Sunday, June 2, 2019

Downsize your house and make big money

The dust has finally settled since we moved to our new home. Since then, I’ve been reviewing my pre-move household flips. It’s been fun looking at all the things I sold, but also a little sad. Many are bringing back bittersweet memories of long-held items I parted with due to lack of space. We love our new home, but it just doesn’t have the storage space of our old house. As a result, stuff had to go before we moved. It was tough, but parting with those memories was eased by one fact...I made a ton of money! So much so, that we were able to use the money for a bunch of home improvements to the new place. That took away any sting I may have felt when selling some of my treasured stuff. Here’s a few examples of some of the things I sold off prior to our big move.

The Force made me some cash
Like most all-American boys, I went through a comic book collecting stage in my adolescence. At the time, comic book collecting, both as a hobby and an investment, was just starting to take off. During that period, I began buying and saving Marvel comic books, carefully wrapping them in plastic wrappers and storing them away. But my interest waned about the same time I began noticing girls and discovering it was fun taking them to the movies and holding hands! So with that, my comic books took a backseat and went into storage in my bedroom closet. Over the years, my small collection, comprised of six Tupperware containers, moved with me to my first apartment...then our first house, then second and so on and so on. But last summer, I decided that rather then move those comic books once again, it was time to sell them. Of course, I could have held onto to them and someday they would have been passed down to my kids, but I didn’t think that was a good idea. I envisioned a nightmare scenario whereby my kids, not wanting to be bothered with dealing with all those comics, sold them at a yard sale for next to nothing. This would not be good! After all, I didn’t hold unto them for all those years so some yard sale shark (like myself) could steal them! So instead, I sold them myself, grouping them into various lots by characters or themes. For example, I sold a group of "Sergeant Fury" War comics for $35, a group of Spiderman comics for $80. I even had a few of the original Star Wars comics issued back in 1978. I sold three of them for an even one hundred dollars. Because I'd accumulated a ton of comic books as a kid, it took me the entire summer to unload them all. It was worth it. I made just over a thousand dollars in total comic book sales. A very nice profit and when downsizing, it’s a lot easier to store $1000 cash money, then six boxes of old comic books!

Old school Microsoft Windows software
Here’s another downsizing flip. Over the years, my kids accumulated a ton of computer software and games. Most of the software was stuffed in boxes, or various desk drawers in our basement. My oldest son was helping us prepare for the move when he came across an original Microsoft Windows software package with diskettes. The software package had never been opened and the diskettes were still sealed in the original plastic packaging. My son pointed out to me that even though the software was practically obsolete, I could still probably sell the set on eBay. Naturally, that's all the encouragement I needed. The old Microsoft package went up on eBay. Sonny boy turned out to be correct...the software sold for $45 dollars. Not bad for something that had been setting in a desk drawer for years!

Re-purposed beer crate
As “Project downsize" continued, another cool item I parted with was a vintage wood beer case.
I bought this crate for five bucks about twenty years ago at a local flea market. It became a neat addition to my basement man cave, serving as a table to rest a beer on during intense games of billiards. (Played on my re-cycled vintage Sears pool table.) Although normally I avoid flea markets for reasons having to do with sensory overload, (Too much stuff to look at.) I have to say when looking for  a specific item, no matter how unusual, you'll probably find it at a flea market. I remember very clearly seeking out some kind of cool table for my man cave at the flea market and finding it in this beer crate. It sat in my man cave for many years and attracted it’s share of admirers. But like so many other things in my old house, it was not going to make the move to the new home. I posted it on an eBay auction and it sold for $46 dollars.    

Lastly, can you recognize this weird looking tool in the adjacent picture? It’s a “knee kicker', used to install and stretch carpet. I’ve had this carpet tool for so long, I can’t even guess where I bought it. I do remember why I bought it though. I needed the tool to install carpeting in the baby’s room of our first little row home. Pretty sure that was the first and last time I used it. Well, since that baby is now a grown man of 30 years old with a home of his own, I figured I wouldn’t be needing to to install carpeting anymore. I sold the old knee kicker on Craigslist for $30. Seeing there’s a demand for these unique tools, I couldn't resist picking up another knee kicker at a recent yard sale. It set me back two bucks and I currently have it listed on CL for $50. We’ll see  what happens with that.

That’s just a handful of things sitting around the house that I turned into cash. What’s more fun then getting rid of stuff and turning them into dollar bills? When it comes to downsizing....not a whole lot! How about you? Have you unloaded house stuff you overlooked in the past? Share your story in the comment section below. In the meantime, I am going to keep looking around my new house for stuff to sell!

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  1. As to read about your selling ventures! :) ~~Pam

  2. Just starting out-I just want to get rid of “stuff”!
    So garage sale or eBay or local Facebook selling page? We had a garage sale with our local neighborhood, didn’t do so well. Thanks for any advice!
    ((We have American girl dolls and lots of VHS’s, old computer items...)