For quite a while now, I’ve been a fan of Adam Baker’s blog, Man Vs Debt. Adam and his wife Courtney got themselves off the work-spend-work treadmill, paid off $18,000 in consumer debt, and dramatically improved their lives. They’re able to travel the world with their toddler, living out of backpacks with just a few possessions. They no longer have an attachment to material stuff, nor a need to constantly purchase things. I can definitely identify with that.
I started purging our stuff back in the spring, although I would say the biggest change I made was to stop shopping, pretty much entirely, for anything other than food. We do still buy other stuff… right now we’re building a small fence in our backyard to separate our utility area from the rest of the yard, so we needed things like wood and concrete. We realize that we’ll need to continue acquiring things like garden supplies, and clothes and shoes for our son as he grows. But until about five months ago, shopping at the thrift store was one of my favorite things to do, and I went nearly every week. I bought kitchen stuff, clothes for myself and our son, and random things that I liked but that we didn’t really need. I never spent a lot of money – usually $10 or $20 per trip – but we did end up with a lot of clutter.
I stopped going to the thrift store (other than to drop off donations) sometime in April. I haven’t purchased any clothes since then, or much of anything else besides food. I did buy some canning supplies last month, which I consider well worth the small space they take up. I’ve gotten rid of about half my clothes, sold a dresser that we didn’t need once we got rid of so many clothes, given away tons of stuff on craigslist’s free section (including a desk that was taking up a lot of space in the basement), and we even sold some higher value items like a snowboard and a unicycle. But the vast majority of our stuff was simply donated to the thrift stores where I used to love to shop. I felt that getting rid of the stuff was more important than getting money for it, and donating it was the easiest, fastest way to accomplish that. Plus, most of the stuff had been used and inexpensive when we got it, so there wasn’t really any financial pain associated with letting it go.
But I realize that is not the case for everyone. Some people have large amounts of consumer debt associated with their clutter. Others might not have debt, but they remember spending a lot of money to buy the stuff in the first place. And some people – especially in our current economic climate – truly need whatever money they can get from their stuff in order to be able to pay for food and rent. For a lot of people, selling their stuff makes far more sense than donating it.
And that’s where Adam Baker comes in. He’s recently launched Sell Your Crap, and it’s an excellent guide to getting as much money as possible in exchange for getting rid of the clutter that’s holding you down. The book explains the Bakers’ personal journey to minimalism and a non-consumer life, and details the reasons why our junk is holding us back – and how to get rid of it. He’s got two versions available: Sell Your Crap – Barebones Edition has the Sell Your Crap e-book plus a comprehensive, 171 page guide to selling stuff on eBay. Sell Your Crap – Clutter Crusher Edition also includes detailed guides to selling stuff on craigslist and Amazon, plus ten video interviews with bloggers and authors who are anti-clutter experts, and 30 days of email support from Adam. Both versions also have a $100 effectiveness guarantee: If you don’t make at least $100 selling your clutter, just email Adam and he’ll refund your money.
If you want to get rid of your stuff but also want to make sure that you get the most money possible for it, Adam’s guide is an excellent place to start. eBay, Amazon and craigslist are overwhelming to a lot of people, and that can mean that people either donate stuff that they could easily be selling, or else the stuff just collects dust in a corner somewhere. And with his $100 effectiveness guarantee, you’re sure to make significantly more getting rid of your stuff than you’ll spend on the guide. For anyone who wants a kick start to getting rid of clutter and making some money in the process, Sell Your Crap is a great resource. Enjoy!