Sunday, July 22, 2012

Trash it for cash

My kids are away on vacation, and although I miss them terribly, I'm taking this opportunity to clean out the basement.  When we moved into our new house, we brought with us a hundred  a few boxes of toys, electronics, books, etc., that never got unpacked, and now sit taking up half of our new basement.  Turning that clutter to cash is something I should have done long before we moved.  Ya think?!  So I'm posting about it here, in case you are less scatterbrained than me, and do things in the right order.

However before I tackle sorting through the boxes, I've been doing some research on how to possibly make some cash on these things, before we make a trip to the dump.  In looking around I realize lots of the toys are just outgrown, not broken.  We have billions of electronics that have either been upgraded, or duplicated.  Old snowsuits, boots, etc.  You get my drift.

I have had garage sales, and they take a lot of work, so with too much on my plate at the moment, I'm not doing that again!  At least not this year... So here are a few ideas I've seen:

Electronics.  NextWorth.com and Gazelle.com buy back old cell phones, cameras and laptops in stores such as Target and Radio Shack.  The stores usually give you a store credit.  I personally looooove Target, so credit would work for me!  Alternatively, you can go to buymytronics.com or sellcell.com for estimates if you prefer cash.  Just log on to get an estimate.

CDs and DVDs.  Musical tastes change and we have lots of duplicate DVDs.  Not to mention, we don't really use either anymore, since we all have ipods or netflix!  Try secondspin.com and see what kind of prices you can get for your used (or unused) CDs and DVDs.

Appliances. If they still work, washers, dryers and refrigerators can be sold on craigslist.org. I like craigslist because, unlike ebay, you can usually arrange for someone to pick up the appliance too, so its saves you any hassle.

Furniture. Same with appliances, if they're in fairly decent condition, you'd be surprised at how fast you can sell furniture on craigslist.

Clothes.  Contact a local consignment shop.  You can sometimes earn up to 60% of what the shop makes on your cast-offs.

Books.  A used bookstore will pay up to 1$ per paperback if it's in good condition.  Over the years, we have collected tons of paperbacks which now sit in various boxes in the basement.

Toys. You can sell larger toys separately, or group similar smaller toys.  Just list them on craigslist.  However, as all Moms know, this is has to be a covert operation!  Kids never want to get rid of any of their stuff, no matter how old it is, or how long it's gone unused.  Thus, I'm doing this clean-out while my kids are away!  Is that mean? Maybe, but it's either that or we are going to end up featured on "Hoarders" in a couple of years.

Of course your going to want to make sure anything you sell is clean, and looks as presentable as possible.  We sold some wicker chairs which had been used as a scratching post by our darling kitty, and that were dusty from a year in a storage bin.  But, one mans trash is another mans treasure.  All we did was hose them off and give them a quick coat of polyurethane to cover some of the scratches.  They sold on craigslist after 3 days.

So I'm going to try my hand at selling some things, and whatever is leftover, depending on it's condition, will either be donated to The Salvation Army or taken to the dump.

I'll keep you posted on my progress - and whether I make enough money to either

a.) go on a cruise,  b.) go out to dinner, or c.) buy a cup of coffee...

If anyone has any other good sites or stores that turn clutter to cash, please let me know!