be associated with decluttering the wrong way.
There’s the fact that throwing away an item that’s worth $50 represents a $50 opportunity cost. While you might not think it is worth it to sell every little thing you’re getting rid of, there are other ways to get value out of clutter without having to sell a dozen $10 items. As well, when it comes to actually disposing of a large amount of items, you sometimes have to pay extra for large removal fees. You may even have so much that you need to pay to dump it somewhere.
So how can you declutter without losing a lot of potential value? We offer a few suggestions below.
How to Get the Most Value out of Your Clutter
First, when it comes to selling items, eBay is best for specific specialty items or hobby-based items that are not things people use everyday, such as a valuable baseball card or a collector’s item. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to find someone on Facebook Marketplace who is specifically looking for a first edition copy of Superman from the 1940’s. When it comes to these types of items, eBay is the only way to go. Although it takes a little more effort than Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, the return on value and time saved waiting for a buyer to contact you can be very valuable.
Speaking of Craigslist, this can be the best option for higher-value items that people specifically search for rather than impulse purchases. This includes items like a second car or smartphone that you won’t be taking with you or large appliances and tools like a lawnmower, washing machine or vacuum cleaner. These are things someone is only likely to buy if they currently need one but are not looking for a specific model.
Craigslist, while not as certain as eBay, is also less likely to make you deal with as many lowballers on price. This is especially true if you put the price just a bit higher than what you’re hoping for and then accept someone’s offer when they lowball you $100 to your original price. Be sure to meet in public and agree to a price beforehand, and you won’t have too much to worry about. Don’t forget to wear a mask and bring sanitizer for the cash!
Facebook Marketplace is great for small items that people are likely to buy on impulse, and not for people who will be looking for one specific thing. For example, furniture can be great to sell here, because a buyer might feel they have a use for your item even if they weren’t specifically looking for it. Facebook Marketplace is also great for cheaper items that everyone wants but not a lot of people have, like grills or similar items. You can even find success selling something like a hairdryer or other small utility items that you aren’t bringing if you want to make some extra cash. This is also a great place to post items you just want someone to pick up for free.
While these strategies might take a bit more time than simply tossing out your old unwanted items, the value you’ll get out of them can be well worth the trouble. Give some of them a try next time you’re lightening your load before a move!