How We Made Money By Decluttering

Do you have stacks of CDs and DVDs collecting dust in your home?  Have you moved these items into storage because you’re too sentimental to part with them?  As we have been reading more and more about minimalism and getting interested in the movement, we have been starting to get rid of things we don’t need or as Marie Kondo says, things that don’t “spark joy”.  We have been on a mission to declutter and thought we might try to make a few bucks, as well.

Click through to find out how we made money selling our old CDs and DVDs. | decluttering | tidying up | minimalism |

Technology Has Changed Entertainment

Mr. Farmhouse Finance and I are both music and movie lovers.  Between us, we had quite the collection of CDs, and Mr. FF had a huge collection of DVDs.  With iTunes and music and movie streaming services, we don’t really have a need for these things anymore.

Mr. Farmhouse Finance had an Xbox that we would use to go on Netflix and other streaming services (through Xbox Live), but since we bought an Amazon Firestick, we don’t really have much of a need for that anymore, either.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

We are currently living in a 560 square foot apartment, so space is at a premium.  In fact, this is the third apartment Mr. Farmhouse Finance and I have lived in together, and each time we moved it was into a smaller place.  Most of our books, DVDs, and CDs have been in storage in our garage or at our parents’ houses.

When you don’t see the clutter, it’s easy to forget about it.  My mother-in-law tried (unsuccessfully) to sell some DVDs and CDs at a yard sale once, but then they went back into the Rubbermaid tubs in the garage and the basement.

Cleaning House

Last summer we decided to try to go through some of the boxes of stuff we owned and get rid of what we could.  We have been paring down the clothes we own, so it was easy to shift focus to the DVDs and CDs.  We started bringing boxes over to our garage with the intention to go through them.

And then they sat.

And sat.

Finally, we got motivated again in November to try to see what we could sell.  After doing a little bit of research on where we could send them, we decided to give Decluttr a try.

Selling Items to Decluttr

Decluttr is an online store that buys and sells used CDs, DVDs, books, and electronics.  They have a handy app that you can use to scan barcodes right from your phone, and that will give you an instant estimate on the payout you will receive.

Our first order contained 446 items (split between five boxes), and our estimated payout was $149.16.  This order was received, but since we threw in a few CDs of questionable quality, it got redirected to the warehouse to be inspected.  We had to wait about two months on this first check, but when we received it, our actual payout was $144.89.

After the headache of dividing items into different boxes and checking off what was in each box on the order form, we decided to work smarter, not harder, and do smaller orders that fit in one box.

Decluttr will accept up to 200 items per box, so we bought a few medium sized boxes to send off a few more orders in.

Our second order contained 140 items, and our estimated payout was $40.69.  Our third order contained exactly 200 items, and our estimated payout was $63.92.  Our fourth order contained 153 items, our estimated payout was $53.76.  We received checks the following week for the full amount they estimated for each box.

Between those four orders, we got rid of 939 items and made $303.26.

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Decluttering’s Ripple Effect

Once you start to get rid of one type of thing in your home, this has a rippling effect that spreads to all areas of your home.

First, I started selling, donating, and throwing out old clothes.  Then we started selling CDs and DVDs.  Who knows what we’ll get rid of next!

It is widely known that many people upgrade to larger homes, not for the number of people living in the house, but for the amount of stuff they have accumulated.  The home we are building will be about 1,600 square feet (not including the basement), which is more than enough space for two humans and two cats.  However, if we don’t actively get rid of possessions as we buy more things, over time our stuff could crowd us out.  It’s easier to declutter as you go, rather than wait until your belongings are suffocating you in your home.

The more stuff we get rid of, the more conscious I am of the things I’m buying.  Do I really need to buy another CD when I can listen to that music on Spotify?  Do I really need to buy another shirt when I just got rid of a similar one that I never wore?

The less I buy, the more money I have to put towards my financial goals and to spend on the things I’m really passionate about.

It’s not just about cleaning your house.  Decluttering can have widespread effects to many areas of your life.

Closing Thoughts

It was amazing how easy it was to get rid of 939 things.  Those CDs, DVDs, and a few books (Decluttr did not accept many of the titles we were trying to sell) had sat in boxes for years without us needing them.  If we didn’t need them over these past few years, chances are we wouldn’t miss them once they were gone for good.

If you’re not sure if you really want to get rid of something, ask yourself when the last time was that you used it.  If you can’t remember, get rid of it!

People have a tendency to hold onto things with the hopes of needing them someday, or because they feel regret for having spent the money in the first place.  If you need something someday, buy or borrow the item then.  Let the regret of having spent the money guide your future purchases, and as a bonus, if you sell those items, you could get back a little of the money you spent in the first place.

Have you ever tried selling things online?

Click through to find out how we made money selling our old CDs and DVDs. | decluttering | tidying up | minimalism |

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The books, interesting articles, and noteworthy blog posts I read in August 2017.


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