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Money-saving Tips for the New Year: Declutter Now, Sell Later

Posted In:  family

The end of the year is an ideal time to clear out your clutter for several reasons. Many jobs offer extra time off during December so that everyone can enjoy the holidays with family. You've probably been putting off the deep cleaning until you have more time, right? The extra time you are given in late December is perfect for clearing out all of that stuff you've been meaning to get rid of. The weather at the end of the year also cooperates with cleaning out the house. It is usually cold and rainy, so you are stuck inside anyway. You can make a game out of clearing each room one day at a time while you are waiting for the weather to get better.

Christmas is a time of giving, but it is also a time of receiving. When you get all those new goodies from your friends and family, you will want to clear out some room for it all. What better way to make room for the new than to get rid of the old?

Natural Sales Cycles

Unfortunately, you are not alone in clearing away your clutter during the end of the year. Since everyone else is also sorting through their belongings and choosing what to sell and what to keep, there is generally an overload of sales items on auction sites. Even retail stores are marking down overstock items and selling them cheap so that they can make room for the new stock that comes in at the beginning of the year. January is one of the worst times to sell anything because everyone is selling and shoppers are looking for steals rather than deals.

Many people spend the months leading up to December shopping for holiday gifts and are tired of it by the time January arrives. They also have plenty of new stuff to play with so they are not looking for anything new. If you want to make the most from your resale items, you need to pay attention to the market cycles. Try to sell your things when the demand is the highest. The overloaded sales market on eBay during January drives prices down low, which is doesn’t make sense when you’re trying to save money.

Store Stuff for Later Sales

It may sound counterproductive to collect all of the things that you don't want to keep and then store them for a few months before you get rid of them, but it is the best way to earn the highest profit from your sales. Storing your clutter in a central location in a closet or garage is still going to feel more organized than allowing the clutter to continue to pile up in your house. The process of cleaning and sorting your items will give you a good idea of what you have that is worth selling and what you just need to get rid of.

Box up the good stuff and put it neatly in a back corner out of the way for a few months. It may help to make a list of what you put away so that you can find it easily once the market is right. Pack the items in plastic bins or bags so that they will not be damaged by weather or dust. If possible, try to put things that would sell better later in the year on the bottom and things that you will sell earlier in the year near the top. Consider taking photos now and storing them on your computer until auction time. It’s one less thing to do when you’re ready to sell.

Follow the Seasons for the Best Profits

Demand changes as the months pass. Sell pool toys or portable fans late spring or early summer when everyone is thinking of outside activities. Sales begin to peak in September as kids go back to school and the holidays approach. Start with last year’s Halloween costume in mid-October. Build towards Thanksgiving, then towards Christmas. By mid December or so, you will have sold just about anything that will sell and you’ll be ready for next year with your newly emptied storage space knowing you squeezed just a bit more money out of last year.


Heather Hollingsworth is a single mother raising three teenagers while she attends graduate school. She's always looking for a new way to stretch a dollar as far as it can go!


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