How I Turned Cleaning Out My Garage Into Extra Cash

The holidays are right around the corner and we can always use some extra cash.  After my dad died, I spent 12 hours in my garage cleaning out everything.  I was obsessed with finding every single photo or anything that my father had given me throughout the years.  While I was in there searching for memories, I couldn’t believe how much stuff I was just holding onto.  I found so many old toys, just crates and crates of toys that my children outgrew years ago.  Old purses, clothes, home decor, books, etc.  You name it, I found it.

Normally, I am the mom asking around to everyone else if anyone needs clothes or toys.  I usually just give them away.  However, I don’t have any friends with little boys.  They are all teenagers now, and my girlfriend has two little girls.  Last year on the SAHW fb page I was cleaning out my son’s room.  I put a post on FB that the first 4 people to answer, I would send them my son’s toys/clothes he outgrew. The response was overwhelming!  I couldn’t believe how many people answered.  It was difficult for me to say, “I’m sorry, they’re already gone”.  I kept to my word and sent them to the first 4 people who responded.  Over 300 ended up responding.  Due to the weight of the packages, it cost me over $400 to send through the post office, utilizing the most inexpensive shipping.  I loved that I could help moms who were struggling, but felt horrible for those I couldn’t help.  This time around I couldn’t fathom throwing any of this stuff out and even though I could’ve donated it, I decided why not try to sell them?  I mean, I did pay for all of this stuff, perhaps I could make a little extra cash and put it towards Christmas shopping.

The next day I sorted through everything. I had buckets of Thomas the train toys, Disney Cars, etc. I wanted to go through them and save a few toys for when my sons became fathers.  This way they could give them to their children. But we didn’t need to save all these toys.  I was going to sell most of them.  I didn’t want to sell them individually, that was too time consuming.  After I sorted through everything, I decided to photograph the containers of what I was going to sell and list them on Craigslist for a bulk price.  I listed them for $50 a container.   Of course I had to price them realistically.  It didn’t matter that I could’ve paid for a year’s worth of college tuition with the price I paid for the toys brand new. . . The truth is, they were used, taking up space in my garage, and I didn’t even know I had them.  Plus, people go on Craigslist to score a deal.  After all of the toys I found some other items I decided to sell.  I had a ton of wall decor and again, I didn’t want to sell them individually, so I placed them all on a blanket, photographed them and set a price.  There were some things I sold individually too.  It took me about 2 hours to go through everything, take photos and list them on Craigslist.

Within a week I sold everything.  I even ended up selling my sons old Disney Cars toddler bed to the woman who took the toys.  She was a mom of 2 boys and couldn’t believe all she was getting for such a cheap price.  I am a fanatic about cleaning and organization, so I always kept my kids things in great shape.   In one week, I made a little over $600 for things that were forgotten behind Christmas boxes in my garage.  I couldn’t believe it.  Not only did I make some extra cash, my garage ended up looking organized and amazing.  I had so much more space.

Now I know many are afraid of being killed by someone on Craigslist, so here is what I did to stay safe.

-I never allowed anyone in my home and always made sure someone was with me

-I made sure to speak to the person on the phone prior to giving out my address or information. (Many people text, which is great but if you’re coming to my home, I want to talk to you)

-I only showed the items during the day, never at night

-If I didn’t feel comfortable with someone, I would say I was unable to meet.

Overall, I had a great experience with this, and everyone I met was wonderful.  If you don’t feel comfortable having someone come to your home, you can always meet at a busy shopping center.  This is not like selling a car on Craigslist.  When you sell a car people want to come look at the car and don’t always buy it.  With things like I was selling, if someone says they want it, they usually take it.  I didn’t have anyone come to just “look”.  Make sure you have photos and are descriptive in your ad, this way you can avoid anyone wasting your time.

The holidays are right around the corner, this is a great way to de-clutter while making some extra cash.  Has anyone ever utilized Craigslist to make extra money? Or perhaps another site?  Share in the comments below!  



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