Zap Clutter with a Virtual Yard Sale

According to that famous Pennsylvania groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, spring is coming early this year. Make way for the cheer by getting the annual spring cleaning done early too. And what better way to help you stop running from your shadow than to plan for a tag sale?

But if the idea of getting paid to unload your unwanted goods sounds great, but having to devote an entire weekend for others to sift through your stuff does not, start thinking outside the boxes placed on your front lawn and host a virtual yard sale.

Sarah on: “Don’t Get Stopped in Your Tracks”

“Keep in mind that you’re not aiming for picture perfect perfection. You don’t need to have closets color-coded or the toys classified into categories. Spring cleaning is really about that general good feeling you get when you’ve de-cluttered and deep-cleaned. Last year, my husband and I procrastinated for weeks until we realized the end goal we had pictured was too far from the reality of our toy-strewn living room and overflowing closets. What eventually got us over the hump was to focus on the handful of things that were driving us crazy and that, when dealt with, would make me feel like we’d really cleaned up.”

Alicia on “Make a Date”

“Spring cleaning is one of those things that if you don’t plan for it you’ll never find the time to actually do. Sit down with your husband and commit to a date. If you have young children, plan to swap roles during the day as the babysitter. Or better yet, hire a babysitter or plan a visit with the grandparents. While in the planning stage, figure out what cleaning needs to get done, who will tackle each piece. And if you need a little help getting into gear, keep the end reward in sight. You’ll be surprised how fast you and husband will get things done when all the proceeds of your online efforts go towards your summer vacation or a new flat screened television!”

Get started with these helpful hints:

#1: Think In Threes

As you tackle your spring cleaning make it a goal to divide your questionable belongings into one of three piles: either ‘keep’, ‘remove’ (which includes items you’ll toss, recycle or donate) and ‘sell’. Once you complete a room, take your separated piles into one central place like your basement or garage as it’s much easier to set up your virtual yard sale once you’ve scoured the whole house. As you divvy up your goods, just keep this in mind: the second two piles should be bigger than the first!

#2: Everything in its Right Place

Now that you’re passed the sorting process, it’s helpful to have a tactic for selling as some sites will help you earn top dollar over others. For large or heavy items that are more trouble than it’s worth to ship (such as bikes, furniture, or the china from your in-laws) it’s better to sell to local folks who can pick up the goods. Sites such will help connect you to those interested buyers in your neighboring area. As for your shippable goods, your best bet will be an online auction site such as as they’ll be able to showcase your items to buyers all over the world.

#3: Find Your Inner Marketer

Now for the fun part: showing off what you got! Since ‘seeing is believing’ when it comes to selling online, it always helps to take a few snapshots of your showcased item. Keep in mind well-lit, clear photos will do a better job selling the merchandise than dimly-lit, blurry ones. And if you’re not the best photographer: no worries. Here’s your chance to enlist the help of your tech-savvy husband or kids, because surely you aren’t the only one whose goods are on the auction block!