There may be thousands of dollars lying around your house. Over on our Get Organized! discussion board, a conversation recently began about how much money one can make by selling items no longer wanted or needed. Smurfette823 started it with this post:
"I feel I was rather productive this week. While I haven't been as diligent with my FlyLady chores as maybe I could have been, I have done my morning and evening routines fairly well. I've also cleaned out a significant amount of clutter and sold some furniture...
Dining chairs, $160
Chair from IKEA, $100
Entertainment center, $200
Weight bench, $60
Weights, $60 (guy is on his way right now to pick them up)
Folding chairs, $40 (sometime this weekend pending pickup)"
She then exclaimed, "That's $620!!!! PLUS, I haven't even listed my dining room table, desk, one small cabinet, my filing cabinet, or my bookshelf yet! I've also freecycled a lamp [and] some framed art, and I'm getting ready to list some candles, decorative vases, and extra office and art supplies I will never use. It's rather exhilarating."
If you're like me, you're suddenly looking around your room and seeing things you could live without, as a cash register in your head goes "ka-ching! ka-ching!" Of course, since I'm a financial writer, my thoughts might also go some places yours don't.
For example, that post had me thinking about all the stocks in our portfolios and how we might do well to sell some of them and put that cash in investments we're more sure of. If you're invested in a nanotechnology company such as Nanogen
Here are some instructive articles on when to sell your investments:
- Rich Smith: "When to Sell a Winner"
- Shannon Zimmerman: "Is It Time to Sell?"
- Rich Smith: "Sell and Don't Look Back"
- Philip Durell: "Contrary to Popular Opinion"
- Selena Maranjian: "A Time to Sell"
Learn more on our Selling Books and Stuff Online discussion board about selling your old stuff. (Not a member of our vast, active and enchanting online community? Try it all for free for 30 days. There's much to like.)
One word of warning: Never assume that you're transacting with total strangers. I once sold a CD online (an extra copy of Sarah Vaughan's wonderful Brazilian Romance), and someone I know bought it! If you're selling anything you're ashamed of, think twice.
I'll close with the rest of Smurfette823's post: "The one thing that has been made absolutely positively clear by this exercise is that if I have empty space, I will fill it up. Not necessarily bad, just now that I'm aware of it I realize I don't need quite as much as I thought. Fewer drawers means less places to stuff things. Less stuff, means less to pack, less to dust, less to keep track of. Sentimental items suddenly mean a lot more to me, because that's about all I'm saving. So when I'm done digging through the disarray, they will be displayed prominently. I will actually get to look at them! How great is that?!"
That applies to your portfolio, too. Clear out the clutter and gaze admiringly at the companies you really like.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.