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Turn Your Clutter to Cash

When you pictured married life, we bet you didn’t envision that pile of magazines in the bathroom or a closet so packed you’re both afraid to open it. Well, roll up your sleeves—it’s time to sell your stuff.

Photo: Veer

Step 1: Do a Clean-Out

Place stuff you haven’t worn in the past year in a pile and decide what’s sellable (new or almost-new), what to donate (used but in good shape) and what to chuck (read: that shirt with a massive stain). Do the same with kitchen items, wedding gifts and movies.

Step 2: Start Your Research

See how much items similar to yours are going for. Think hard about what your stuff is worth to you -- if that vase your sister gave you fetches only $20 on a website but you’d hate to lose it for less than $50, hang on to it until the demand rises.

Step 3: Know What Sells

Labels are hot right now, from Banana Republic to designer vintage. Sunglasses, organic goods and décor items, like antlers and funky lamps, are also flying off the cyber shelves. And remember: Sets sell. Say you want to sell a Fred Flintstone figurine or a teapot, you’ll get more eyes on it if you post it with the rest of its clan (i.e., Wilma and Pebbles or teacups and saucers).

Step 4: Get Your Item Camera-Ready

Press and clean any clothing or linens, make sure the lighting is good so the color is right, and also take a close-up shot of the label (especially if it’s a name brand). Same goes for your handbags, shoes and even dishes.

Step 5: Describe the Goods

You’ll fare better if you type luxury sectional sofa with chocolate-brown Italian leather rather than brown couch. Skip all caps and exclamation points -- that stuff just gets on buyer's nerves. In your description, add your ZIP code in case buyers want to shop locally or calculate shipping costs.

Step 6: Suss Out Your Buyer

Websites like eBay allow you to use PayPal, where the buyer has to pay before anything is shipped. Craigslist, on the other hand, doesn’t have a pay system, so contact them by email and make your own arrangements.

-- Caitlin Moscatello

See More: Cleaning & Organizing , Decor Tricks