Happy Herbivore Blog

November 12, 2012

Minimalist Monday: 5 Easy Ways to Make Money on Your "Stuff"

I know I'm always preaching "less is more" (and it is!) on Minimalist Monday; but that begs the question, well, what can you do with the stuff you're getting rid of? 

I'm always quick to suggest donation and recycling (both terrific options!), but wouldn't it be great if being a minimalist also put cash in your pocket?

I mean, yes, in the grand scheme of things, being a minimalist does mean more money in your pocket because you're spending less and saving more — but here I'm talking about making money off of the items you already have, but your inner minimalist wants you to get rid of. 

The most common way to profit from your "stuff" is to sell it off in an old-fashioned garage sale or yard sale — or on sites like Craigslist or eBay, but if you're looking for less hassle (because, let's face it, garage sales and eBay take some effort) here are other options: 

Selling Old Electronics: Websites such as buymytronics.com and gazelle.com will buy old electronics from you (you just mail them in!), but you can also donate them for a tax break. See e-access.org for more information.

Old Clothes: Yard sales are an obvious choice, and donating to thrift stores, churches, and charity is awesome, but you can also "sell" your clothes to online clothing swaps like Thredup.com, where you can either take a credit to get other clothes on the site or take cash. It's sort of like a virtual consignment store and great for the budding minimalist. 

Rent Your Stuff: You can rent anything — your snowboard, your fancy camera you hardly ever use, your lawn mower, etc. for cash. If you have items you don't really use daily but also don't want to get rid of, renting them out can be a great option. Websites like zilok.com, snapgoods.com, sharesomesugar.com, neighborgoods.net and rentalic.com offer peer-to-peer renting of all kinds of items. 

On the reverse, a minimalist who doesn't want to own a lot of things can also use these sites to rent as needed, thereby not having to own more stuff. 

You can also rent a spare room in your house via airbnb. Scott & I have used airbnb to rent rooms when we were traveling and loved it, by the way. 

Here's a great article about a guy who tried several of these websites (i.e., rented a couple items he wasn't using, like his grill) and made a good bit of money ($654.85) in two weeks without much effort. 

(There's another, but less thrilling article of a similar nature in the NYT ).

Rent Your Car: Just like with goods (above), you can rent your ride via relayrides.com

The great thing about all of these options — other than the fact you're making money — is we're sharing items as a community, reusing and reducing. It's so minimalist!

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