Calling all closet entrepreneurs: Your trash may be someone else's treasure.
How long has that pile of ratty clothes and old shoes been sitting in the corner? If you haven’t missed it the last five years, odds are you won’t be looking for it this summer. And no, even if you turn them into shorts, you and I both know those jeans are not ever going to fit again.
Ah, but one woman’s trash is another woman’s vintage peasant blouse, you say.
Very well. Let’s pretend for a moment that someone, somewhere, might want the things you’re ready to leave on the street a few doors down. How about harnessing the awesome power of the internets? There's a website for almost every entrepreneurial (or charitable) inclination.
The Get Rich Quick: Have more junk than time? You've got more options than Craigslist and eBay. Tinypay is hacking away at the hassles of selling stuff online so that you can "start selling in 60 seconds." You don't even need an account. Just sync each listing with PayPal and you'll get emails and cash sent to you where you already spend your internet time: your inbox. Plus, the offers easily embed onto your social media sites so you don’t have to work (too hard) at advertising.
More ambitious in your divestment? Shopify lets you create an entire online "storefront." Designed for pricier items, this is like a gateway drug to actually starting a second-hand selling business. List your stuff, accept credit cards and ship goods all through the site.
The Locavore: Won’t you buy my stuff, neighbor? Zaarly lets you coordinate with people in your area to buy and sell in your neck of the woods. They also let you set up a phone alert so you can go about your business while people browse your selection.
YardSellr uses local social networks to connect you with buyers near you who share an interest—like velvet Elvis portraits—so you can find neighbors who want exactly what you have.
The Mother Teresa: If you’d rather give than receive, go to KarmaGoat and pick a charity or two. Proceeds from the items you put up for sale go to the causes you care about.
The Hand-Em-Down: Parents can take comfort in having more and more options these days for recycling little outfits. ThredUP will send you a prepaid shipping bag to fill up with children’s clothes, they'll sort and sell it and pay you per piece. Pocket the cash or spend it on the next size up. Or you can organize a donation drive to raise money for your school for GoodKarma. You can even donate ripped or stained items—they’ll sew them into functional items like bibs.
The Picky Sell: If you’re the kind of person who can’t stand the idea of some philistine getting their dirty paws all over your beloved gumball machine, Keepio connects you with other people who are passionate about your old stuff. Find the uber nerd who will treasure your mint-condition Yoda figurines as much as you once did.
Another weird variation: If you’ve got a story to tell about that thing you’re hocking (like, oh, say, an engagement ring?) let it out and let it go at Never Liked It Anyway. The site lets you part ways with your belongings at a “break-up price,” and lets you vent while you do it.
The Sloth: All this talk of cleaning got you feeling a little lazy? Let someone else do it. Hire yourself a local whippersnapper to cross off your to-do list for you. TaskRabbit finds someone willing to do your chores for a little green. Maybe you can use all the money you just made off this post.
We're giving away $500 to put this challenge into action! Participate in the 'Clean Up Your Act' challenge on GOOD Maker here.