Get Rid Of Clutter AND Make Cash

The kids are out of school and what better time to clear out the clutter and make some money.  You have the kids to help and what better enticement for them then the chance to earn some money, right?  The trick is getting it done right.

I know you are already stressing about the amount of work, right?  I have several piles going in the garage with stuff I would like to sell BUT the reality is, it never happens.  Then it gets donated to church rummage sale or to the local thrift store.  The thing is, I didn’t get rid of the clutter, I simply moved it to another part of the house.  Not making any money and creating more of a mess in the garage.   I have finally faced the facts – I don’t have the time nor the energy to do a yard sale, sell on ebay (been there done it and it was a pain!) so I just donate to a good local cause.  If this is you, it is okay for admit it – it is the first step to getting rid of the clutter.

If you are going to have  sale –  pick a date (several months from now) how about just before the kids go back to school.  This way they will  have some of their own money to shop with, sound good?  This gives you a goal.

Now, set up several boxes to collect items for the sale.  Plastic tubs are the best because they keep the bugs out while you are decluttering.  I prefer boxes so whatever doesn’t sell can just go to a local cause.  BUT if you are going to save things to sell at the next one……..plastic is the way to go.

Okay, you have decided to have a sale, gathered your items and now comes the tough party – PRICING!  We have heard the tales of those who make thousands while most of us scrape by with a hundred or so (more if we are lucky), the key is finding way to price which works for you.

I like the color dot idea because you can grab them at the dollar store and it takes the stress of out individually pricing things.  Create a poster with a key showing what each dot means, price wise, such as a green dots equal one quarter, yellow dots are fifty cents, blue dots are a dollar, etc. The advantage of this method is, it is easy to slash prices at the end of the day, since you can just change the key for what the dots mean.  If you want, you can add these sticker to the item as you go through your home decluttering, so you don’t have to have a marathon session for pricing right before the sale.

The key to a successful sale or event is advertising.  I can’t tell you how many “garage sale” signs I pass and the information is so small you can hardly read it.  Either make bigger signs OR use arrows.  I actually found an amazing sale with just arrows pointing at every corner on the “garage sale” sign.  It was tucked away but people were finding it because of the signs.  Okay, enough of my soap box.  LOL

Try to coordinate with other families in your neighborhood, if possible, to all have your sales on the same day. The more sales, the more people will come to all of them. This will also help you commit to a deadline for your sale, since others are also participating, which can be a good motivation factor.

Now, spread the word far and wide. Some of my favorite inexpensive methods include ads on Craigslist, large colorful signs on major roadways, and notices on community noticeboards, such as in your local grocery store.  If you do a community yard sale, maybe invest in a classified ad in the newspaper.  Social media is huge so they will get you some customers too BUT don’t rely on just it for your foot traffic.  .

The key to keeping your sanity during all of this is be organized about the process. I know it sounds crazy because if you were organized – you wouldn’t need to de-clutter and have a sale, right?

During the whole process keep your two goals in mind as you prepare: #1 – make some money, and #2 – get rid of clutter.

You won’t be able to do a sale on your own and it is more fun, if you enlist helpers for the day. Give each helper a specific task, including directing crowds, answering questions, making sales, and taking payments. You may also want someone to help with entertainment, such as keeping nice music going, passing out (or selling) refreshments, etc.  Having some cold water or cookies are always a good way to make some quick sales AND get the kids involved.Make sure you  have lots of small bills and change.

Part of the fun of garage sales for those buying is scoring a deal and bargaining. Be ready to haggle and cut deals, since your goal is to get this stuff out of your home. Throw in freebies, or buy one get one half of deals, anything to get the stuff out of your home.  Don’t wait till the end of the day to haggle – be willing to do it all day long.

The truth is, you won’t sell everything.  Make arrangements for a charity to come pick up the rest, or drop it off yourself directly from your lawn at the end of the sale to the charity of your choice.  Remember we are clearing clutter!

A long post but hopefully a helpful one!  Share your best garage/yard sale tips with us.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

How Many Ways Can You Use a Large Utility Tote?

Have you ever thought about it?  Do you think totes are just for the grocery store?  Or maybe you think beach bag? Or purse (okay maybe not a large utility tote)?  The truth is totes come in every shape and size, right?  If we stop to the grocery store, how many times have you forgotten the bags at home or maybe they are still in the trunk of the car…. admit it, I’m not alone, right? Yes, this “Bag Lady” does occasionally forget to take her totes with her….. SHHH!!!  It will be our little secret.

Let’s talk about Thirty One’s Large Utility Tote for a minute…. Did you know it has been the TOP SELLER (usually the #1 spot) since it was first introduced?  You may ask why?  It is just a tote… but not just any tote.  No, it doesn’t have magical powers…..

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The top use is for grocery shopping….I have a simple system to ensure the totes are in the care when I head to the store. Once I unpack the totes, I set them by the door so they are in plain sight when I go out to the car the next time.  They are always put in the truck of the CRV.  So, how do I remember to take them with me?  On the days I am grocery shopping, I put my purse in the trunk.  Yup, I can’t go shopping without my purse, so when I open the trunk to get my purse, I pick up my totes.    Sometimes I will place them on the seat next to me.  I don’t know about you but I need to have things written on a list OR right in front of me in order to remember them.
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Add a Double Chill Thermal to your large utility tote and you have the perfect way to keep your frozen foods solid during the hot summer months.  Okay, so most of us are battling the frigid cold right now but summer is just around the corner. This set of two water-resistant Leak Lock® thermal inserts lets you pack ice without worry, and side handles make these soft-sided cooler bags easy to carry.  Great for grocery shopping, a day at the beach or a picnic.
Everyone is into decluttering these days…. why not use a large utility tote it to keep your closet in order.  Can you imagine how many blankets you could fit in one if you used the Tidying Up method of folding???  It even collapses for easy storage!  AND it can be personalized!  Shoes all over the floor?  Why not try dividing a tote with bottle dividers from the liquor store?
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Have kids in sports?  Admit it, their equipment is ALL over the trunk of the car.  There is always something that goes missing – a glove, a sock, a shirt – why not make it easy by putting a tote in the trunk JUST for sporting equipment or after school activities.  How about tailgating at all of the games/ practices this spring?   Picture-201.png    Know someone getting married?  The large utility tote is a great wedding gift…

Did I mention the BEST part of the large utility tote in February????  It is on SALE!!!  Who doesn’t love a sale right?

Why not grab TWO and split the cost with your bestie!

So many uses for just one bag… which one is calling you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Don’t just declutter – DE-OWN

I didn’t write this article but I had to share it with you. It is that good, and puts many things in perspective.  Thank you One Busy Mom of Three for this post.

Owning less is far more beneficial than organizing more.” – Joshua Becker

We are a culture drowning in our possessions. We take in more and more (holiday, birthdays, sales, needs), but rarely find opportunity to discard of it. As a result, our homes fill up with more and more stuff. And because we believe the best solution is to find organizational tools to manage all of it, we seek out bigger containers or more efficient organizational tips and tricks. But simply organizing our stuff (without removing it) is always only a temporary solution. By definition, organizing possessions is an action that must be repeated over and over and over again.

At its heart, organizing is simply rearranging. And though we may find storage solutions today, we are quickly forced to find new ones as early as tomorrow. Additionally, organizing our stuff (without removing it) has some other major shortcomings that are rarely considered:

  1. It doesn’t benefit anyone else. The possessions we rarely use sit on shelves in our basements, attics, and garages… even while some of our closest friends desperately need them.
  2. It doesn’t solve our debt problems. It never addresses the underlying issue that we just buy too much stuff. In fact, many times, the act of rearranging our stuff even costs us more as we purchase containers, storage units, or larger homes to house it.
  3. It doesn’t turn back our desire for more. The simple act of organizing our things into boxes, plastic bins, or extra closets doesn’t turn back our desire to purchase more things. The culture-driven inclination to find happiness in our possessions is rarely thwarted in any way through the process.
  4. It doesn’t force us to evaluate our lives. While rearranging our stuff may cause us to look at each of our possessions, it does not force us to evaluate them—especially if we are just putting them in boxes and closing the lids. On the other hand, removing possessions from our home forces questions of passion, values, and what’s truly most important to us.
  5. It accomplishes little in paving the way for other changes.Organizing may provide a temporary lift to our attitude. It clears a room and subsequently clears our mind, but rarely paves the way for healthy, major lifestyle changes. Our house is too small, our income is too little, and we still can’t find enough time in the day. We may have rearranged our stuff… but not our lives.

On the other hand, the act of removing possessions from our home accomplishes many of those purposes. It is not a temporary solution that must be repeated. It is an action of permanence—once an item has been removed, it is removed completely. Whether we re-sell our possessions, donate them to charity, or give them to a friend, they are immediately put to use by those who need them.

Removing possessions begins to turn back our desire for more as we find freedom, happiness, and abundance in owning less. And removing ourselves from the all-consuming desire to own more creates opportunity for significant life change to take place.

As you seek to get your home (and life) organized, challenge yourself to remove the unneeded things in your home. Rid yourself of the extra weight in a permanent manner. Carry a trash bag from room-to-room. See how big of a donation pile you can make. Or help eliminate debt by selling them. It doesn’t matter so much how you remove them, as long as you do. For it is far better to de-own than declutter.

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

When Discontentment Comes Knocking at Your Door

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5 (ESV)

The movers were arriving in less than 10 days, and I still had so much to pack.

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Shipping boxes, wrapping paper and rolls of tape were everywhere. Every room in our house begged for attention, and I didn’t know which direction to go first.

Downsizing wasn’t fun, but it was necessary. With a squeezing economy and company cutbacks, our family made the difficult decision to sell our home and minimize our debt.

Deep inside I knew it was the right choice, but the process was hard. And although I tried to put on a happy face, my heart was aching.

I dragged myself from room to room, pouting every step of the way. I stared at the massive amount of accumulated stuff, and it totally overwhelmed me. Clothes, furniture, linens, accessories … and enough kitchen appliances to open a community diner.

Bulging closets and overflowing dresser drawers reminded me of past shopping sprees where I’d picked up many of the items. And now I was blaming the early-bird door busters and all those neon clearance stickers that lured me in the first place.

I had prided myself on all the money I saved buying everything on sale. Who was I kidding?

The truth was our checking account balance was shrinking, yet I wanted to buy new things. All the while, insisting these were purchases we needed.

But now, all those bargains had to be boxed up, moved and put into storage. My “treasures” had become burdens. As I looked around at all the clutter, I wondered if it was really my heart, not my home, that needed to be de‑cluttered.

It was time to make some major adjustments in my thought life and begin living out today’s verse in Hebrews 13:5, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have.”

God spoke to me that day with gentle conviction. It was time to stop making excuses for buying so much and be content with less. A lot less. Kneeling in my storage room, I prayed and asked God to forgive me and help me change. Not just for a season, but as a new way of living.

When the movers arrived, everything was boxed and ready to go. Instead of heading to a storage facility, we delivered most of those boxes to a local children’s home in desperate need of household items and clothing.

It felt freeing to give away more and keep less. To experience the Giver instead of holding on to the material gifts. To trust God’s provision and stop worrying about having enough. To simply be content.

Maybe sometimes you struggle with contentment, too. Do you ever find yourself buying something you really don’t need? I know … it was probably on sale, right?

The cure to discontentment is not found in acquiring more things. It’s found in experiencing more of God’s presence. Remember what He promises in today’s key verse, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

Perhaps God is asking you to keep less and give away more. To be content with what you already have and not feel the urge to buy more.

Friend, don’t fall for the lies I did. Trust God will provide what you need when you need it. If you have extra items, consider giving them away to someone else and experience the weightless freedom of being content with less.

Thank you LEAH DIPASCAL for today’s message.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Monkeys Gone Wild

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Does Spring and warmer weather bring thoughts of cleaning out?  You know “de-cluttering” all of that stuff that had been gathering over the winter.  Our garage is my “clutter spot”.  I can’t wait to get in there and clean out the mess.

Many would say that a cluttered space = a cluttered mind.  I would have to agree because when my office is a HOT mess – I can’t work or even think about what needs to be done.

I love this visual:

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Buddhists often refer to an overly-busy mind as the Monkey Mind.  Our thoughts become like monkeys gone wild – running amok, swinging wildly from here to there, with the occasional temper tantrum, and pout.  Why or how do we let this craziness happen?  Here are some reasons that we get “monkey mind”:

  • Unconscious procrastination (something we need to do but don’t want to)
  • Feeling uncomfortable, frustrated, or angry about a situation or project
  • Feeling overwhelmed (tons to do and simply doesn’t know where – or even how – to start)
  • Habit (it’s a coping mechanism)
  • The thing is, though, he recognizes that mental clutter leads him down this rabbit hole of stress and torment and away from focus, calm, and productivity.

Do you recognize when the monkeys have taken over and you are feel like you are in a rabbit hole of stress and torment?

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So, how do we de-clutter our mind? Here are some tips:

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A great list of ideas but if you are like me the biggest obstacle is to “LET IT GO”.  Yes, I am sitting here humming the song to myself.  The key is that we need to de-clutter our minds more often.  As we approach the weekend with an endless list of chores, errands, incomplete work, or kids activities – take a moment to de-clutter.  Make a list of all that needs to be done.  Prioritize that list.  Novel concept – ASK for help (that is part of letting go).  Then be kind to yourself.  I mean what is the worst that could happen if something on the list doesn’t get done – BE HONEST!

Deep breathing, yoga, long walks, running, swimming, or even meditation are magnificent ways to de-clutter your noggin’.  This is also a great way to be kind to yourself.  You will be surprised at how much focus and energy you have when you take some time to gain perspective an de-clutter.

So, who is ready to de-clutter their mind before the weekend?  Share with us how you de-clutter or de-stress.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!