Right now I’m about ¾ way through a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. In the book, which I highly recommend, the wise author teaches us first to pare down our items. Yes, before any cleaning, we need to first limit the amount of stuff we have. The author says this is the time to ‘dispose of’ or ‘trash’ or ‘throw away’ our things. Well, the author does occasionally mention you can donate the things you no longer need. But I recommend that if you want a little extra cash – sell those things.
I like to put the information to use as soon as I read a ‘self-improvement’ book such as this one. Thus, I’ve been using her cleaning principles in my own life. What a difference it has made! The step one to her cleaning process is to get rid of everything ‘which doesn’t bring joy to your heart.’ When you touch an object, are you happy it’s in your life at the current moment? Throw away- sell any item which doesn’t bring you joy in the moment you touch it. She uses books as an example. With the internet, more and more people are buying cheap books which are readily available. Which is great but most people don’t actually read them. Instead of saying, “I’ll get around to reading that book.” Just sell it. If you decided not to read it right after you bought it, what makes you think you’ll suddenly get around to reading it now?
This isn’t to say you’ve failed your ambitions by not reading the book. Rather, the book has indeed served its purpose. It showed you that you’re not too interested in the book. It’s okay. You’ve decided to do things with your time that are more in-line with your interests and goals. If one day, you decide you want to give the book another go, just buy another copy. It’s not worth having it clutter up your life in the meantime.
The author recommends you clean your house in one fell swoop. It’s best this way. You will be able to see everything you have and it’ll show you how much stuff you really don’t need. The author runs a cleaning consulting business. None of her clients have ever relapsed after using this approach.
Clean by categories. Find all the books in your house. Touch them. But don’t read them. Decide if they bring joy to your life. If they don’t, add them to the sell pile. Do this until all your possessions you don’t want have been allocated to be sold. I recommend using eBay because it’s free to list and gets your item in front of a massive audience. The more people you get bidding on an item, the better.
Now, selling things on eBay does take some time and physical space. You need to photograph items (unless you can find good stock photos which accurately represent the item). You need to list them and ship them. By using this cleaning method, you will need an entire room dedicated to running your temporary eBay business. It may seem overwhelming but once you start getting rid of things, your heart will feel 10x lighter.
Sometimes ways to make money are right under your nose. If you want a little extra money, sometimes turning inward helps the most. There probably isn’t a single person reading this who doesn’t have at least 5 items they could get rid of this second.
What will you find to sell on eBay?
I’m a personal finance freelance writer and webmaster. I welcome you to visit me at www.thefrugalpreneur.com