There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it. - Mary Wilson

Get paid to throw out your junk!

Posted: July 26th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: | No Comments »

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If you read Zen Habits or any of the other popular blogs on simplifying your life you’ll hear much to do about reducing the amount of stuff you have. The cost of buying all the gadgets and the distraction they provide creates a lot of clutter in your house and mind, but they also suck away time. All these distractions pull us in too many directions keeping us from achieving anything truly great.

So let’s get rid of it and get paid to do it. First up sell the larger item’s on Craig’s list or ebay. Craig’s list is great because it’s local. There’s less competition and it’s less hassle as people will just call or email and come pick up your junk. No mailing, no paypal, no B.S. My first reaction to Craig’s list was that there’s no way people buy this crap, but let me tell you, people will buy anything. My best friend sold a broken microwave for $10 or $20 on Craig’s list, a broken microwave that she advertised as broken! She also sold a bunch of old beat up furniture and ended up with a few hundred bucks for all her old crap. The other thing I love about Craig’s list is how immediate it is. I decided I wanted a new satellite dish one evening, I jumped on the web and an hour later I had a dish in hand for $10 from a guy 5 miles down the road.

First thing to do is head over to and set up a local phone number. You can then post this number on Craig’s list and forward it to your phone. It also acts as a virtual voice mail. You can even post a special button that allows people to call you without even knowing your grandcentral number. This should relieve any fear of weirdos getting your real phone number.

Then, set up a Craig’s list account takes some pictures, and wait for the money to roll in.

Next up get paid to donate the crap no one will buy. I’ve got 7 suits sitting in my closet that I can’t even begin to wear. Sure I can continue pretending that I’ll be back to my just out of college weight, but even if I did, is the value of those suits worth the cost of my house being full of crap I don’t use right now? Probably not. So let’s send them off to goodwill. This may help someone else get off their feet and it will give me about $200 in tax write-offs. Now this will only pay if you itemize you tax return, but let’s assume you are really getting rid of some stuff not just dumping a few suits. Check out goodwill’s tax deduction page for info including a valuation guide to tell you how much your junk is worth.

My final place to make money throwing stuff away is the recycling center. The cost for almost all metals has skyrocketed. An old professor of mine bought a farm not long ago. It was full of random junk, pig pens, a nonfunctional water heating system for the barns, etc. He has made a few grand from old steel and even more from copper tubing and radiators from the old heating system. Most people would pay someone just to haul all this away, but he paid for part of a new tractor with all this junk. Copper is over $3 per lb right now.

So what are your other favorite ways to make money throwing away junk?
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