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Have you finally overcome all the overwhelm of decluttering, only to realise that you now have to muster a heap of motivation to sell your stuff?
When you first decide to downsize your possessions and sell the bulk of your stuff (or even just enough to get down to a manageable amount of things), it’s exciting because you’re thinking about all that extra space, time and money you’ll have. Which is fantastic motivation to sell your stuff.
Maybe you even discovered my post on how to bulk declutter, and want to now shift all that you’ve decluttered.
But then you start to list things on eBay, Gumtree, or Craigslist. Taking the time to photograph every single item you own and then come up with a way to describe it so that it sells – it gets tedious. Real quick. You’ve listed maybe 5 things and you’re already SO done.
The piles of things you were so excited to trade for money are now piles of obligation, guilt and procrastination. And as they sit there, dust builds up, adding to your cleaning duties.
Listing items takes time and can kill motivation like nobody’s business. But never fear! I’m here to help, with practical solutions to get you back on track.
Let’s get right into it.
Make it easier
First; ways to make it less painful. I suggest using all three for the most enjoyable selling experience, but do what works for you.
Have a friend or multiple friends over to help. You can all take photos, come up with artful descriptions, listen to music and have a beer/wine/apple juice together. List as much as you can in one go. Put in a mammoth effort.
Kick start your efforts
Organise a garage sale, with or without friends’ input. If your front yard is big enough, you can all put your stuff together to draw in more browsers (and hopefully buyers!).
All you need is one big event to get you kick-started and help you see all the benefits of doing this. The more you list or put out for sale, the more you will sell (provided things are priced reasonably).
This one is my favourite, because you’re getting rid of a large chunk upfront. Seeing the money roll in and the space clear is super satisfying. Talk about motivation to sell your stuff!
It’s addictive. You know that high you get when you’ve just gone shopping? You can get that same high from selling.
But the results of the high from buying vs selling are vastly different. One leads to a life of clutter, lack of time, depression, financial trouble, poor relationships, and little to no personal development.
The other leads to financial abundance, clear spaces, contentment, free time, well-nurtured relationships, and effective and giant personal development.
I know what I’d prefer; how about you?
Visualise and focus on the benefits
Once you start selling things and reaping the benefits, you won’t be able to stop. You might sell more than you were intending to, which is never a bad thing!
So, focus on the benefits you’ll get once you’re finished. Or better yet, the benefits you notice immediately. I’ve listed them below.
It might also help to create a vision board. I know, it can be tacky, but if you’re in need of inspiration, they can work wonders. I would suggest making one on Pinterest, so you’re not adding to the physical clutter you’re trying to reduce ;). Check out my Minimalist board for inspiration!
Additionally, follow people on social media who have a minimalist lifestyle that you envy. I know you’re not supposed to compare your life to others’, especially on social media, but it can be a great source of inspiration and motivation to sell your stuff and get one big step closer to that lifestyle you crave.
Plan an epic reward for reaching your goal
Set a goal for the amount of money you want to earn, based on how you’d like to reward yourself for your decluttering and selling efforts. If you’re selling your things because you need the money, pick a threshold. Anything over this, you can put towards a reward, guilt-free.
Considering that you’re trying to get rid of stuff, I wouldn’t suggest rewarding yourself by buying something. At least nothing tangible. I would suggest pricing out a short holiday or an experience of some kind, and aiming for that figure.
Once you hit your target amount, reward yourself! If you’re looking for inspiration, what about a hot air balloon ride on the Gold Coast, or island hopping through the Similan Islands? Wouldn’t it be great if the clutter in your house could pay for something like this?
These are the major benefits you should be able to see once you start selling your stuff. There might be more that I haven’t thought of, but these ones should be more than enough to incentivise you.
The money you make
If you sell your stuff, naturally, money is exchanged for your things. Which means you make money. Even if you don’t have much that’s high in value, it can definitely add up. Once you start seeing the money coming in, you’ll find the motivation to keep selling.
Even things you probably wouldn’t have sold earlier on, you’ll consider now. Would you prefer to keep that thing or gain access to its monetary value? What would having that money mean to you?
The space you gain
This one will likely be the most apparent to you, because it’s visual. If you sell a heap of your stuff, you’ll start to notice you have more room to move. There will be less clutter and more space. You’ll have less stuff to think about, store, maintain, clean, and move.
Having less to worry about leads to…
You’ll suddenly have time again. You won’t even know where it came from, but you’ll have it. Hint: it comes from not having to clean so much, look so long for lost stuff, organising, maintaining, and even just thinking about your things, consciously or not.
And there is so much you can do with your time other than procrastinate. See below for better things to fill your time with.
Spending less time focusing on your stuff means you can spend more on your relationships. Shifting your focus from things to people is one of the most important things you can do.
It means you’ll feel less guilty for hanging out with friends rather than getting that cleaning done at home, you’ll have less arguments with your partner about the house being untidy, and you’ll even have time and energy for professional networking where you mightn’t have before.
Not having to spend your time and focus on your stuff also means more time and focus for personal development.
You can finally begin achieving some of those goals that you currently consider daydreams. You know those things that you imagine yourself doing if you had the time and the motivation and everything else? Now you can get started on them.
You no longer have to spend your weekends and weeknights cleaning, and maintaining things, and procrastinating. Selling your stuff drastically reduces the distractions available to you and it opens up the opportunity to work on yourself and actually get somewhere.
Personally, getting rid of most of my stuff has helped me finally take steps towards having a great future.
As a result of all of the above, you’ll be happier. How can you not be, with more space, more time, better relationships, reaching goals, and more money? There’s no reason NOT to do it.
I know it may seem like an overwhelming task, selling a heap of your things. But it doesn’t have to be. Start with a garage sale, or selling something big, valuable, or both. Clearing a large chunk or receiving a large sum of money is a nice push towards doing more.
If you need some inspiration and practical tips on decluttering large amounts of your things, check out my post, Declutter en masse.
Image credit: Indira Tjokorda on Unsplash