Junk--we all have it--and, it piles up in our homes, on our properties, and fill storage units across the nation. On average, Americans waste or cause to be wasted 1 million pounds of materials per person every year. That includes 3.5 billion pounds of carpet, 3.7 billion pounds of construction debris, as well as billions of organic and inorganic material. Then, there's all that stuff we continue to stuff into closets, storage areas, under beds, and in our attics, basements, and garages.
We tend to only think about how much stuff we have when searching high and low for something in-particular. Those are the moments we pledge that we'll purge, but, it's not long before we put it aside in favor of something else. Things would be a lot different if we knew just how much worth what we deem as worthless really is, and, there are some consumers who are cashing-in on their junk.
How to Turn Junk into Cash
The thing about most of the items we let collect dust lose value over time. In fact, the vast majority of stuff we "collect" isn't collectible, meaning it doesn't grow in value with age. This doesn't mean you still can't put a little extra money in your pocket, though. You'd probably be surprised by what you can sell and for how much.
Admit it: You have too much stuff, whether clothes spill out of closets, toys fill your basement or you can't actually park your car in the garage. You're not alone. Americans spend $20 billion per year on storage units, according to the National Storage Association. If you're sick of the mess, or want to stop spending money to store stuff you don't use, sell your junk. --Bankrate
It's good to lighten the load and to have more space for what you really want to hold onto, so, before you clean house and dump mounds of junk on the curb, go through it and use these four tips to help you make a few bucks:
- Host or join a yard sale. While this sounds obvious, many of us don't do it because of the time and effort it takes, but, it can really payoff. You can make $200 to $300, even more every year by hosting or joining a yard sale. Do it right, which means holding it early on a Saturday, do plenty of advertising a week in advance, including signs and online. Put the inexpensive, small stuff out front and be sure to have change available.
- Sell stuff online. If you have something that's a collectible or brand specific and can easily be shipped, put it up for sale online on eBay. For those items which are larger, but in-demand, such as strollers, grills, kids' toys, bikes, and the like, list those for sale on Craigslist so it can be picked-up. In all cases, be honest about condition and provide a detailed listing.
- Consign it. For clothing, furniture that's in good condition, and decor, you can simply take it to a consignment shop. It's a win-win situation because you don't have to do anything and you and the shop will both make some money.
- Take a write-off. If you don't want to take the time to sell it, then you can get some cash indirectly by donating stuff to charity. In general, it will have to be in good, working condition, which is just fine because that means it's a bigger tax deduction.