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online selling platforms

8 Tried and True Online Selling Platforms for Offloading Your Excess Stuff

With so many online selling platforms to choose from, how do you know which ones will be the best choice for you?

The app field is crowded and it can be confusing! So today, I’m sharing 8 online selling platforms that have stood the test of time.

The key is to match what you have to sell with the platform that will maximize your return in a reasonable amount of time.

Selling your stuff is not your full-time focus, right? That’s why it’s critical you select the best venue to showcase your stuff and sell it quickly. Because you have other things to do, too!

So grab your coffee, have a seat, and let’s check out your options!

online selling platforms

Today's Post Reviews the Pros and Cons of 8 Online Selling Platforms So You can land on the best place to sell your stuff!

best platform to sell online
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Online Selling Platforms | Option 1: eBay

eBay is a pioneer in online selling, having been around for over 25 years.

It’s a gigantic auction house where over 168 million active buyers can bid on your items! With bidding situations, it can take time to receive your desired price.

In contrast, you may choose to list your item as “Buy It Now“, meaning it’s a fixed, non-negotiable price.

There is an enormous buying audience for your goods but the competition is stiff. You’re competing not only with other individual sellers. In fact, there are wholesalers and corporation, too … not to mention fierce competition from China, as well!

eBay has a built-in algorithm, geared towards helping buyers locate specific items which can also be good for sellers.

But on the flip side, customer protection …even in falsified complaint situations …. can be at the expense of a legitimate seller.

Also, it’s not free to sell on eBay. You do get 40 free listings per month, but there are additional fees. For example, there is typically a 10% transaction fee (including shipping & handling) to use this venue. Your net profit is released three days after your tracking shows delivery.

However, if you enjoy an auction-like outcome and you have the time and patience to wait for the right buyer bid, eBay is your venue.

For eBay selling details, check out the step-by-step guide here.

Or, listen to this tutorial over here.

 

where is the best platform to sell online
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Online Selling Platforms | Option 2: Amazon

Amazon has evolved from an online bookstore into one of the world’s most visited marketplace websites.

It boasts massive traffic volume with separate retail websites in 15 countries! This means more buyers for your stuff.

Additionally, the “Fulfillment by Amazon” service handles both customer service and shipping on your behalf. Amazon has a traditional retail structure so you sell your items at a set price. You pay a fee only when  your item sells. But all this comes with higher fees and brutal competition.  

In comparison to eBay, Amazon has a better reputation for customer service and offers buyer perks such as same-day or two-day shipping. But the humongous size of both these online selling venues result in the risk of getting lost in the sea of sellers

Lastly, go directly to Amazon for the latest facts on selling right here. 

online selling items
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Online Selling Platforms | Option 3: Etsy

Etsy takes us into a narrower market when it popped on the scene in 2005. 

It’s positioned as an online platform for crafters, artists and vintage aficionados. Currently ranking as #3 behind eBay and Amazon,  it’s an ideal venue if you have handmade, vintage or highly unique items. Think crafting and jewelry supplies, specialty fabrics or handmade personal products.

Still, despite the exclusive focus, this venue attracts some 30 million shoppers worldwide! Similar to eBay, you’ll pay a listing fee but your Etsy listing will last for 4 months instead of just 10-30 days. This fee is charged whether or not your item sells.

The fixed pricing model is also cheaper and simpler than that of the above two powerhouses.  So keep Etsy in mind if your items fit this handmade, one-of-kind product profile.

To further explore this online selling platform, head here.

 

top online selling platforms
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Online Selling Platforms | Options 4 & 5: Bonanza and Ruby Lane

These two online selling platforms are still relative newcomers.

Nevertheless, they are on the rise and worth checking out if your items fall into the Etsy categories of unique, vintage, antique, or quirky.

Both are smaller than the preceding platforms but they have respectable reach along with more reasonable fees. They specialize further in the following sub-categories:

  • Bonanza
    • Think garden gnomes or taxidermy (although product diversification has been creeping in)
    • Fixed price items as opposed to a bidding situation
    • To get started, click here.
  • Ruby Lane
    • Specifically for actual antiques and vintage-style goods
    • Excellent customer service reputation
    • To get started, go here.
Facebook and OfferUp
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Online Selling Platforms | Options 6 & 7: FB and OfferUp

Facebook Marketplace groups are  definitely trumping Craigslist these days!

Simply enter terms to find and join local groups. For example, type in “Scottsdale, AZ Buy and Sell” in the FB search bar if you live in Scottsdale, Arizona. When you click to join a group, others will be suggested to you, as well.

These groups are very popular with buyers such as young moms or small community residents looking for online garage sale deals. The sky is the limit for what goods are offered.

You are on your own with seller protection but you will also avoid listing and shipping fees. You need to “bump” or refresh your listing to stay current.

OfferUp merged with LetGo  in July 2020 to create one big mobile marketplace.

It provides an easy way to sell locally with payments tendered with either cash or via Stripe, the electronic payment processing partner. There are some fees involved to consider but it’s still a compelling way to sell just about anything online.   

The scoop on using OfferUp is right here. 

what is the best online selling platform

Online Selling Platforms | Option 8: Craigslist

Craigslist is the world’s largest online classified ads website!

You can sell almost anything here. It’s super basic with no fees and no frills but you’re completely on your own to work with buyers.

Craigslist requires that you sell locally, unlike eBay and Amazon. This means that you arrange for pick-up and drop-off of your items.

When all else fails, you can shift your items to the “free” section, which can come in handy. You need to regularly refresh and repost your listing to ensure you are at the top of the category. So you save on the listing and shipping fees with this venue but you lose protection with questionable buyers, i.e., passing off counterfeit money.

Craig’s List has been around for a long time but contends with stiff competition from other online selling platforms such as FB Marketplace and OfferUp. However, it may still an active player in your community…so why not check it out?

Find a simple video with a Craigslist tutorial over here.

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: Today's post shared 8 online selling platforms to help you rehome your stuff and to deposit some dollars back in your wallet, as well!

There is definitely cash to be claimed using any of these or other online platforms.

But first do your homework! Review your things to sell with a critical eye. Realize that you have a history with the items so your emotions may skew your pricing decisions. Research how similar items are selling. Finally, understand what is entailed to close the deal.

Are you ready to turn your excess stuff into cash?

secondhand stores

Second Hand Stores Can Be Dynamite Decluttering Partners

Once you’ve decided to re-sell things you no longer need or use, it’s time to learn which second hand stores are going to be your best resource.

There are three different types of second hand stores: consignment shops, pawn shops, and thrift shops. Each is unique with what it can offer.

Equally important is understanding the entire selling process. From what items sell best where, to how much they pay out, it’s all about maximizing your return. 

So let’s dive right in and explore what second hand stores can do for you!  

Today's Post Focuses On Second Hand Stores & How to Land on the venue best for you!

consignment stores near me
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Second Hand Stores | 1. Consignment Shops

How They Operate

Consignment shops typically pay you when your items sell. A few may buy your things outright but this can be less common. 

These second hand stores may also charge a small flat fee in addition to the percentage payout. Your return will be larger if you agree to take a store credit instead of cash. After all, this makes sense when you help with moving other inventory off the store floor.

The store will quote you a starting price. Be sure to ask if there are periodic markdowns that would impact your return.

Many shops will have a set cycle for when they mark down inventory. They need to ensure goods are not just sitting and taking up valuable floor space.

If your item doesn’t move after a certain amount of time, you may be asked to pick it up. But they may also offer to donate your items to a local charity on your behalf, which saves you a return trip. 

There are numerous specialty consignment shops so there are too many to address individually. Some carry a little bit of everything and others specialize in furniture, clothing or household items. Many are independently owned and operated as opposed to a chain of retail fronts.

Moreover, it can make more sense to take your stuff to a store that focuses on a particular type of item, i.e., an upscale shop selling designer apparel or a furniture store carrying only contemporary pieces. It stands to reason that specialized second hand stores can attract more potential buyers.

Lastly, expect to receive between 40-60% of the final sale price.

The Bottom Line

Be sure your items are in clean, serviceable condition. If the store politely passes on your stuff, don’t argue with the staff.

They are making decisions based on their professional knowledge and the current demand. Ultimately, they are not interested in having your stuff collect dust on the sales floor and nor would you be, either!

Also, until someone buys your stuff, you are in a holding pattern, waiting for your cash. If you’re looking for a quick payout, a consignment store will not be your best option. 

Therefore, a pawn shop would be a better option for selling your stuff, if time is of the essence. 

second hand stores near me
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Second Hand Stores| 2. Pawn Shops

How They Operate

Not everyone immediately thinks of pawn stores as viable second-hand stores.

Until popular TV shows brought these stores to the forefront recently, there was always an aura of shame and intrigue. Why did someone sell their family heirlooms? What financial downturn occurred?

However, there are distinct advantages to checking one out. Here, you turn possession of the item over to the store and receive an immediate payout before you leave. 

You are not impacted if it sells at an extraordinarily low price or never sells at all! 

Pawn shops can be good venues for items that are in less demand at other second-hand stores. Think taxidermy, electronics, guns, tools or musical instruments.

In fact, a pawn store is a very good venue to sell gold or diamonds! Just be sure to compare their bid to other second hand stores that exclusively buy and sell used jewelry before moving ahead with the transaction. 

On average, pawn shops pay 25-60% of the resale value of your items.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking to convert your stuff into cash quickly, these second-hand stores will pay you on the spot.

However, keep in mind that payment up front means you will realize less than if you were willing to wait for a buyer at a traditional consignment shop. So if you can be patient, circle back to option one above.

best thrift stores near me
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Second Hand Stores| 3. Thrift Shops

How They Operate

Thrift shops are the third type of second-hand store. What makes them distinct is that most operate as a nonprofit business. This means that many will not pay for your items.

However, I mention these as they are also a viable resource for offloading excess personal items. That in itself, is a bonus!

You may not receive monetary compensation but you may qualify for a tax credit (consult your financial advisor). They are often linked to a business such as a local hospice. Or think of Goodwill. Profits are funneled back to the parent business, which ultimately provides jobs in your community or funds other worthy initiatives. So ultimately, you also get the satisfaction of helping out others in some fashion.  

The Bottom Line

When clearing space quickly is more important than a monetary payback, thrift stores are an ideal outlet. Not only will your stuff get a second life with new owner. Your donations are converted into dollars that support a worthwhile service in your community, too.

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: Second Hand Stores Can Be a Fabulous Outlet for Cashing in on your clutter!

 

Which second hand stores make sense for you? Keep the following factors in mind when decluttering:

  • Time: how quickly do you need to turn your items into cash?
  • Money: how much (if any) return is enough for you?
  • Specialty: are your items rare or of a specific genre?
  • Donation: would you be satisfied with supporting a higher cause?

Some folks enjoy the whole selling experience and seem to really cash out. Others, not so much. Like anything else, it takes time and energy to makes the rounds in order to see what you can get. 

Something is better than nothing but at some point, diminishing returns can set in. Charitable donations start to look much more appealing! You make a difference to someone who can’t afford new and you may realize an income tax credit, too.

estate sale

How an Estate Sale Quickly Declutters Everything (But the Kitchen Sink!)

Imagine selling roomfuls of things, without having to pack, unpack, load, unload … if this sounds ideal, then an estate sale may be right for you!

An estate sale is one more option for decluttering your excess stuff and getting a financial return, as well. I’ve linked other selling options at the end of this post.

Whichever route you take, why not cash in on the stuff you no longer need, use, or want? 

We begin with a definition of “estate sale” so it’s clear how it works. Then, we’ll review how to start the process and have one run in your home. 

Today's Post Covers The Basics of An Estate Sale To Declutter Your Whole House Lickety-Split!

estate sale
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The Definition of "Estate Sale"

First, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. Sometimes folks use the terms “estate sale“, “tag sale“, “garage sale” or “yard sale” interchangeably. But there are distinct differences!

For our purposes here, an estate sale refers to a third party managing the liquidation of personal belongings. It’s a formal process handled by a professional from start to finish. 

The sale takes place inside the home, whether in just a few select rooms or the entire footprint of the house.

The word “estate” can conjure up images of high end goods, collectibles, or fine antiques. But this is not always the case. In fact, just about anything you would find in a home can and has been sold at an estate sale!

Also, an estate sale was traditionally used to liquidate personal belongings after someone died. It was a quick way to settle debts. However, an estate sale can also be a practical approach for clearing space when the goal is to declutter, downsize, or divorce. 

Interestingly, estate sales can be run by the homeowner and can occur on-line, too. For today, we are only examining the on-site professionally managed approach.

estate sale definition
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Other Types of Sales

In contrast, most tag, garage, and yard sales are run by the owners themselves or with the help of a family member or friend.

These types of sales tend to take a more casual approach. For example, items to sell are located in the garage, driveway, or front yard to keep buyers out of the house!

Additionally, prices are indicated with stickers. Certain tables or racks may have a sign with one price for all items placed there.  Some buyers often want to counter the posted prices, as well. Once a final price is agreed upon, cash and sometimes even personal checks are accepted.

Now, back to the estate sale process!

estate sales today
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Kick Off An Estate Sale With These 3 Steps

Step 1: Locate a professional

In fact, talk to more than just one for comparison. A complimentary consultation allows the professional to evaluate your items, to explain their procedures, and to disclose the cost of using their services.

Always begin with gathering recommendations from friends or neighbors. Or, do a basic online search for professionals in your area. Check for reviews and research how long they’ve been in business. Confirm their standing with the Better Business Bureau, too.

Then, when you’ve performed your due diligence, you can sit back and relax once you’ve selected who will do all the work for you!

Step 2: Listen to what they believe will be salable and at what price

A professional can tell you what is hot and what is not in today’s market.

Understand that what you paid for something or how old it is has little to do with what it will sell for now. This is one of the hard truths to accept!

But in regards to certain items, such as coins or artwork, you may also choose to have them professionally appraised in order to confirm their current value.

And keep in mind that if something can be sold, they will want to do it because they typically work on a percentage basis. So if you hear that you’re better off donating certain things for the income tax deduction, it’s likely true.

Step 3: Request a written estimate

Be sure it includes a clear explanation of how and when your net proceeds are distributed.

Typically, you are paid within 3 days of the end of the sale. Estate sale fees range anywhere from 20-45% of the gross profits. It depends on your market and on the exact services provided.

Obviously, they are managing the sale from start to finish. But they may also handle any unsold items for you by offering to donate those items to charity on your behalf. There is always trash removal and after-sale clean up to perform, as well. Therefore, ask about related services so you know who is doing what.

estate sale near me
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What Happens During An Estate Sale

Reputable professionals adhere to industry best practices to help make your estate sale a success. Some of the most important considerations include the following:

  1. Weekend hours are a must to ensure all potential buyers can attend the sale. An estate sale is typically run 1-3 days.
  2. Colorful and enticing verbiage is used in the street signage, Internet and print ads. Artful and thoughtful display of your items is also an essential step.
  3. Extensive price research is conducted to get top dollar for you. Remember, the professional is paid on a percentage basis. So it’s in their best interest to maximize your return.
  4. Cash or credit cards are mandatory for all sales. An actual cash register is used to provide accuracy and security.
  5. Adequate preparation includes cleaning and minor repair of items to ensure selling at top dollar.
estate sale in my area
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Estate Sale or Consignment Shop?

How do you know which approach will work better for you?

To begin with, the professional will guide you. Although there are numerous estate sale companies, some choose to focus on high demand antiques, vintage, or one-of-a-kind items.

If many of your items are common brands or styles such as Corningware, Colonial furniture, or Ikea bookcases, you may be advised to consider the consignment route.

This is not to say that common household good don’t sell well in an estate sale. They can! But you should also explore your other options, anyway.

So talk to a few different estate sale professionals. Call or visit nearby consignment shops with pictures of your items. 

Then make a final, informed selling decision based on your research and your personal timeline.

Now go forth and sell!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This Post Shared The Basics of How An Estate Sale Moves All The Clutter Out In One Fell Swoop!

  • Research the selling options available to you. 
  • Remember to factor in how much time you have to liquidate your belongings.
  • Realize there is a tremendous amount of expertise and energy required to sell. Keep this in mind when you use a professional.

decluttering tips

3 Decluttering Tips Which Absolutely Maximize Your Return When Selling Your Stuff

It is essential that you understand the impact of the 3 expert decluttering tips shared here, when you’re ready to cash in on what you don’t need, use, or want any more.

When might selling make sense for you? You may struggle with letting something go because you spent a lot of money on it. Your children might have no interest in the item. Or you simply believe the item has high resale value. 

Regardless of why you want to pursue selling, the key to a successful transaction is three-fold: the current market demand; the time/effort investment; and the available venues.

Knowing what to reasonably expect will shorten the sales cycle and optimize your price. 

Can’t argue with that, right?! Let’s do this!

decluttering tips
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This post shares 3 decluttering steps to amplify the best return for things you sell in the present market environment!

tips to declutter your home
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Tip #1: Do Your Research

 

It’s smart to investigate if your items are in demand.

For example, Mid-Century Modern furniture is in vogue and has a good chance of yielding some dollars for you. On the other hand, Colonial furniture? Not so much, especially if you don’t live in the New England states.

And remember Precious Moments? What about Haviland china? Some of these collectables are worth more than others. However, many are collecting dust in resale shops, despite their high appeal a decade or three ago.

So start with exploring venues where particular items are often resold. For example, talk to local resale shop owners for their opinions on what type of furniture or which designer clothing is sought after in your town.

If it’s fine art that you’re looking to sell, check with a local art appraiser or art gallery for a professional opinion. In all cases, do a search on eBay for clues to prices of items similar to yours.

Ultimately, due diligence on your part will save you the disappointment of pricing items too high and having them sit idle in your home.

image by anna nekrashevich from pexels

Tip #2: Understand the Return

Determine a realistic price point so you can decide if it’s worth the work needed to sell your stuff.

Ask Yourself the Following Questions

  • Which selling method(s) will you use?
  • Do you need to clean or repair the items pre-sale?
  • How will the buyers receive the items: do you need to ship them or will they pick them up?
  • Will you sell on-line or on consignment?

Unless you choose to sell on your own, utilizing any 3rd party will reduce your net dollars. It stands to reason since they are doing work for you, such as attracting, displaying and dealing with the buyers.

Most resale shops put a time limit on how long items will be offered. They typically have a rigid markdown policy enforced as time goes by, too. This may be hard to accept but the shop owners need to maximize the return on their merchandise.

It behooves them to have their displays refreshed regularly. After all, if things aren’t selling, they need to move off center stage of the sales floor.

Factor in the Cost of Your Efforts

It take time to inventory, price, and prepare for a sale!

You may need extra hands to deal with the buyers. The same goes for selling on-line, whether through Craig’s List, a FB group, or e-Bay. Your ad needs to be smartly worded, refreshed, and optimized regularly until the items sell.

Potential buyers will have questions that you need to answer promptly. Some will still want to negotiate price or show up with less money, hoping you will settle. Others will want you to hold the item until they can stop by. Finally, a few may be “no-shows”… so the process starts all over … sigh!

You might be pleasantly surprised with what you may realize from your selling efforts. Or, you may be disappointed to realize the deep discount required to sell belongings that have served you well.  

However, “something is better than nothing” may become your new motto! Either way, be informed and prepared for what you need to do to capture some dollars.

decluttering tips for home
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Tip #3: Land on a Selling Venue

Ready to check out your options? Hang on ’cause there’s a lot of them!

Based on your research, (back up to Tip #2 if you didn’t do this yet, haha!) now you can decide if you want to do this solo or if you prefer some help.

If you prefer to sell on your own, you can do this one of two ways:

  • Using local apps such as OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace groups
  • Selling outside your hometown, using global apps, such as Poshmark, eBay, or thredUP.

With the first option, you’ll meet face-to-face to deliver the goods. But with the second option, you’ll be mailing the items somewhere in the world!

Otherwise, if you want help, any “brick & mortar” resale shop will do the bulk of the work for you. All you have to do is bring in your items and they will select what they believe will sell on their floor.

You can identify local options simply by Googling, “second-hand stores near me” or “resale shops near me”. Always call ahead to ensure they are interested in your stuff. Emailing pictures cuts back on wasted trips.

Finally, head down to the end of this post for related posts that share the latest various on-line selling sites! It’s an ever-changing lineup of possibilities but I’m always updating them annually.

I focus on sharing the best decluttering tips with you … because there’s always someone out there who wants to buy your stuff!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This post was all about 3 top decluttering tips to maximize your reselling efforts!

Your turn!

  • Have you sold stuff? How did that go?
  • What would you do differently? What did you learn?

Drop your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!

Swedish Death Cleaning

Swedish Death Cleaning: A Savvy Celebration of Life (Really!)

Swedish Death Cleaning Clears Space for a satisfying Second Half in Life!

Swedish Death Cleaning, or “Döstädning”,  has rapidly garnered interest all over the world! Yet it’s not a new Swedish phenomenon. And despite the ominous sounding name, it is not about cleaning or dusting after someone has died! 

Instead, it refers to a national steadfast approach of streamlining your own stuff when you reach the second half of your life. After all, what will become of the possessions we have accumulated over our lifetime? Who will deal with all our stuff?

So is it a movement that makes sense for us? Margareta Magnusson, renowned author of “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” thinks so! And what a gem of an author, who described herself as “somewhere between 80 and 100 years of age!”

To be clear, it is actually considered to be a joyful process! You retain things embedded with the best memories and release items associated with negative experiences. You sort through, making decisions with what stays and what goes. 

Today's post shares the 3 Swedish Death Cleaning steps Margareta recommends to enhance this popular process. 

the gentle art of Swedish death cleaning
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1. Announce Your Decluttering Intentions

Declaring your Swedish Death Cleaning plan creates accountability for you to follow through!

Just like boldly stating a New Year’s resolution to shed a few pounds, share your plans to begin your döstädning process. This alllows your family and friends to support you along the way.

And as you progress, your everyday life feels smoother and more efficient. This will also provide momentum to keep going strong.

Moreover, the resulting byproduct of a simpler and better organized life is not reserved for just those over 50. Folks of all ages are encouraged to adopt this decluttering practice!

After all, the sooner you take stock of what you’ve accumulated, the quicker you hone in on what matters now.

what is Swedish death cleaning
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2. Embrace Your Swedish Death Cleaning Phase

Understand that this is a slow, deliberate process.

It’s not a marathon! It should not be rushed.

In truth, the Swedish Death Cleaning process is really a revisiting of your life. You are examining what gave joy and what caused sorrow; what is meaningful and what is no longer relevant.

By taking your time while examining your possessions, you honor your past. You reflect on what has shaped you thus far. And you begin to formulate where you want to go in the future.

In a way, you can think about Swedish Death Cleaning as an ongoing personal retreat with therapeutic benefits!

Swedish death cleaning book
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3. Reward Yourself Frequently

Because this is not a race, your Swedish Death Cleaning sessions should be reasonably short.

Therefore, allot a specific amount of time. Focus on a particular small area, such as a drawer or a closet. Then immediately follow your session with a favorite activity. For example, every 60 minute clearing session might be followed with 30 minutes of reading or walking.

Ultimately, the point is to remain upbeat and energized after your sorting sessions. After all, you’re still in your prime years when you start the process. There is time to rewrite your narrative if you so decide.

In other words, you can change your direction! 

You can be more in control than ever with the legacy you leave to your loved ones. How empowering is that?!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This Post Shared 3 Swedish Death Cleaning Aspects Which Clear the Way to Your Next Life Chapter!

Your turn!

  • Have you started examining your own possessions?
  • What do you want to happen with your stuff when you’re gone?

Share your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!

decluttering your house

Decluttering Your House Demands Fearlessly Facing 3 Constant Challenges

Most would agree that decluttering your house is an activity we can all add to our to-do list. Who doesn’t have more than they need or use. Gosh, we can all readily point out lots of those extra things in our own homes!

But if you’re having a hard time with actually following through, why does it feel difficult? What’s holding you back?

Today I’m exploring 3 common reasons why we accumulate too much: family legacy, storage capacity, and consumerism.

These challenges are roadblocks to releasing stuff that doesn’t need to stay any more. Understanding when they are at play is the first step in the decluttering process. Then we can learn how to overcome them and begin streamlining our homes. 

Are you ready to create serene space and retain just your favorites? Read on!

This post reveals 3 roadblocks to conquer when decluttering your house!

how to declutter your house
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Challenge #1: Family Legacy

When you’re decluttering your house, the sentimental value of things from your loved ones is one of the hardest challenges to face! I’ve seen folks hang on to all sorts of things because they were handed down from a beloved family member.

Think Grandma’s crocheted afghans or Aunt Millie’s costume jewelry collection. Others were raised to maintain a certain type of household, which includes a good set of silver, damask tablecloths or Waterford crystal.

Now don’t misunderstand: I believe in honoring our loved ones!

But when things are collecting dust … when their taste is not our taste … when our lifestyle does not embrace those items … wouldn’t it be time to let them go? 

Releasing family keepsakes does not mean we are rejecting our heritage!

There are ways we can be true to our roots yet avoid filling our homes with things we don’t need, use or love. By all means, pick a couple of items that speak to you. Display them, whether in a photo montage or on an end table.

However, if the item truly doesn’t suit your style …if you’d rather set it back in the closet or drawer … you’re likely keeping it out of guilt.

Recognize that your beloved relative and the item are not one and the same! Instead, release the item to someone who will appreciate and use it.

 

declutter your house
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Challenge #2: Storage Capacity

 

Let’s face it: when we have room to keep something away, we do it! And Americans revel in way more housing square footage than almost any other nation. We have more rooms with dedicated purposes. Think dining rooms or guest bedrooms. 

Fortunately, home builders are moving towards including “flex rooms”. And “great rooms” and “eat-in kitchens” are in vogue. Yet when the day comes that we are ready or need to downsize, it’s eye-opening to look around and see how much we thought we needed, isn’t it?

And when it comes to buying, we may tell ourselves that the new item will replace an old one … but does the old one really make it out the door?

Sometimes, we buy another thing to stock up or just in case. But how hard would it be to wait and buy it only at the time we need it? It seems we have a fear of being unprepared. (OK, maybe one can’t have too much toilet paper!)

Are we really too busy to clear things out, but not too busy to buy new things?

Here’s a thought: consider reflecting on the purchases you plan to make. Is it to replace or to add to what you already have? Do you need it right now? Do you enjoy the thrill of having something new?

This leads right into challenge #3!

 

how to declutter your house in one day
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Challenge #3: Consumerism, Baby!

Today’s consumer hardly stands a chance in the face of pervasive marketing at every turn. Whether TV commercials, infomercials, billboard or magazine ads … it’s everywhere!

And now, nothing is as powerful as social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok barrage us with recommendations to buy something which will make us more attractive, thinner, hipper, happier, you name it.

Every season, there is a new fashion rule for what we should wear. We have pre-holiday sales, holiday sales, post-holiday sales, clearance sales, and even “oops, our mistake, here’s a discount from us” sales!

It’s non-stop and it’s exhausting. It’s also expensive!

But what if we turned off the noise? What if we unsubscribe from retail newsletters and email lists? (We can always sign up again to snag a discount … just unsubscribe afterwards!)

What if we didn’t buy the latest version if the older version we own is perfectly fine?

Know that I am not advocating that you never buy something different! Instead, I am suggesting you purchase mindfully.

My 3-part trademark mantra is this: “Do I need it? Will I use it? Do I love it?”

Then, add to that, “Do I need it right now?” and “What else could I do with these funds?” In other words, thoughtful questions lead to thoughtful purchases!

Now off to decluttering your house!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: Today was all about decluttering your house by starting with your "why"!

Figuring out why we have too much stuff in our homes will allow us to start decluttering in an easier and more mindful manner. 

Additionally, we can maintain a newly streamlined space which feels soothing, when we know the obstacles that can stop us in our tracks! 

Your turn!

  • Which challenge is hardest for you?
  • How do you keep decluttering anyway?

Drop your thoughts in the comments below … and thanks for stopping by!

Decluttering your life

Decluttering Your Life Is Essential for 3 Surprising Reasons!

The benefits of decluttering your life …. well, aren’t they obvious?

On the surface, yes: less stuff to deal with…boom!

But have you ever realized just how insidious clutter really is? It’s more than just having too much physical stuff in your home. In fact, it negatively impacts your life in many other ways, too! 

Once you understand how it slows you down, you’ll want to start releasing the things that no longer support where you’re at. And more importantly, you’ll want to begin releasing the stuff that holds you back from where you want to be!

So let’s take a look at how decluttering improves three areas of your life: your health, your relationships, and your productivity.

Decluttering Your Life
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This post delves Deep into why decluttering your life is a necessary practice for your total Well Being!

declutter your life checklist
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1. Decluttering Your Life | The Effect on Your Health

There are numerous studies that have examined the impact of clutter on our health and the verdict is in: it causes stress!

No shock there, right? I mean, all we have to do is look around our homes. When we see the excess stuff, who doesn’t feel their anxiety rise?

Now don’t get me wrong: of course our homes look a bit “lived in” as we go about our daily lives. Hardly anyone I know has a completely pristine, perfectly organized home 24-7.

But it’s the cabinets, drawers, and closets filled with what we don’t use or need that really turn the pressure on.

In fact, if we take this a step further, there are actually 3 sub-aspects to how clutter stress can play havoc with our health.

- The Physical Impact of Clutter

Firstly, elevated stress leads to high levels of cortisol. Of course, we all experience occasional flashes of stress during the day, some days more than others. But when it’s a prolonged state, it can lead to high blood pressure, increased fat accumulation, loss of calcium from bones, and elevated blood sugar.

Oh my gosh, this sounds like a daunting recipe for aging. doesn’t it! So clearly, we benefit when we take a few minutes daily to remove household clutter from our homes.

- The Mental Impact of Clutter

Secondly, when we have way too many things coming at us, the stress hormones released harm our peace of mind. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and even reduced cognitive abilities.

Have you ever heard someone say (or said it yourself), “I need a mental health day!” Clutter is one major reason why!

- Emotional Impact of Clutter

Thirdly, long-term clutter causes sleep disruption and mood swings. Feelings of agitation, restlessness, and fatigue make our daily routine feel heavy. Our energy is not at its prime. Everything feels like such an effort to complete.

Yikes! Clearly, when our physical surroundings are cluttered, our brains feel that way, too!

declutter your life book
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2. Decluttering Your Life |The Effect of Clutter on Your Relationships

Naturally, when we are feeling under siege, our relationships sputter and stagnate, as well. It’s difficult to focus on nurturing and strengthening our personal relationships when we ourselves are overwhelmed.

Joint activities and shared interests are challenging when we don’t know where things are. Divorce rates rise. Children or others living in the household pick up on the tension, too. To put it differently, clutter is like a virus that infects us and those we love!

Even our friendships can be impacted negatively when clutter gets out of hand. Folks are embarrassed about the quantity of stuff in their homes. They become resistant to having friends drop by. It’s harder to maintain close connections when our stuff gets in the way. 

And oh, our girlfriends are SO important! They support us, they advise us, they laugh and cry with us! They ARE love! Who would ever want clutter to interfere with the fellowship we crave and enjoy?

Who wants to prioritize things and stuff over the people and experiences? No one willingly … but it happens when our stuff holds us back.

 

declutter your life
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3. Decluttering Your Life |The Effect of Clutter on Your Productivity

Lastly, our productivity, or ability to move ahead smoothly and efficiently with our tasks and goals is compromised by clutter. It tugs at our attention when important papers, notes, and contacts are scattered across our tables, hidden amongst our emails, or buried in texting threads.

Oh sure, I’ve read that some of the most brilliant, famous minds like Albert Einstein or JK Rowling are among the most disorganized folks around! Yet I can’t help but think that they are in the minority of those who can be messy yet manage to concentrate fully on their craft.

We are given only so many hours in each day. How do we want to spend that time: hunting and searching for lost or misplaced items? Sifting through stuff we no longer need or use? Who want every task to take longer than necessary because our things get in the way … anyone?

If you think about it, when we spend our time and energy wading through clutter of all kinds, it slows us down and prevents us from realizing a fair return on our efforts. Who has time for that?

 

The Wrap with Mary V

The Wrap: This post shared 3 key areas where decluttering your life will provide a phenomenal return!

Ready to start removing clutter from your life?

Not sure when you’ll find the time? Try fitting in a decluttering session right before or right after another habit you already perform.

This is called “habit stacking“. The association of the two activities helps with making decluttering a part of your regular routine.

Even blocking out as little as 15 minutes a day will add up to noticeable results!

Your turn!

 

  • What is your biggest obstacle to getting rid of clutter?
  • Do you live with someone who can’t let things go?

Share what’s on your mind … And thanks for stopping by!

decluttering strategies

Decluttering Strategies To Clear Out 5 Small Spaces For Immediate Impact!

When we use savvy decluttering strategies, space clearing does not have to be an all-day project!

And one component of a savvy method is when it takes less than hour from start to finish. If you can carve out more time than that, wonderful! But it’s not necessary. 

In other words, when we employ quick decluttering strategies to clear out high traffic zones, we can get immediate gratification. We will see and enjoy the fabulous results daily, as opposed to clearing out our attic or basement.

Small bites with this approach will then motivate us to keep going. Maybe now we’ll feel ready to tackle the attic! More doing, less delaying … how good is that? 

So let’s get to today’s handpicked 5 small spaces! 

decluttering strategies

Today is all about using smart decluttering strategies in tiny spaces to achieve big results!

extreme decluttering

Decluttering Strategies | #1: Handbag or Tote

Start with your workhorse: the survival bag which contains the things you [think you] need on a daily basis. Is it possible that the bigger the bag, the more extras you lug around?

Fashion rules waffle between oversized Neverfull totes and compact Gucci clutches. Regardless, taking 10 minutes to sort through the contents makes sense. I mean, who doesn’t accumulate crumpled tissues, loose change, stray mints and other miscellaneous passengers that need to exit?

And go ahead and file (or shred if not needed) those receipts. Toss the scraps of paper. Remove the old makeup products. When you’re decluttering and organizing your bag on a weekly basis, like on a Sunday night, you’ll be ready for the start of the week, Monday morning!

In fact, you may even conclude you don’t need to carry such a large handbag. Or, you might revel in using the same but albeit much lighter bag…you choose!

 

decluttering techniques
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Decluttering Strategies | #2: Makeup 

Isn’t it amazing how cosmetics seem to multiply like bunnies in the bathroom drawers? These small spaces quickly get jam-packed. We accumulate free samples. We try different colors. Or we snag the latest celebrity endorsed makeup. Before you know it, you have more products than you will ever use!

But what if you set into a box or a specified drawer only the items you currently used in the last few weeks? It might surprise you to see how many remain behind that you just don’t touch. How many “some day” or “just in case” items do you need? Think about it!

 Whatever you don’t plan to keep, consider donating unopened items to a local women’s shelter. Everyone deserves a chance to look their best, don’t you think?

And don’t forget: all products have a limited shelf life. Consider replacing your makeup every 6-9 months. Because no one wants a skin or eye infection … these are supposed to be beauty enhancers, not detractors!

 

decluttering and organizing
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Decluttering Strategies | #3: Kitchen Counter

Why is the kitchen counter such a magnet for stuff unrelated to cooking? You walk in the door and automatically deposit things there!

Mail, keys, receipts, sunglasses … any number of miscellaneous items land there. Unfortunately, many never leave and then there’s barely any work surface for meal prep.

My suggestions? Start designating specific homes for the things you use and carry back in every day. Have a decorative bowl or hook where your keys go. Take 5 minutes to sort through the mail and do this right over the trash can so you can immediately toss the junk mailers. Anything that needs action, set in a designated folder for review later. Consider a specified day/time to handle that paperwork.

Decluttering a room in 30 minutes becomes super easy when you create daily routines to put things where they belong the first time. Then you can actually get cooking when it’s meal time!

where to start decluttering
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Decluttering Strategies | #4: Nightstands

Here are more small spaces which become catchall surfaces. And in a room meant for rest and relaxation! If you think about it, the only things that really belong here should be supportive for a good night’s sleep or a romantic interlude.

However, most folks tend to deposit their phone or electronic device next to the bed. It’s the first thing they reach for when they wake up. It’s not a healthy practice! You might be surprised how much it actually interferes with your mood and mindset.

The first time I left it in the kitchen felt very odd … like I was missing a body part, lol! But now, it feels liberating to have it in another room. And I’ll admit, I am better at springing out of bed in the morning … so I can get to my phone!

Take five now and remove all the odds and ends that have landed on your night stand. Imagine how refreshing it will be to see a calming vignette of what matters when you wake up in the morning. You’ll never want to turn out the light on a cluttered nightstand again!

declutter a room in 30 minutes
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Decluttering Strategies | #5: Refrigerator

Lastly, think about how often this appliance gets opened and what may have overstayed its welcome inside. Generally, the doors are chock full of condiments rarely if ever used. Fruits and veggies have the shortest lifespan of your fridge contents so turnover is critical in the produce drawers.

Pausing to clear out and wipe down the surfaces is a smart way to take inventory before heading on your next grocery run. And it never hurts to pitch the items of temptation if you’re embarking on a clean eating regimen, does it!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: Today we considered just a few of the many small spaces you can dig into when you are ready to kick out decluttering strategies in an hour or less. 

Take a stroll around your home and make note of small decluttering zones that you could conquer in less than an hour. Then when you’re ready to kick on some short but effective decluttering and organizing, refer to your list and get going!

To avoid getting distracted, have a bag or a bin to deposit items that belong elsewhere. Put those items away where they belong at the end of your session. Afterwards, enjoy the sense of accomplishment…you’ve earned it!

For more tiny tips, start with reading 

Clutter: What Exactly Is It & How Do We Collect So Much of It? 

Or check out this video on eliminating visual clutter over here!

Your turn!

  • Which small spaces are clutter magnets in your home?
  • How do you plan to tackle those hot zones?

Drop your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!  

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