We had a failed block sale here on Frugalista Street this summer. The weather was against us. But going through the exercise of sorting and pricing all that stuff, getting up at dawn to set it up on tables and then sitting in front of my house all day waiting for customers -- it all made me realize something.
With a few exceptions, most people don't make enough money on garage sales to make them worth their time. The comments I got about my sale fail post confirmed that.
There are far more efficient ways to get rid of clutter profitably. I've been thinking about clutter clearing lately because a) Amy Guth is taking the Frugalista Challenge and one of her goals is to wisely clean out some stuff, and b) The Trib reporting about the hoarding disorder is enough to make anyone look around and say, Gee, couldn't we have a less cluttered house?
So, today, I bring you instructions on how to triage your stuff in order to efficiently and profitably dispose of it. Next week, a list of good businesses or organizations to help you get rid of your stuff advantageously.
And what about that $100? Here's the deal. Just like this past week, next week I'll be doing a giveaway on Thursday -- a gift certificate or bank card worth $100. But this week, I'm making you work (a little) to enter. Follow my triage steps over the weekend or at least before Thursday, and take a picture of your triaged stuff. Send me the picture so I can post it. You'll also have a chance to enter by leaving info about what you're going to get rid of in the comments, but those who send in their photos will get two extra entries for doing so.
(UPDATE: I will send at least some small prize to EVERY person who sends me a photo of their triaged junk. I got lots of free product coupons at BlogHer.)
These triage instructions are just for sorting. Next week, I'll put up a post about where to unload your electronics, kids clothes, adult clothes, books and furniture once you've sorted it.
The Triage Steps:
1) Go through your house, storage space or garage with a big basket, bag, whatever, and dump in everything you want to get rid of. You might want to carry a second bag for outright trash, just to speed things along.
2) Move any electronics into a separate bin and set aside. These you can almost definitely sell, and next week's post will suggest where.
3) Separate any children's clothing into two bags: high-end brands in good condition, and run-of-the mill or stained stuff. The every day stuff you'll probably want to donate or trade, while the high-end stuff can be resold.
4) Separate adult clothes into current designer/vintage, current fashionable, and out-of-style/average. The first two have potential resale value.
5) Put all books, children's and adults, into one bin. Throw in CDs, video games and DVDs, too.
6) Tag any unweildy or heavy items like furniture.
7) Throw all leftovers that don't fit into any category into a box.
People, I am doing some triage myself this weekend! Now that I've posted it, you will hold me to it. My photo is coming next week, as well as my list of places to dispose of this stuff, and, of course, on Thursday, the next $100 giveaway!