Decluttering should be its own reward. Letting go leads to that lovely feeling of lightness. Those open shelves, that organized closet, the garage you can park in! But sometimes that good feeling isn’t motivation enough. That’s when cash can help.
Kim Rose of Topeka, Kan., is among a growing number of home dwellers turning clutter into cash.
Eighteen months ago, the 53-year-old microbiologist got the urge to purge. She looked around her home for what she could sell online, starting in her closet where she found seven blouses she hadn’t worn in years. Then she cashed in 15 or so T-shirts, followed by several pairs of shorts and shoes. “I freed up a third of my closet space,” she said. From there, Rose moved onto her basement, and then to her mother’s house.
“I got hooked,” she said.
Aiding her addiction was an e-commerce service called List Perfectly, a subscription software that helps those looking to sell their used (or never-used) stuff on multiple sites at once.
Launched in 2019 by seasoned resellers Amanda Morse and Clara Albornoz as a solution to the time-consuming process of listing items for sale on multiple channels, List Perfectly allows sellers to enter information about their listing once, then have that information autofill on as many as 11 outlets, including Poshmark, Mercari, Instagram, Shopify, eBay, Etsy, Facebook Marketplace and more. So you reach more buyers faster.
“To list one item on one site takes around 15 to 20 minutes,” Albornoz said. If you wanted to post on 11 sites, that would take about three hours. Oh, and when the item does sells, you can remove it from all the outlets in one click.
The cost? List Perfectly charges a monthly subscription, which users can cancel at any time, Albornoz said. “Those looking to just clean out their homes (yes!) can do well with a basic $29 monthly package.”
“I was making money and cleaning house,” Rose said.
No wonder the service has caught on.
“The broken supply chain and lack of inventory is driving a lot of buyers into the used goods market,” said Albornoz. “There’s never been a better time to declutter.”
Eventually, Rose got so good at reselling that last November she quit her food sciences job of 22 years to resell full time. Now that she’s cleared out her house and her mom’s, Rose goes to estate and garage sales, thrift stores and even Habitat for Humanity ReStores to purchase items to resell. Today, she has 700 listings.
“What surprised me the most was what people will buy,” she said. “Just when you think, ‘Nobody would buy this.’ Well? Turns out there’s a buyer for just about anything.”
Some of her more surprising hot sellers: old Tupperware, anything vintage (that is over 20 years old), used coffee mugs, acrylic blankets with satin borders, the blade from a broken blender, old sheets and towels (to crafters who want fabric scraps), and CorningWare or Correlle bakeware. “If it’s with a lid, you’re gold,” she said.
To the list of odd items that sell, Albornoz adds the empty cardboard cylinders from toilet paper or paper towel rolls, bags of corks from wine bottles (We could’ve been rich!), broken or chipped dishes (for mosaic artists), bundles of prescription medicine bottles (please remove labels); old TV remotes, dead laptops and appliances, broken jewelry (for their parts); and worn clothing, even if it has holes or stains (to quilters or to those looking to upcycle parts of clothing).
Who knew, indeed? For others interested in turning their clutter — or heck, their trash — into cash, Albornoz and Rose offer these tips:
• Write a great listing. A good listing is one that results in a fast sale and no return, Albornoz said. Describe the item accurately, including the dimensions. Pull back your emotions, but tell the story. Rather than say “navy blue T-shirt, size small,” add “worn to Prince’s last concert in 2016.”
• Decide how to ship. You can either put in an amount for shipping, offer free shipping or, if you don’t want to deal with it, if you provide the weight and dimensions of the packaged item, List Perfectly can calculate the shipping cost and relay that to the buyer. Rose bought a parcel scale on Amazon for under $25.
• Establish accounts. To post on any marketplace, whether Poshmark or eBay, you must first create an account with that merchant, since that’s where the buyer is going to buy the item, and where the money exchange happens. Once you have your accounts, you can enter your product information and photos on List Perfectly, pick where you the listing to appear, and hit post.
• Sell big or heavy items locally. When selling something heavy or big, like an anvil or a bicycle, Rose lists it on Facebook Marketplace, where she reaches only local buyers to avoid shipping. (Be sure to meet them away from your home, in a public place, and accept cash only.)
• Ask the community. Sellers looking for help can go to the company’s free Facebook group, where experts will field questions about pricing, shipping, taking good pictures and more.
• Help the planet. “The company serves our sustainable mission of resale not retail and keeps clutter out of landfills,” Albornoz said. And, if I may add, it helps folks declutter, get their stuff into the hands of those who can use it, and make some bank.
Now, what’s your excuse?
Marni Jameson is the author of six home and lifestyle books, including “Downsizing the Blended Home — When Two Households Become One.” Reach her at marnijameson.com.