Most sites I’ve read on decluttering advice you to be careful when selling your clutter. I would agree with them very much in relation to my own experience. It can be hard enough to declutter, but what can be even harder is ‘what to do with it all!’ The easiest way is to donate. Usually everyone will take something for free. The minimalists out there who’ve been there done that would probably all agree on this, holding on clutter, even that you actually want to get rid of, can be detrimental on your emotions and time. Maybe I ignored this advice at the time. Maybe I’m stubborn on getting something back for what I paid for it. It has taken a while to click and has been a struggle on what living minimally (or frugally means!)
I would advice one to donate as much as possible. Find a place that can really use your items. It will help you feel better to know someone can really use it. It doesn’t all have to go to the Goodwill. Nursing homes, homeless shelters, kid’s places, special thrift stores, humane societies, churches, schools. You can also give things away to friends. One day they may return the favor for something you really need!
I think the next easiest way to get rid of stuff is at an auction. It’s easy as long as you don’t stress about what money you’re going to get for your stuff. Many auctions will come and pick up all the stuff as well. Auction houses are different on what they take. Some will take anything, some are very choosy. In the end, all you have to do is pick up your check and anything you didn’t sell.
If you want to sell your items yourself the next easiest option may be a yard sale. They’re done in a weekend, as long as you’re willing to sell something for some price, you may end up selling a lot of things. Surely someone will want them! They can be a lot of work, pricing everything and setting it all up. But you can make some cash within a weekend. If you choose to have a yard sale because you need all the money you can get, you might do this first before donating. Then donate what you meant to afterwards.
The next option of selling is through consignment places. Some places are picky about what they take. Some will put it on consignment while others will pay you up front and you’re done. Weigh your options when researching. Many consignment places are revolved around media, electronics, clothing, vintage items, and home goods.
Another option is Craigslist and other similar groups. You will likely have to play a waiting game; waiting for people to call. I think it’s a lot of worry to sell on that site, but when you sell something, you may get a good price and you’ll pay no fees! You should take measures to make sure that person is legitimately interesting in buying it. Then you have to meet. If they just want to look at the item for now, then you may have to meet them a second time. You also need to make sure their payment is legitimate. Always accept cash only and if at all possible go and meet them somewhere in a busy area. Try to have another person with you.
The last way and more time investing way to sell is through online sites. eBay, Etsy, and many others. You will have quite a few fees in the process, have to deal with shipping, and may have to deal with some bad customers. Overall, I have done well on eBay. But I have had some horrible customers, have had many people not pay for items, lost some items in the mail (or really stolen), some items were broken, some I barely made any money on, some I paid the person to take it!! It’s a lot of work and a lot of time. I recommend only selling things you know will sell well and those that are worth more money. It is a lot of hassle, so I personally would not suggest it now knowing what it’s like. If you do decide to do it, decide to sell your stuff as quickly as possible. If it doesn’t sell quickly, then proceed with other means. Lingering on the possibility of sales can begin to cause anxiety. I would rather invest that time into something more productive!
Is it worth it?
After focusing on decluttering for the past few years, I would advice to donate as many items or sell as many items as you can in a yard sale and donate another larger part. The quicker you get rid of your clutter, the faster you will be onto something productive. I think we can begin to learn better about making wiser purchases in the future. Dealing with customers online has been extremely tough and taxing mentally. Now that I know the trouble of getting rid of stuff, I am much more likely to not acquire stuff. Dealing with the chaos of selling stuff has given me a new perspective on what thoughts I would rather be thinking than those dealing with stuff.