Earn Money by Having a Summer Time Garage Sale and Donating

The clutter is becoming too much.  You’re ready to deal with it by, (gasp), finally getting rid of some stuff.  Even your significant other is on board with the idea. Now the question becomes: What’s the best way to dispose of your items and make some money?


Short of leaving your stuff at the street for ultimate disposition at a landfill – a poor first choice for environmental reasons alone- you have two broad options to eliminate the unwanted household items, clothes, jewelry, etc. from your life:

  • Sell them
  • Donate them

Common ways of selling your wares are via eBay, Craigslist, or a garage sale.  The advantage of all three methods is the money you receive for the items that sell. The disadvantage of those approaches are the required amount of time it takes to list or promote your items, deciding how to price them, and bargaining with “shoppers,” not to mention dealing with the general public (who you might need to invite to your home if the items are too big to ship.  Think that through first.).

Another approach is to donate the unwanted goods.  Doing so is definitely a “feel good.”  It’s also possible it could save you money on your taxes.  These non-cash charitable donations may be tax deductible if you itemize your tax deductions.

Financially speaking, which is a more shrewd move – selling them or donating them?

There’s plenty more to the decision than the finances.  Make sure you put some value to your time.  If you have but a few relatively inexpensive items, consider donating.  If you are looking to empty a house, consider a garage sale and donating what doesn’t sell.  In the end, the choice is only partially monetary.  No matter the pathway you choose, once some of the clutter is gone, you’re certain to enjoy your larger home.

Michael Rubin

Author of the bestseller Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck, and the upcoming The Savings Solution, Michael B. Rubin is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional. In addition to his experience providing sophisticated financial advice to affluent clients, Michael has been a key source of information for over a decade to countless others. He speaks passionately about and provides guidance on virtually all personal financial planning topics. Michael has appeared in various media, including radio and TV stations across the country, plus national media such as CNN Money.com, latimes.com, The Wall Street Journal, SmartMoney.com, Chicago Tribune, Financial Advisor Magazine, and Investment News. Prior to founding Total Candor LLC, Michael worked in the personal financial services practices of two of the former "Big Six" accounting firms. Subsequently working for several years as a new venture executive for Toys "R" Us, Inc., he made sure that he never actually grew up. He holds an undergraduate business degree from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Michael lives in New Hampshire with his wife and children.

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