With Christmas less than a month away and a move in my very near future, I’ve been taking inventory of people and things in my house so I can come up with a rational plan to get rid of stuff. Getting rid of the kids is not an option. I kid, I kid… mostly.
I have three kids–soon to be four, as I’m in the process of adopting my nephew. They are 20, 18 (girl), 12, and 5. As you might imagine, we were able to start by getting rid of things. Below are some of the ways we cleared out some stuff and made a few bucks in the process.
Piles Upon Piles Upon… Well, Piles
It didn’t take us long to create four rather large stacks of items that included a compilation of items from each person and/or room in the house. The piles were labeled in four categories–keep, trash, sell, and donate–all of which are self-explanatory so I’m going to jump ahead to the last two–selling and donating.
Selling Items, Buying Used
Upon going through all the boy stuff around here, there was much that went to the trash, stuff that was saved, and items that were donated. We also sold some things too. My boys have many Xbox games. They traded in games they no longer play at GameStop. While the money was nominal, it does add up and the idea was to get organized, while making a few bucks was a bonus.
My older son sold some clothes to Plato’s Closet, while my teenage daughter took all her cute prom dresses and sold them at the same store and a garage sale, but not before trading a few with her friends. Although, this was a minor crisis of sorts, because, “What if someone made a comment about the dress being worn by someone else?” The sheer horror is unimaginable, apparently.
I have to be honest; I’ve always been one of those people who avoid having a garage sale. Even when that good friend tells you to grab some stuff and come sell it at their garage sale. I don’t have a particular reason, it’s just never happened before now. In total, $175 was gained and the items left were donated to the school or women’s shelter. I personally don’t donate to Goodwill unless absolutely necessary, but that is merely a preference.
Money Saving Tips
- Both teens are on my cellphone bill. They’ve both lost their expensive Android phones at this point, yet that doesn’t stop the company from wanting their money, but that’s another story for another day. My initial call started with my asking how I could lower my bill and if they had any promotions. It turns out I was able to lower the data plans on both phones; but not without some persistence on my part. The same can be said for all utility bills–call and ask–you won’t know unless you try.
The perfect example is the flyers I kept getting in the mail about switching auto insurance. I have to admit, out of sheer laziness, brand loyalty, and the chaos of life in general, I never even did any research. The long and short of it–I finally did switch companies and I’m saving over $50 a month. Ask the auto insurance company for ways to save on your bill–some companies have teen programs for grades or keeping a driving log that help lower the premium.
- My youngest son is starting out in football and we got used equipment, not new. It saved a lot of money and benefited us as well as the parents that made a few dollars out of the deal.
- I don’t like to shop. I don’t like long lines and I don’t participate in Black Friday, never have. But, I have been getting better at signing up for newsletters from my favorite companies and watching their Twitter and Facebook accounts to see coupons, sales, and discounts. Often times you can get the deal online but not in the store and vice versa. Speaking of deals, the Barcode Scanner App is a helpful tool for comparing prices and reviews on items you want to buy.
There are clearly much more things that I can still do but these are a few of the immediate things that I was able to do to start moving things around. Please do share any tips I may have missed!
This is a guest post by Chrissie Cole, a freelance writer for various blogs, including Speedy Incorporation, which helps new small business owners learn everything they need to know about how to form an LLC as well as offering advice and information about running their business successfully via their small business marketing blog.
Photo by madsknet/Flickr