What Is Decluttering?
Did you know the average person has over 100,000 things in their house?
One hundred thousand!
But here's the crazier part:
We use less than 1,000 of them on a regular basis.
That means we have 99,000 thousand things sitting around our house that we almost never use.
If you add up how much all those things are worth - many of us are sitting on tens of thousands of dollars of unused stuff lying around our house.
Decluttering is about removing these things from our houses and turning them into cash so we can invest them into real assets.
To be honest, you don't need a guide like this to teach you to declutter.
It's a very simple process.
Gather up all the things in your house that you don't use (and that might be worth money) and list them on Trademe - it's really that simple.
However, below are a few tips to help you with the process:
Always Research Your Items
You can do this by using the "expired listings" search on Trademe.
It's very possible that you're sitting on a little treasure.
For example, I had an old remote control car sitting around the house.
It was an old toy of my father's and it was broken.
Some parts were missing and it didn't even work.
However, when I looked up similar items, I saw they were selling for hundreds of dollars.
Instead of putting it up for a "Buy Now" of $20 or $30 like I'd originally planned, I let it run at $1 reserve.
It ended up selling for $376:
Here's another good example.
I had some old speakers sitting in my parents' garage. They'd been sitting there for over thirty years (I remembered them from when I was a kid).
My mother was clearing out her garage and told me to get rid of them for her.
After looking the particular brand up on Trademe, I saw they were actually a very valuable vintage brand of speakers.
They ended up selling for $750:
Researching your items is important to make sure you don't let something valuable go for pocket change.
There are literally people who make their entire living off buying "hidden treasure" on sites like eBay and at garage sales and flipping them for massive profits.
Don't get caught out!
One mistake many people make when decluttering is being too soft.
They say things like, "Well I haven't worn these shoes in ten years, but now that I'm looking at them again I think I might start wearing them."
If you haven't worn or used it in a year, get it out the door.
If not, you'll just end up with a wardrobe still full of crap and no money to show for it.
The goal is to clear as much clutter as possible and turn it into money we can invest.
Give Everything A Chance
You might think some things have no hope of selling, but you'll be surprised.
Once my Mum was decluttering and found a draw with our old video games. There was an old SEGA box, plus a broken SEGA console.
My Mum didn't think anyone would want a broken video game, but she listed it up, and to her surprise (and utter confusion), someone said they were interested but they just wanted the box.
My Mum called me and asked what he meant.
I explained that he wants the cardboard box, as in, the packaging.
She didn't understand.
"Why on Earth would anyone want an old box!"
I explained to her that it could be a collector's item since it's really old and SEGA doesn't make them anymore.
In the end, the man bought the box for $20.
If someone is willing to literally buy a cardboard box that's falling apart for $20, you can surely sell most of the things in your house to someone for a few dollars at least.
If you put some effort into your decluttering, you'll likely make far more than $100.