You have been planning for years to get rid of the stuff in your storage unit and finally the time is right. A sudden spurt of energy, a change in your life or even a strong curiosity about what is hidden in the back of that unit can all be opportunities to start fresh. So, you pop open the lock, throw open the door and suddenly, you are met with that “old attic” smell. But, you have decided to tackle the beast once and for all. The following is a list of a few ways to get rid of the unwanted items, make a bit of money and unclutter your life.
First, remove all family heirlooms and photo albums. Those are things that mean the most and continue your families history. The rest, well, you can run a classified ad and try to sell it all to someone who will sell it in their thrift store. Or, you can have a garage sale. And, you can always have a storage unit auction.
In order to get started you need to first sort your items and put them in piles for certain destinations. Don’t get overwhelmed! Just take it one box at a time! There are several ways that you can sort your stuff but it is probably best to start with just four suggestions.
Start by putting things into piles for Venue (where you want to sell the item such as online, garage sale or donation).Sort by category such as a pile for clothes another for electronics another for small knick Knacks. You should also have a pile for things that are expensive such as vintage or furniture or collectibles.And another pile can be for items that don’t really fit into a category…just yet. Everything else should be trashed or donated.
Then, you will need to go through each pile! In the venue pile, you will have to figure out where you are going to sell the item. You should divide things into the garage sale section, the ebay section, Facebook swip swap and possibly flea market. If you take a bit of time for research, there are better places to sell certain things than others. You may get more for an item on ebay than on Facebook if you are willing to include a shipping fee into the price. Ebay has a much larger audience than your local Facebook swip swap marketplace so you can ask a higher price. Focus on the venue where you will sell it and then the price and finally what category it fits.
Next, as you are sorting each category where the item is going to be sold, sort the items again by price. Have boxes ready that are labeled with $1 or $5 etc. until you have gone through everything one at a time. When it comes time to display items for a garage sale or a flea market, it will go faster when you have to put a tag on each piece. Dividing your items by venue whether it is ebay, Facebook marketplace, garage sale or flea market should have its own box and then divisions by price inside each. Organization can make or break a day of selling items. You don’t want to spend all of your time figuring out what price to sell things for in front of someone with an open wallet!!
While you are going through the sorting process, taking pictures of the items at the same time can speed things along. If you are going to sell anything online, a picture is required! If the items are going to be sold at a flea market or garage sale, this is where you start tagging them. Listing items that are below 5 dollars on Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, or any other site is a waste of time. By the time you get done with taking the pictures, editing the pictures and creating content for the online ad, you have too much time investment for it to be worth the trouble. If you have lots and lots to sell, it is probably a good idea to even bump that number up to $10. Anything that you want to sell on eBay, Facebook marketplace and Craigslist should be photographed in good lighting and then weighed so that you can calculate shipping prices. Items that are in the miscellaneous venue box should be researched on line to see what their value. Ebay and Amazon marketplace are great sites to find similar items and discover at what price they are selling. Pieces that you can not find a similar item or price should be taken to an expert so that the real price can be calculated.
Probably the most profitable way to sell your storage unit belongings is by selling each item individually. You can take out an ad in your local newspaper or an online classified on craigslist, Facebook marketplace or ebay. Describe your items accurately and when someone inquires, arrange to meet the buyers at your storage unit. This method works very well for large items such as appliances, sporting goods and home electronics. But, for things like boxes of books, dishes and Christmas decorations, you will need to sell through multiple locations and consider the price of shipping to far away places.
When posting ads online for items that you want to sell, you must keep them very simple and to the point. Include a phone number or other way for people to contact you immediately. If you are writing for several different items that are all going to be posted on the same site, you can link them all by using a unique phrase common in all of them. The phrase will come up over and over when a person searches for one item. They will then see everything you have for sale so you can make sales of multiple items if possible. Don’t go into deep detail on items when writing your ad. Color, size, brand and condition are enough to get them to respond and ask more questions where you can answer them in an email response. Post ads for selling your items AND for when you are going to have a garage sale. These ads should list the really great items that you have for sale to entice the shopper to show up. If you sell on eBay, it is best to list on Sunday and let the items go for bid for the week. Sundays seem to be the day the highest bids come in.
If you sell your items at a Garage Sale or Flea Market, organize items so that like items are together. Tools should all be on one table, kitchenware on another and baby strollers, cribs and bikes gathered in another area. When people see the same types of things together, they tend to buy more than one item. Once you get your sale set up, post a photo of the sale on to craigslist or Facebook marketplace and tell everyone you are ready to deal.
You can also hold a garage sale at the storage unit if you get an OK from the front office. If they don’t allow it, ask about an auction instead. Some managers only allow tenants onto the property for security purposes. Advertise as you would for any other garage sale with a notice in the newspaper and signs around the neighborhood. In the late afternoon on the day of your sale, make whatever deals you can on the remaining items. You want to go home empty handed.
Auctioning the contents of your unit is another way to get rid of things for a nice amount of money. You can sell it all at once by listing it online with pictures and accepting the highest bid. This may not get you the largest amount of money possible, but it will get rid of everything in one fell swoop. You can also hire auctioneers who specialize in storage unit auctions to sell your unit. The best way to approach this sales technique is to speak to your facility’s management to get a recommendation and to allow access to the auction attendees. If you go with an auctioneer, arrange with them to highlight more valuable items during the auction and move them to the front of the unit before the sale. Auction companies work on a commission basis from the amount of the final sale. It is in their best interest that they try to get the highest dollar possible for not only you but also for them. Big bucks for your stuff is good for everyone.
These are just a few ways to get rid of your stuff that has been aging in your storage unit. If you follow just a couple suggestions, you should have an empty unit and lots of cash in your pocket!