Recently, I’ve been dismantling my world. I’ve been searching all the nooks and crannies…seeing what works, what doesn’t; what I like, what I don’t; what I need vs. what I’m told is required. I’ve come up with some tips.
How to Decide What to Keep
Do you need it?
Kind of an obvious question, but really not. After all, I ended up with 15 vases. Not all of them were the same size, of course. But there were a couple I used all the time, and the others, hardly ever. I kept the two that I loved and used often, and a pitcher we got on vacation that can double as a vase for large arrangements.
Do you love it?
When I first heard about organization experts speaking about items “sparking joy”, I thought it was a bit of holistic nonsense. However, when I really thought about it, I have always followed that advice in my homes–I always wanted my possessions to be beautiful or functional (and preferably both).
Do you have a place for it?
My husband, 2 kids, 3 dogs, cat and I are downsizing (you can read about that decision here). We bought a falling apart house that needs extensive renovations, so we’ll likely be living in my parents’ RV for a couple of months while it is being gutted and rebuilt. Everything we own is getting packed up for storage, except of course the items we need for the next several months. Quite tricky with kids and contractors–kids change sizes quickly, and renovations could run into the colder months, so I have to plan for every scenario. But, I’ve found a few things that I love at a salvage shop and bought them for the new place–a mantle, bathroom sink, and stone window box. However, I am being super picky in my selections and very strict with my decluttering–if I can’t picture where it might go in the new home, out it goes. We have sold A LOT.
How to Sell What you Don’t Want
Here’s how we went about it:
- Pull out everything in your house; move all the items you want to sell into one or two rooms (my dining room was unusable for weeks).
- Ask friends if they are interested in anything. We sold about $1,200 in stuff to friends.
- Tag EVERYTHING, then host an epic garage sale (I’ll do another post on how to organize a killer garage sale). We made $1,500 at our garage sale selling things we didn’t even use.
- Load up all the leftovers besides furniture into your car/van and take it directly to Goodwill or another donation center. They will help you with unloading, and give you a receipt that you can use for tax write-offs. If you have too much to transport yourself many donation centers will even pick up!
- Take pictures of the furniture and other large items, and then get busy posting on Craigslist.
Now, a lot of the furniture I didn’t include in the garage sale unless we were listing it super duper cheaply (for example, an old metal patio set was $35). I have found that at garage sales, you need rock bottom prices and high volume. I took pictures of the furniture nicely staged, in natural light.
When posting on Craigslist, here are some tips:
- Spell check your ad. I hate it when it’s all typos!
- Provide a lot of description about the piece, including what kind of paint was used, how old it is, features you liked, how you used it, how other people might use it, etc.
- Pictures, pictures, pictures. All angles, natural light. Show flaws if there are any.
- Include a blurb saying you’re selling other items, and link the ads together with the Craigslist button “more ads by this user”. I found this incredibly helpful and buyers seemed to as well.
- Be reasonable with your prices–take the emotion out of it.
- Respond to inquiries quickly, and provide your number for texting. I have had 50/50 luck with the Craigslist email. Usually when I respond I provide my mobile number to accelerate the process.
- Plan for a friend or spouse to be with you if people are coming to your house, or if possible, meet in a public place.
- Always be aware of scammers. I had several reach out to me, and my stuff was relatively cheap in the grand scheme of things! Cash only, local deals.
We’ve made a few thousand more through selling things on Craigslist. It is so lightening to move it out of your house, and be unencumbered by the weight of your possessions.
As many of you may be aware, I am working with Stephanie to expand REimagine Studio’s offerings–developing a dedicated line for organizing moves, helping declutter and curate homes, and providing staging and design services. Please contact us today for more details!