Friday, December 19, 2014

10 Ways to Sell Household Clutter for Big Time Cash: Go Minimalist, Make Bucks

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I'm still in the midst of my crazy minimalism journey. I'm loving the hell out of it, even though things are in that "messier before it gets clean" stage. I'll update with before/after photos next week when the house is photogenic again!  I've gotten rid of 90% of my already-purged wardrobe, all but one of my DVDs (I kept my collector's edition of the 1986 animated "Transformers the Movie" of course), boxes of books...and I'm making money to set aside for my future start-ups along the way!

Ah...photos from clean office past I'll get you back to perfection again, office!

The new year (13 days away- less than two weeks) is the time to purge and I love making money while I'm at it. Here are my 10 favorite ways to purge and make cash while I'm at it.

1) Garage Sale: The classic way to sell your excess items. Read: My Yard Sale Tips

Earn More: Advertise at least a week ahead of time via Craigslist and/or in your local newspapers for extra exposure. You'll earn even more when you

2) Craigslist: Craigslist is free so it's a great site to experiment with. I've heard of people selling off-the-wall things like used toilets on Craigslist, so try anything and everything. You never know what will sell.

Earn More: Excellent for furniture and lots but not individual high-priced items in my experience. Price a little more than you want to earn, Craigslist shoppers love to haggle.

3) eBay: You have to pay per listing on eBay, be selective with listings. Read: Ebay Selling Tips

Earn More: Collectibles, vintage items, raw materials and electronics are a safe bet.

4) Etsy: Etsy is good if you have a large amount of vintage or handmade items to sell. Read: My Etsy Tips

Earn More: You'll do better on Etsy if your items are artfully staged. Etsy gets less traffic than eBay, you'll be more successful if you promote it more within Etsy or via your established social media.


5) Used Book Stores: Powells locations buy used books, call one if they're near you to inquire about it. Barnes and Noble may buy your books, check their website. Look up local book stores that buy. Chamblins Book Mine buys books locally.

Earn More: Most used books stores are looking for quirky books that will sell, kids books, manga books/collectible comic books, and newer books. But try any/all of your books. I often make $25 bucks per batch I bring in.

6) Movie Stop/Movie Stores: I realized I haven't put a single one of my DVDs in the player in over a year, time for them to go!

Earn More: Movie Stop won't pay much per movie but if you have a large batch it can add up.

7) Plato's Closet/Consignment Shops: Consignment Shops like Plato's Closet will buy your clothes and resell them to customers.

Earn More: What they'll buy will depend on the shop, peek inside to see what they have and if it matches the clothes you're trying to get rid of. Again, they don't pay much but a big amount will add up. I recently sold $15 items and made $32, more than I expected and more than I'd have made simply donating the stuff! Take your items to multiple locations if they don't buy and take your items more than once, a different clerk may buy items the previous one did not.

8) Pawn Shop: A classic though fussy way to sell wares. Pawn shops won't offer much but it's a good way to get rid of some items fast for more than you'd have earned if you'd have simply donated it. Most will require photo IDs and for your thumbprint when you fill out the paperwork.

Earn More: This is a good option if you want cash in your hands and don't want to bother with listing, sales, or multiple stops and they take collectibles, electronics, DVDs, bikes, and more. Never clothing that I've seen.

9) Antique Store: Most antique malls don't buy vintage or antique items, but some antique stores will.

Earn More: Call local ones if you have some special true antique or old vintage items (difference here) and ask if you can bring some items in to sell.

10) Antique Mall: If you have a garage full of vintage/antique items (say you inherited some from a diseased relative or you finally bought everything down from the attic) and want to slowly sell it off you may want to invest in an antique mall booth.

Earn More: Start with a small space and experiment, depending on how much stock you have this can add up to a big monthly paycheck. If you want to sell it off fast, try Craigslist to sell it as a lot.

I highly recommend periodic purges. Every box donated or sold is a victory. It feels so good to have less in your life. The stuff I don't sell goes to friends, family, and services for the needy.

For good measure here are some general selling tips if you're a beginner with writing listings online. Good luck, make that money!

Did I leave out other options for selling wares? There are a lot of new services that send you bags/boxes to take your wares but most I've seen don't pay you unless the items you send them sell. Anyone have experience with regular consignment shops to share? I've only been to "Plato's Closet".
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

5 Business Motivation Tips: Whether You're Getting Started... or Getting Tired

I'm enjoying a huge surge of motivation and creative inspiration for my business. Sales are up, I'm plotting big moves with the right partners and I'm excited and busy as hell. So busy I barely get to sit, so busy running around I almost fell on my ass then later face hard yesterday, basically catching myself both times at the last second. Too busy to die, don't take me yet netherworld!


Positivity leads to productivity. I had to analyze what's created this turn around on luck, sales and motivation after a bit of a slump and realized the following steps were big helpers. Try them, they work:

1) Dream Big: Maybe you want to save $5,000 ASAP, upgrade your car, or the secure the funds to finally set yourself up in a brick and mortar store. Whatever it is, make one or a few big tangible goals to work toward that are on the realistic side. Then...

2) Envision: Do what it takes to really envision your big goals for the future. Make boards if you must, post pictures, keep the idea on your mind. (More details in my Vision Board post. Also the concept behind The Secret.)

3) "Bigger" Mission: Make your business bigger than money. If you're a parent, you must succeed because you want to give your kids the best life possible. My bigger mission is teach others to live a happy, healthier life outside the status quo.

4) Treat Yourself: Buy supplies that will help you be successful or little treats here and there for yourself. It can be good coffee, an indie bakery cupcake or even setting aside quality time to spend with loved ones. Do it. It's Good for your business, good for the soul. I ignored this, but it's a must.

5) Hire: If sales are crazy and you're going crazy keeping up, it may be time to hire a helper. Your sanity will thank you.

6) Outsource: I can design, draw and sew yet I'm hiring others to help me get some designs off the ground. I'm doing too much as it is and these tasks don't come naturally for me when I'm doing it for myself. Paying others to help me is worth every penny because I'm saving valuable time and really making progress for my goals.

7) Classes: Learning new things keeps your brain neurons firing. You'll be more creative and energetic. Never stop taking classes in your field. Right now I'm having a blast taking classes to become a master herbalist and I'll be teaching raw vegan and organic body care classes soon, too!

8) Research: Read books and web articles related to your field all the time. Like you're doing now!

9) Community: Find your kindred spirits, interact, bounce ideas off each other. We do this here in the comments section on the blog. Comment, reply, ask questions, share your knowledge. We learn and grow this way. Join related forums, join local groups via meet-up. You'll learn a lot and it feels good to teach others.

10) Vent: Failures are inevitable, you're not trying hard enough if you're not screwing up along the way. Don't keep the frustration in. Vent. Write about your issues. Ask for help. Cry if you have to. Write it out in your journal or a word document. This helps you get it out so you can move on.

What helps you stay motivated when it's hard to keep going?  
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Monday, December 15, 2014

Lush Bath Bomb DIY: Make Your Own Organic, Natural Fizzing Bath Balls

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Oh Lush, it beguiles with its striking minimalist branding, bright products, and all-natural aspirations. When we didn't have a Lush in Jacksonville, Florida I explored the Orlando, Florida Lush two miles South with wonder, beguiled by the textures and scents, enchanted. Lush's "bath bombs" are a fan favorite. They explode like a science fair volcano in your tub, turning it into a vat of colorful, fragrant, fizzy goodness. What's not to love? Well, their ingredients list. Not even close to 100% natural. When I see "Fragrance" on a label I twitch, this vague title could be a combination of hundreds of carcinogenic chemical compounds.


Not to scare you off, we live in a world full of pollutants, pick your poison. But you can avoid the chemicals and make your own bath bombs. This recipe creates bath bombs that are just as, if not MORE luxurious without the toxins. Here's how:

Supplies: (1) Bath Bomb Mold (2) Citric Acid (3) Light Oil. Grape Seed Oil is hypoallergenic, Jojoba Oil is pricier but never goes rancid. Almond and Avocado are moisturizing. (4) Coconut Oil (5) Essential Oils (6) White Rice Flour or Corn Starch. Corn starch is bad for anyone who has yeast issues so keep that in mind for gift-giving. (7) Baking Soda (8) Optional: Mica Powder or natural color powder  (9) Large Mixing Bowl (10) Two Smaller Bowls (11) Spoon (12) Bowl and/or a safe place for your bombs to dry


Dry Ingredients: 

Sieve the dry ingredients together until you get a nice, smooth blend.

  • 1 Cup baking soda  
  • 1/2 Cup citric acid 
  • 1/3 Cup corn starch
  • 1/2 Tsp to 1 Tsp Mica Powder (optional)

Wet Ingredients:

Stir all of the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl.

  • 2 1/2 Tablespoon of the light oil of your choice (sunflower, jojoba, grapeseed, almond)
  • 3/4 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Teaspoon essential oil of your choice (I tried several, an orange/vanilla/lavender mix is heavenly)
  • 2 Tablespoon coconut oil

Step 1)
Put your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients, then hand-mix it together. When you squeeze some in your palm it should hold its should stick together like damp sand.

Step 2) Take apart your bath bomb mold, Scoop one half over-full with your mixture. You need to have a tall mound of your mixture on both sides. Push your sides together, holding firmly.

Step 3) Use the back end of a spoon to give the back end of your mold a hard tap, then slowly pull the mold away from your bath bomb one side at a time. Don't twist at all or your risk breaking your bomb

Step 4) Gently place your bomb in a bowl and set aside, let it dry it for one day to be on the safe side before gift-giving, but you can use it the same day if desired. No matter how long you let your bombs dry, handle with care. They're delicate!

You can also skip Steps 2 and 3 and press your bath bombs into silicone molds. Press a large into each mold and let it dry overnight before carefully pressing the bomb out. 

Health Benefits: Citric acid is high in Vitamin C, the main nourishment for collagen production. It keeps your pores clean and supports. Baking soda cleans, conditions, exfoliates and removes excess oil without being too harsh. It restores your skin's PH balance. 

There you have it...These are the steps for your basic bath bomb. You can make bath bombs that are extra moisturizing varieties, you can mix different colors to make swirls (mix the dry ingredients in different bowls, then combine them), you can add healing herbs and salts or use funky molds the sky's the limit! You can spend an afternoon and knock out a big batch of smaller ones to give as gifts or make enough to keep by your tub. The guys love 'em too! Of course, more recipes to come. 

Making any last-second goodies for friends? I've made solid perfumes, soap, natural make-ups and sugar scrubs and they're already getting rave reviews.
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