Debt is stressful.

The longer you delay paying it off, the more it compounds, which affects your financial health, sure, but it also takes a toll on your overall well-being.

One easy way to pay down some of your debt? Look around you. Do you see some clutter? Unused kitchen items or clothes you don’t wear?

If you’re like most people, the answer is a resounding yes. So why not sell those extra items?

Some tips for turning clutter into cash:

Organize first

Go room by room, organizing your clutter into a “keep” pile and a “sell” pile. Only keep items you use on a regular basis or that have sentimental value.

Evaluate each item you’re planning to sell, categorize it by its function, and set it aside.

Once you’ve gone through each room, collate all your “sell” piles, taking care to group similar items so that you save time when you need to create ads for them.

Choose a buy-and-sell platform

Facebook Marketplace: Back in 2016, Facebook launched a dedicated Marketplace. List your items, post some photos, set a price, and you’re off. You can even specify whether you’re willing to ship or whether an item is pick-up only.

Craigslist: Craigslist is a classified ad board with sections for everything from housing to services. It’s geared toward local communities, so primarily buyers already within your town or city (or buyers specifically searching for items in your area) will be able to see your ads.

eBay: On eBay, users from all over the world can search for any item. You can choose to ship items or restrict them to pick-up only. If you’re not willing to wait and see what auction price something might fetch, you can use the “Buy It Now” feature to set your own price.

Other platforms: Consider Oodle Marketplace,, LetGo, or Geebo. Create an account, choose a merchandise category, list an item and a price, and post a photo.

Tips for smart online selling

Take great photographs. Pictures of your items on a clean surface and in good light can really up their value.

Only accept cash or money transfers in person. Cash in hand is always preferable, but some buyers prefer the convenience of electronic money transfers. If a buyer wants to use an app like Venmo, politely ask them to send the money when they arrive to pick up the item – and definitely before they leave with it. Never accept checks.

Be courteous and professional. Buyers appreciate honest, polite sellers. Word travels fast when a buyer has had a bad experience with a seller. If you have lots to sell, you’ll need positive word-of-mouth advertising to help you sell quickly.

Never meet a buyer alone. For your safety, always have a friend or family member with you when you complete a transaction. Never let a buyer into your home when you’re alone. Online buyers are accustomed to meeting in neutral locations such as supermarket parking lots, so arrange to meet there.

Set payments aside immediately. Once you have payment, set it aside so you don’t spend it by accident. Transfer it into a savings account, or put the cash into an envelope until it’s time to start paying off your debt.

The bottom line

Living with debt is a constant drag on your energy, and sometimes paying it off seems all but impossible. Organizing your clutter, choosing a platform, and following these online selling tips can start you down the path toward a debt-free life today.

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