As professional organizers, we know that the process of decluttering a home or work space can feel extremely daunting. That’s generally because people think of organizing as one single activity. But once you understand that the work must be broken down into bite-sized tasks, it becomes much more manageable!
One of those tasks is selling items that you no longer wish to keep. Not everything is worth selling, and deciding what to sell can feel like a big job. As a result, people hold on to stuff because they “might sell it someday.” I am here to tell you that if you think you might sell it later, it’s best to do it now while the item still may have some value. And if it doesn’t, you can then move forward with a decision about what to do next, like donating the item or giving it away.
Tips for Selling Your Stuff (with Sella!)
Many people don’t opt to sell unwanted items because of the amount of work involved, but companies like the Portland-based Sella can bridge that gap. Sella will take your items, photograph them properly, list them on up to five different online marketplaces, write an engaging and accurate item listing, monitor your listing and sell the item for you. You keep the whole profit of your sale and only pay an affordable flat-rate fee for their service. There are no commissions or hidden fees.
Sella has drop-off locations in Portland or you can arrange to have them come directly to your home to pick up and load your items for you.
We used Sella recently to help clean out a client’s home. Not only were they fast, professional and great communicators, it lifted the burden of trying to figure out how to see that stuff to a bunch of different vendors. Win-win for everyone!
Don’t know where to start looking for what to sell? Here are two ways to break down the process.
- Create a list of all the rooms you want to declutter and then number them in the order you wish to accomplish the task. We recommend starting with smaller, less sentimental rooms and working your way to the larger rooms as you get the hang of things. Many people will start in the bathrooms and closets, and work their way through the spare bedrooms, offices, bedrooms, living spaces, kitchens, and then finish in the garage, basement, and attics. But you should do it in whatever order works best for you!
- Notice the “hot spots” in each of those rooms, and tackle those areas first. Every room has its hot spots – these are areas that have accumulated a majority of the excess in the room. Each of these areas usually has the potential to be decluttered.
We’ve put together a list of the typical “hot spot” clutter zones and some of the items that are likely to sell.
Office Hot Spots: Desk drawers, bookshelves, or filing cabinets
Types of items that sell: Smartphones, headphones, document scanners, routers, bluetooth headsets, office phones, video conferencing cameras, laptops
Living Room Hot Spots: Coffee table and entertainment center
Types of items that sell: Collectible books or games, small home decor items
Bathroom Hot Spots: Medicine cabinet and cabinets under the sink.
Types of items that sell: Extra curling irons or hair dryers
Bedroom Hot Spots: Bedside tables and of course, closets
Types of items that sell: Clean, well-kept accessories, jewelry, outdoor gear (hiking, skiing, etc), outerwear (jackets, etc), designer bags
Kitchen Hot Spots: Junk drawer, pantry, cooking utensil drawers
Types of items that sell: Small appliances like microwaves, mixers, rice cookers, blenders and juicers
Garage / Attic / Basement Hot Spots: Most garage, attic or basement is a hot spot in and of itself!
Types of items that sell: Good condition sports gear, baby gear, (monitors, cameras in working order), toys, instruments, tools, collectibles, photography/hobby gear
The main requirement for Sella to take an item is that it can’t be too big, too heavy, and could easily sell for $30.
Now that you’ve mapped out a game plan about how to approach your project, the next step is to create a sorting system to use as you purge. Whenever you are ready to let go of something, place it in one of five piles:
- Recycle: Consider using a local company like Ridwell to get repurpose responsibly
- Trash: These are the things that will go to the landfill, so choose carefully. We like Curb it and of course, Rubbish Works of Portland if you are in the Portland Metro area
- Sell: Goodbye clutter, hello Sella!
- Donate: Consider using Pickup Please where donations are used to make a difference in the lives of veterans and their families. For a full list of donation sites, we’ve got you covered on our Donation Resources page
- Fix / Mend: Support your local seamstress or small business tech repair stores, or check out Portland’s Repair PDX
If you’re not sure whether or not you are ready to let go of something, you can ask yourself these questions:
- Do I use this on a regular basis?
- Does this item make my life easier?
- Do I like it?
- Do I own something else that can serve the same purpose?
- If it broke tomorrow, would I go out and buy a new one?
Decluttering is a process, but it doesn’t have to be painful. There are many resources that exist today to make sure that the things you get rid of don’t go to waste. We hope that you can find that your old belongings can become something new whether that is new space for you to grow out of or new cash for you to invest in.