How we cash in on unused clutter in the winter


Don’t underestimate the value of an item because what you may consider junk another may consider a treasure.

It’s cold outside especially if you are living in Canada like us.

There’s no denying the temperatures in 2014 are by far the coldest we’ve had in a long time.

Clear the clutter

It seems almost everyone is complaining about being stuck indoors and having nothing to do so how about winter pre-spring cleaning around the house?

Yes you read that right!

I’m always getting emails or fans asking, “How can I make extra money to pay down debt?”. Well sometimes the easiest and fastest answer is right in your own home.

There’s no point sitting around the house this winter doing nothing if you have piles of potential cash in unused clutter sitting around your house.

Make the most of your clutter and sell it for a nice profit that you can put into your emergency savings or use the money you earn for whatever financial decisions are important to you.

How to sort your clutter

How do you begin to clear out clutter? That’s easy.

Every successful clutter clear-out starts with a plan so know what rooms you want to tackle and as you riffle through the clutter start to think about exactly what you plan to do with the items.

Another way people get organized with their clutter is to prepare boxes and label the front of them stating where you will be sending the items ie: garage sale, consignment.

You don’t have to go hard at it for hours on end either especially if you have lots of clutter in your house to go through.

Like many people especially if you are in a relationship or have kids you probably have tonnes of things in your house that could potentially scream, extra money.

Put yourself to work if even for an hour every other day to start clearing out the items you could sell and make some extra cash from.

Best part is you get some exercise while doing it too because when you move your body your  it will thank you.

Cleaning is a great way to burn calories so sorting through clutter is just another form of cleaning so make the best of it.

Don’t let your clutter become extinct

Alright, I’m having a bit of laugh with that one but you know what I mean when some items are more nostalgic than useful although there are many people out there that do collect for those reasons.

I believe they even made a TV program on HGTV once about collectors and I can remember seeing some of the phenomenal rooms these dedicated people put together for items that meant the world to them.

One guy collected mustard and had a mustard room, so don’t throw out those unopened jar or condiments you might have from years ago that you found in the back of your pantry. There might be a collector out there waiting to scoop it up to display on their shelf.

Every dollar counts in the budget and the longer you wait to sell something the less money you might get for it especially if they are school books that tend to go out of date as the next edition comes out or  its technology based.

Clutter can pile up faster than you can shake a stick so if you can hardly move or have no room left in your living space then maybe it’s time to de-clutter and cash in on your unused items.

Don’t forget all those un-opened gifts from your wedding, birthday or Christmas that still have tags and are sealed and haven’t seen the light of day. That can all make you money.

If you haven’t used an item in 6 months to a year and it’s sitting around collecting dust in your attic, basement, closet, under the bed etc. then get rid of it before it ends up becoming a home of unwanted creatures.

Below are some ways we have used to get rid of clutter in the winter and have seen others use to cash in on excess in their homes.

Facebook auction/Buy and Sell/Marketplace

With millions of people on Facebook why miss the opportunity to sell your clutter to people who are plugged into social media on a daily basis.

Most cities have a Facebook group that is a 24-hour auction where you can post pictures of items you want to auction off.  You can post a starting bid under the photo and let the fans do the bidding.

Once the 24 hours is up the fan with the highest bid wins the auction. You then private message them the details for pick-up and that’s it. You make money on your unwanted clutter.

There are also groups for straight sales, trades and Marketplace on Facebook which is run by Facebook and similar to Kijiji.

Another really cool site to check-out is Varage-Sale which also allows you to buy and sell items in your local area.


This is one of the most popular ways to make extra cash in the winter and to be honest all year-long. Simply place a free for sale ad on Kijiji or Craigslist and let the online directory do the work for you.

Make sure to include a photo and detailed description with contact information for potential buyers. The last thing you want is to have people skim over your ad because you didn’t properly market your clutter the way you should be.

I don’t know many people who want to purchase something without at least seeing the product or a photo of it.

If you are a negotiator get ready to use your negotiating skills because people like to throw numbers back and forth so I’d always place your price about $5 above what you want in hopes of negotiating down to what you really want.

There are many negotiating tactics out there  but if you really want the clutter gone, just get rid of it for a reasonable price and don’t refuse and reasonable offers. Gone.


I’ve bought a few things from Ebay in my time but I’ve never sold anything on Ebay before however it’s a great way to get rid of your clutter.

It’s my understanding that as a seller on Ebay in Canada you will have some fees to pay which fall into three categories such as insertion fees, upgrade fees and final value fees so make sure you do your homework.

Garage sale

Believe it or not people have indoor winter garage sales in their garage to get rid of the excess clutter that is mounting up around the house.

If you have kids you know exactly what I mean when I say you likely have more toys and things n’ stuff around the house that you could do without tripping over.

Having kids means clutter mounts easily after birthdays and all the holidays throughout the year where they are given gifts.

If you are a parent that buys your children toys often even if from Dollarama you probably have bins full of clutter you would like to keep moving right out the door. You know how it works with kids and toys the interest dies off quickly so why wait, sell  them and make a profit.

Make sure you bundle up and head over to these shiver sales to find your bargains. If you are a homeowner and your garage is big enough to host a garage sale in the winter then make use of the space and set up some tables and invite the public over via Kijiji or other free classified ads to list your garage sale.

You don’t need to keep the garage door open if you have a side entrance but if not you can still brave the cold and see who turns up. You never know.

Some people also keep the items in their home on tables and invite the public inside to look around.

Consignment store

Check your local yellow pages to see if there are any consignment stores in your area that are willing to sell your items for a fee or you split the profits. You may just as well sell the clutter to the consignment store for a fee just to get rid of it.


Another popular way to sell clutter is to pass it through your friends and family first.

Passing clothes and other baby accessories down through the family is not new and most certainly a great way for parents to save money and de-clutter.

It helps everyone out to save money and get the clutter moving. We pass along anything that we can to our relatives especially tools and garden supplies which can get costly.

You’d be surprised what your friends and family have to sell so don’t be shy if you need something or are looking to buy or sell speak up.

You never know what they might say.. hey I’ve got a spare I’ll sell you for $10 or even better, you can have it.

Cash in from the heart

You don’t need money to feel better although it won’t pay your bills you can be just as happy giving your clutter away because you may be the person on the other end who would appreciate getting something for free as well.


You won’t make any cash this way but if you decide to simply donate your items to charity or a second-hand thrift shop like Bibles for Missions, Value Village, Salvation Army etc you still benefit.

You know that you are helping others out who need the help or those that are looking to save money in their budget by purchasing gently used items at a fraction of the cost. It’s like giving back to the community and keeping items out of the landfill.


Another option is to list the item in your local Yahoo Free-cycle online group which simply means you are giving the item away for free which lends itself to be a community of people who help each other out for free.

So next time you catch yourself complaining about how cold our Canadian winters are get off the couch and start going through the clutter in your house and start rolling in the extra money.

Discussion: Have you sold items in the winter to get rid of clutter in your home?  

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Photo Credit: Bill Bradshaw/

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  1. regarding “donate”- ” You know that you are helping others out who need the help …”

    Consider the independent non-profit animal organization ( not referring to SPCA) located in your community .
    Gently used/new towels, bed linens, cleaning and office supplies and quality silent auction items for fundraising events are appreciated.

    Contact your local organization to enquire as to their needs.
    A volunteer may personally visit your residence to pick up your donation(s)
    (official tax receipt for donation is available when an actual store receipt reflecting price is provided )

  2. Our boys room is sure up for a de-clutter session. Seems like that’s where all the toys not being played with anymore are getting dumped. We will probably clean out over spring break in April and have a garage sale this summer. I hate when things get cluttered.

  3. We’ve been doing a slow clear out taking things to the Salvation Army Thrift store mostly. Hubby feels up to going for a little walk and he bags up a few things and off he goes.
    When the kids were much younger their outgrown clothes went to their cousins. Our daughter lives in a small 2 bedroom apt with the grandson so there isn’t much storage space there and as he out grows toys or just doesn’t play with them, they get snuck into the trunk of the car and off to work with her. She works in a daycare so the kids there love it! She will also trade clothes with co-workers for the little mr. She gets things from one co-worker for her son and some of his out grown things go to another co-worker. It works for them all.
    My sister-in-law loves kijiji and buys and sells there a lot. She sold our trailer there when we decided to get rid of it. She also has a garage sale every year or two. I’m sure if I wanted to have a sale she would be here to help me out, or just have everything at her place.

    1. All of the reasons you listed above are great ways to sell and make extra cash or save money. We love garage sales as well.

  4. I have two rules of thumb.
    1. If I haven’t used in two years out it goes.
    2. Get rid of one thing a day out of the house. I tend to go room by room. So one room a month type thing.

    Its what works for me.

  5. This post is speaking my language. We love to clean out and cash out on our clutter. In fact it is one of our guilty pleasures to start looking around our house for unused items that we can sell. We’ve also discovered that everything has value, to someone. It is about finding who that person is. We have a rule that we never throw out anything until we have searched for it on Ebay. It is amazing what money you can squeeze out of a seemingly useless object. Excellent post, we are kindred spirits in this area.

  6. The clear out is a constant monthly thing for me! Lol….as my kids continue to grow out of their clothes i sell them 🙂 I also went through both their rooms right before christmas and cleared out toys that they didnt play with (even found some still in the boxes) to make room for their new xmas toys! While clearing out I also found a brand new lego set that i sold for $200 that i bought for 2 dollars at a garage sale in the summer!!! I love doing the clear out 🙂

    1. If you have kids I can only imagine the amount of stuff that can accumulate. It’s smart to get rid of it as you go otherwise you can just get overwhelmed with stuff.

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