Many writers in the minimalist area make it sound so easy to clear your house of clutter, but it is hard and often tedious work. Sell Your Crap is a book about using services such as eBay, Amazon and Craigslist to turn your no longer needed items into cash. The point of the book is that most of us probably have thousands of dollars worth of stuff sitting around our houses that we no longer use or care about. That stuff can be turned into cash which can be used to pay off debt or, if you are lucky enough to be debt free, the cash can be saved to fund your future plans.
The plan works! My wife and I have sold more than a couple thousand dollars worth of stuff and applied it to our debt. Lately though, we have come to an almost complete stand still in selling our stuff. Why? Because it is hard and very frustrating work. After you decide what to sell, you need to set a price, then descriptions of the items need to be written (you have to make sure your crap sounds good). Pictures of the items need to be taken and uploaded to your computer. If you sell on eBay or Amazon, you will have to figure shipping charges. When the items sells, you have to package it and travel to the Post Office or UPS to ship.
Craigslist has its own set of frustrations. Once you’ve written the descriptions and posted the ads, you begin a seemingly endless series of email exchanges with people wanting more details about the item or trying to schedule a time to come and look the item over. Be sure and post pictures of everything because if you don’t, people will ask for them. (C’mon people, its a 4-cup coffeemaker, do you really need to see a picture to know what one looks like?)
Once you think you have a buyer all lined up, they don’t show up or change their mind when they see the item. Then you start all over again with another prospective buyer. After going through this process dozens of times, it begins to wear on you and discouragement can, and has for us, set in. When you reach this point, it is easy to quit, to return to the status quo. I refuse to quit!
One activity I have found helpful when I am discouraged is reading the blogs of the people who originally inspired me. Writers like Tammy Strobel, Everett Bogue and Dave Bruno of the “The 100 Thing Challenge” often address the obstacles that can get in your way and offer ways to overcome them. A few days ago I ran into this timely post from Henri Junttila on his blog Wake UP Cloud and it reminded me to listen to my heart and remember my dreams. The only way the dream can come true is by pushing through these obstacles.
We decided to avoid some of the Craigslist issues but not posting any items we were selling for less than $25. Anything less than $25 was not worth the time involved. Items under $25 would be either donated or sold at a yard sale. December in Nebraska is not a good time for a yard sale, so we are going to set the sale up in our basement. Ebay is going to get a shot at selling some more of my collectible items. Also, we are going to decide on an end date. Anything not sold at that time will be donated to our local Goodwill, City Mission and our books donated to our local Library.
We are all going to run into obstacles and become discouraged at times, but the final goal is worth it. When feeling down, we need to turn to each other for encouragement. I know that I would appreciate any encouraging comments you readers would like to leave for me. I am always here to help you when you feel down. We can always rely on the expertise of the people I have linked to above. Together, we will achieve our dreams!