Clean Up Your Home and Earn Cash: Family Circle Magazine Explains How

family_circle_magazine_subscription_may2011.jpgDe-clutter my house and earn some money at the same time? Sounds like my dream job. That’s why I flipped straight to the article touting this idea when I spotted it on the May cover of my Family Circle magazine subscription. The article helps readers determine the best places to sell the stuff your family no longer needs.

There’s nothing new here that you don’t already know, but editors have organized it into an easy-to-read guide that gets you thinking about what you could get rid of. The most surprising thing I learned from the article? “According to Cari Cucksey, who organizes estate sales on HGTV’s ‘Cash and Cari’, ‘The average family has several thousand dollars’ worth of stuff lying around.’ ” Wow. That might fund a fun summer vacation to the beach!

Gather your clutter, and then start selling. Here’s how:

Yard Sale: If you’ve got a lot of stuff that isn’t worth much, yard sales are the best way to go. Keep everything under $50 and price items 50 to 75 percent off retail value. “People who go to garage sales are looking for the ultimate bargain,” Cucksey says. She recommends placing higher-value items online. Be sure to check if you need a permit in your city. And then get the word out–advertise in the paper, put up signs and post of Facebook and Twitter.

Online Auction: For brand-name items that are easy to ship, use an online auction site like eBay. Collectibles like baseball cards and American Girl dolls do well, and will be seen by millions of potential buyers all over the world. Check similar items already posted to get an idea of how to price your goods. And be sure to give a complete and accurate description with plenty of photos. Don’t leave out the item’s flaws, Cucksey says.

Online Classified Ad: For things that are ordinary and bulky (the article gives examples of an air conditioner you’re no longer using or a child’s playpen), try free online classified ad sites like or Buyers will expect a deal, especially because they’re hauling it away for you. Keep safety in mind. Conduct your meetings outside if possible, and don’t give potential buyers too much personal information.

Consignment Shop: If want to get rid of it, but don’t want to go to the trouble of selling it yourself, try a local consignment store, which typically splits the sale with you 50-50. These stores typically only take items of good value and may have policies about returning goods that don’t sell after a specified amount of time.

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Shannon McRae

About Shannon McRae

Shannon McRae is a work-at-home mom of three young children whose days are spent wiping mouths, playing Candyland, planning dinners and stealing time in between at the computer for her freelance writing. She's a stickler for healthy eating, with a slight exception for Oreos. She lives in Alabama with her precious children, loving husband and 13-year-old Australian Shepherd named Ricky Martin.