5 Things to Purge (and Sell!) to Help You Save up for the Holidays

published Oct 18, 2021
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The holidays are fast approaching, which means you may have already curated your gift-giving list. Even if you haven’t (no shame in that either!), now is the time to think about any presents you intend to give loved ones this year, as well as how you’re going to pay for them. But what if I told you the funds to support those purchases may be in untouched areas of your home?

From storage spaces to the deepest corners of your closet, clearing out a few unused items can give you an extra boost of cash while putting your mind at ease and helping you potentially avoid a hefty credit card bill. By investing a bit of time, you can use these tips as a starting point to get creative and declutter. So whether you’re looking to save money or reclaim a few of your spaces, here are five things to purge and sell to help you save up for the holidays. 

Clothing You Don’t Wear Anymore

Scan your closet, drawers, and shoe racks for items that you haven’t worn in the past year. (You may have a few special occasion outfits you only break out every so often, and it’s okay to set those aside for later if you still love them.) De-pill sweaters, shine shoes, and freshly wash or dry clean articles if necessary to get them looking their best before taking them to your local consignment or resale shop. 

Many consignment shops only take clothing by season, and you may have to wait until your consignment period ends to get paid and pick up leftover items. Usually, the resale shop receives a commission from items sold, and the rate will vary from store to store. Another option is to take pieces to a store, such as Plato’s Closet or Uptown Cheapskate, which will pay you for items on the spot. There are also several online resale stores, such as ThredUp and The RealReal, where you can mail off your items to sell. If you have the time to act as the seller, Poshmark and Depop can be good avenues to try.

If vintage is more your vibe, take your clothes to a vintage store. Call ahead to see if they purchase or consign authentic items. Graphic tees from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s are trending, so your favorite fan shirt from grade school may score you extra dough for holiday gifting. 

Books You’ve Read a Thousand Times

Whether you started a book and lost interest or want to curate your collection, there may be holiday funds lurking on your shelves. First, call your locally-owned bookstore and see if they have a used section. If they have preloved books, they often source them from locals. Before heading out, leaf through pages to check for bookmarks and dog-eared pages. 

National discount chains, such as Half Price Books, will also pay you on the spot for specific books, while several online stores resell favorite novels, no matter the genre. If you’re ambitious, you can list them on Amazon for cash or credit. AbeBooks and BookDeal also specialize in book reselling, and many folks may need your titles for holiday gift-giving. One point to note is to be honest about the overall condition and other flaws, such as writing in the book or any water damage, no matter how slight.

Accessories that Don’t Fit Your Style Anymore

Some clothing resale shops will also accept accessories. However, jewelry and scarves are the perfect sizes for shipping, so test out your selling skills on a social media platform like Instagram. Use your personal account or direct folks to a new one just for selling. Take photos of your item, and include materials, size, condition, and price. A bonus is that other folks may want to purchase your jewelry for their own gift-giving needs, so not only are you making extra money, but you may be helping someone else with their gift list at a discounted price.

Credit: Apartment Therapy

Furniture You’ve Been Meaning to Rehome

There are no guarantees, but Facebook Marketplace can often provide a quick sale, given that highly sought-after items sell fast if they are priced right. Marketplace is also a great way to sell more oversized items locally, which is handy for furniture, mattresses, and home decor pieces that could be cumbersome to ship or take somewhere else.

Before creating your listing, stage your items in a well-lit area, and take photos with your camera or smartphone. Disclose any flaws, list the dimensions if necessary, and have your pieces looking their best. As a precaution, meet the buyers in a neutral location or vet your buyers to see if you are comfortable with them coming to your home (don’t be alone if possible!) to pick up their purchase.

Small Household Items You Simply Don’t Use

Has your little-used juicer been designated a dust-gathering spot in your kitchen cabinet for years? Dust it off, and take it to a home goods resale store. These locally-owned spots typically work just like clothing consignment shops, yet their purpose is for stocking homes at a discount. In addition, specialized small appliances, pots, pans, and other kitchen accessories are accepted on a designated consignment period.

These stores usually accept home goods, such as decorative pillows and wall art. If you’re in the mood to swap out your decor — or have too much — a home resale shop is the perfect place to earn extra money. Another option if you have vintage things, handmade items, or an overstock of DIY supplies is to list these pieces on a site like Etsy. Discover what you can part with easily, and your offcasts can be someone else’s gain.